art collecting gone social with arttwo50


Published on August 27th, 2013 | by Rachael Wilkinson


Art Collecting Gone Social with ARTtwo50

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the advent of digital technologies have radically changed our world. Lately it seems like the process of art collecting finally caught up - Amazon sells original art and services like Gertrude and digitize traditional collecting. Perhaps the most innovative and clever of these services is ARTtwo50 - I played with their app over the weekend.




ARTtwo50’s cute video explains the process pretty thoroughly, but if you don’t have the time (or the headphones) to play it, here are the details. Say you just moved into a new apartment, and your wall is totally blank - begging for some original art. You can use ARTtwo50’s app to snap a photo of your space and it will suggest art that would work for the space (based off the size and colors in your photo). You can collect a few pieces, share with your friends, and get feedback on which you should purchase. Each piece is $250 and comes straight to you - with 7 days for free returns. The idea is that now the process of buying art is tailored exactly to your space and a social experience - exactly what I think a younger generation of collectors want.

 The app itself is great - tutorials explain functionality in a stylish and easy to use way. You can swipe quickly through works and easily explore more works by the same artist. It’s easy to zoom in on a particular piece, which also leads to a pop-up with info on the artist and the piece (which I love). You can easily share multiple pictures to your Facebook and Twitter and ask friends which looks best in your space. I was also impressed with the personalization of the artwork - ARTtwo50 was able to identify some of the colors in my bedroom and show me some art that would actually look great in there.

The only criticisms I have of the app are nit-picky. When trying to take the photo of my space originally, the app wanted to know how far I was from the wall. Since I have zero powers of estimation, I had to break out the measuring tape and stretch that out. I also would just love the ability to “favorite” artists within the app - maybe even receive alerts with they have new pieces added to the app. I also feel that the app would really benefit if users could to share to Pinterest - the art/design community there would eat this right up.

If you’re looking for a large piece of art, this might not be for you. Most of the pieces on the site are small, even if you select “large” as the size you want. This is directly related to their current business strategy - artists receive a whopping 80% of the sale, leaving only $50 to cover all other costs (including shipping). You can see how this will tend towards smaller works of art - but ARTtwo50 has plans to grow to higher price points ($500 and beyond).


TL;DR - I feel good about this app and the direction it takes art collecting. The personalization, social aspects, and snarky commercial speak to the interests of the Millennial generation. I think as ARTtwo50 continues to grow, we’ll see a really quality app and wonderful works of art available for your home.

The painting in our Featured Image is “pipedream” by Willy Owens and it matches my color scheme very well.

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About the Author

Rachael Wilkinson

Rachael Wilkinson is a second year Master of Arts Management student at Carnegie Mellon University. She recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her interests include social media and art museums, and this is reflected in her most recent experience at the Mattress Factory Museum. You can find her on Twitter as the main voice of @TechintheArts and her personal account, @rewilkin