It’s called the “Shazam for the art world” – to be immediately clear – but its real name is Magnus and its mission is to democratize access to this still too much exclusive market.
Founded in 2013 by young German art entrepreneur Magnus Resch and based in New York, this new App offers everyone interested in art – from newbies to serious collectors – a way to track, discover, and share their experience.
Using both the most advanced technologies and years of tireless data compilation and manual data entry, Resch and his team created “the world’s most comprehensive art database” – they say – “showing not only prices from galleries and auctions, but also exhibition histories of galleries, artists, museums, and art fairs. We believe that transparency is good. Magnus will help it to grow, both by attracting new collectors and by giving existing buyers a tool at their fingertips to enjoy art even more.”
For the creation and maintaining of the database, they have enlisted a popular and modern form of help: crowd-sourcing. “Our users supply us with all images; they take a photo with the app and thereby add it to the database. Our job is to keep the database clean and review prices users add. Already today, we own the world’s largest database for contemporary art – free for everyone to use.”
In an interesting interview with The Creators Project, thinking about the current and common system, Magnus Founder wonders: “Why is it ethically wrong to show users prices of an artwork they are interested in? If you are willing to spend $10,000 on an artwork, you should know that another gallery put the work on auction a year ago for $7,000 and it didn’t sell. Knowing this will allow the collector to make a more conscious decision.”
So far, it seems that the art world agrees with Resch and is embracing Magnus and its enormous and informative archive: “I received overwhelmingly positive feedback from artists, gallerists, and collectors. Not one single gallery asked us to take down the works. I cannot wait to launch it in more cities.”
We have just download it and it’s very simple to use, as simple as taking a photo of an artwork and instantly know the artist, title and price.
For now, it works only in New York but it’s coming soon to London, Berlin, Hong Kong and many other cities… So, if you are a true art lover (or just want to look like an expert), now you know you can get this App – currently available on iOS from the App Store. It’s free!