by Carolyn Edlund
Can this new technology help artists sell?
There are an increasing number of online platforms that make art sales ever more accessible, allowing anyone to discover and buy art from around the world in just a few clicks.
At the same time, virtual reality (VR) is starting to emerge to become the next computing revolution. Internet giants like Google, Samsung and Facebook are investing massively in this new technology, making VR accessible to everyone. Now it’s being used to help art collectors view potential purchases, and experience art in a new way.
I interviewed Rudolph van Valkenburg, the founder of ArtQuid, an online global community for artists and art enthusiasts, about the 3D viewing phenomenon as a sales technique. Their art sales platform uses VR software to help artists present and sell their work, which offers fascinating possibilities.
He explains, “The idea of virtual reality is not new. Old masters have always played with illusions, making a painting look real or close to reality. While art is about discovering, visiting, looking, admiring and feeling, 3D technology can make the art viewing and shopping experience even more real.”
In fact, ArtQuid offers the first comprehensive solution of 3D galleries available on all digital media.
What is this shopping experience like? And could it help artists sell more of their work online?
When listing art for sale online, we know that using multiple views, including detail shots and in situ photos, can help the prospective customer have an enhanced shopping experience. VR takes that beyond two dimensions and to a new level. How does that affect viewers?
“Instead of having to browse through hundreds of flat images online, art lovers can now visit a 3D gallery like a real art show, look at artworks from any angle and enjoy a great view of the overall exhibition,” claims van Valkenburg.
He continues, “Some of the most appealing features of this technology are that it offers ways for artists to customize their own gallery page by changing colors, textures, dimensions of the artworks, frames and hanging order. On top of that, artists who list their work on ArtQuid can even choose to exhibit anywhere in the world by selecting a 360° view of New York, Venice, the Caribbean or any other place they like.”
An interesting aspect of the VR experience is that mobile shopping is also available through presenting 3D galleries on their smartphone application. Keep in mind that about 1/3 of shoppers are viewing websites on mobile devices, therefore art sales platforms must be mobile-friendly.
For a total immersive experience, ArtQuid offers a free VR version of the 3D galleries on its mobile application by using a simple headset called Google Cardboard that holds your smartphone.
“3D is not only a great new promotional tool for artists, it is transforming the online art experience,” states van Valkenburg.
VR presentation through 3D galleries is clearly an option for artists who want to present their work as favorably as possible, and are looking for new features to share their portfolios with collectors.