Artscapy is a new digital platform for fine art collecting founded by Emilia and Alessandro De Stasio with a vision to make art collecting safer and more accessible using technology. Built for collectors by collectors, it features a comprehensive set of services including a bespoke collection management system and a curated marketplace of handpicked galleries and vetted collectors. In an interview with Arts & Collections, founders Emilia and Alessandro De Stasio share their personal insights into art collecting and how it is changing.
- What difficulties does an art collector face in starting to approach the market?
The journey into art collecting comes with a number of hurdles and barriers to surpass. These include finding quality information about artworks and knowing where to go to buy quality art safely. When we were new collectors we also struggled with a distinct lack of digital tools to help us in our collecting journey. These challenges make for an often intimidating start to art collecting that is not just vital in supporting artistic production, but also personally and potentially financially enriching.
Art collecting is not a science, it comes from a personal desire which is unique for each person, and the process is not always straightforward. Part of the collecting journey is learning to trust your own taste, but you need the right tools to nurture your passion and in so doing you can also grow as a collector.
- Where are the growth areas in art collecting?
The growth areas in collecting right now revolve around discovering and buying new quality art online, thereby eliminating many barriers – both in terms of information flow and buying art internationally. There has never been a more opportune time to begin collecting art. The digital environment has created a space where anyone and everyone can collect. Now all you need to do is to approach art with interest and curiosity, and with a platform like Artscapy you would have all the necessary tools to buy and manage the art safely. The rise of NFTs has also created a new culture of collecting. Non-Fungible Tokens have created a new avenue for artistic expression, and it is very interesting to see their different applications, such as the idea that the NFT acts as a way to access the artwork or to participate with it, beyond being just for digital artworks.
- Do events like Art Basel still hold the significance they did?
The current dynamics of the art world are changing. The new generation of art collectors explore and buy art online at higher frequencies and bigger price tags. This fundamentally shifts the current model that is so driven by in-person and geographically limited interactions. The focus is on the art. It doesn’t however eliminate the need for curation, and expertise in determining art historic and cultural significance. Key events and institutions like Art Basel and the Venice Biennale will remain important as threshold setters, but other factors are likely to increasingly influence the ultimate purchasing behaviour.
- How is art collecting changing and how has the pandemic played a role?
Today’s collector is millennial and buys art online, this is what the reported data is telling us. This generational shift drastically changes the art buying process, as millennials expect information to be clear, easily accessible, and adapted to a quick pace of life. Collectors today have an appetite to explore and are increasingly buying from galleries and dealers on an international scale, rather than a local one. These trends have been brewing for the past few years and have only heightened with the pandemic. This online curiosity exploded as collectors found themselves limited in terms of access to art that they could explore in person physically.
- How does Artscapy fit in the current art market/landscape?
As digital entrepreneurs and passionate collectors who have been actively collecting contemporary art over the past decade, we noted a clear lack of digital tools focused on the art collector. We built Artscapy with a collector-first mindset where each feature is designed and tailored to the needs of collectors. Indeed, our mission is to make art collecting more accessible, making the journey easier and safer online by leveraging the latest bespoke technology for art. Through technology we enable the art industry to meet the changing needs of tomorrow’s collector. As we place the collector in the middle of our ecosystem, we also make sure that any artworks proposed on sale meet quality criteria, as well as passing our due diligence.
- How does the Artscapy platform work?
Artscapy provides an end-to-end collecting experience, from a bespoke collection management system to a safe marketplace featuring artworks from handpicked galleries and vetted collectors. The quality of the art on the platform is underpinned by certificates of authenticity and provenance on blockchain, and end-to-end encryption is used to safely store and track information. The platform also provides a supportive online community with engaging editorial content with discussions.
- What’s next on the horizon for Artscapy?
We are always looking for creative ways to showcase our curated art picks to our collectors, and alongside the marketplace and viewing rooms on our digital platform, we will also be hosting physical exhibitions. This new initiative allows us to engage in person with collectors and art lovers alike and to make well-researched, beautifully executed contemporary art accessible and tangible.
From July, 3rd – 9th, we will be hosting the exhibition Observing the Human in partnership with South Korean artist collective Noonssup at Morrell House (98 Curtain Road) in Shoreditch, London. The collaboration is bound by the shared goal to showcase rigorous contemporary artistic research whose message is uniquely expressed through technology. Five contemporary artists (Bongsu Park, Garam Kim, Sejin Kim, Gihun Noh, and Daniel Schine Lee) will share their observations on human nature at the verge of new technological advancement through video, performance, photography, audio and NFTs.
As the technological partner for the exhibition, Artscapy has minted the NFT artworks and created the online platform from which the works can be bought. Each artwork on display will be on sale and available to buy as an NFT at observingthehuman.com.
Another angle to this collaboration is our shared goal of demystifying what NFT can mean and how NFTs can interrelate with contemporary fine art, beyond any short-lived hype. We have therefore crafted an extended seminar and talks programme that runs daily throughout the exhibition in which visitors can learn more about the artistic concepts, collecting, and the underlying technology. The event programming can be found here.
- How can I find out more about Artscapy?
As a collector, whether aspiring or seasoned, you can join Artscapy in just a few clicks at artscapy.com and find platform features that are tailored to your needs.
We made a big point on giving collectors access to the right tools, that’s why our platform is free to use for every collector for up to 25 artworks logged in the collection, and to access more advanced features.
We actively engage with collectors online through our social media channels, but also in-person at our exhibitions and as a headline sponsor of art fairs. So be on the lookout and you’ll see more of Artscapy around!