Changing the art game
There is a name in the art world right now that is really making waves and changing the way people view art. That is the group known as Avant Arte. This Netherland based brand has been steadily building a game changing presence over the last two and a half years and shows no sign of stopping. From its humble beginnings as an art curating Tumblr page to now curating live art shows in London Avant Arte is making a name for itself around the world.
We had the opportunity to speak with one of the co-founder of Avant Arte, Curtis Penning, who gave us the low down on how the group came about, what they are currently doing, and where they are headed.
Though Curtis himself is not an artist in the traditional sense, he has a love and certainly a taste for good art. When he and co-founder Christian Luiten started a Tumblr page a few years back, they were experimenting with a few different pages. As they soon found out, their ability to find contemporary art people liked in an innovative was of huge value.
That original Tumbler page started to grow rapidly and so they decided to take it to the the platform that could reach anyone with a smartphone. Instagram. From there they started to grow like crazy and now have nearly 600 thousand followers. But those are not just any followers, as Curtis points out “we get emails from artists all the time that sell art through our platform or even through an Instagram post. Because its not always about numbers… We really do have the big collectors in the art world following us.”
Instagram was only the starting point for Avant Arte. Along with growing a hugely successful and influential account, they have managed to launch a smartphone app where people can swipe through art to discover and connect with art they love. People can even get in touch with the artists and galleries that own the art to chat and/or purchase a piece that they feel they ‘just have to have.’ The platform has 25-30K normal users currently and is growing quickly.
So whats the big fuss about some cool art on a Tumblr & Instagram page?
Avant Arte has started a very important movement that combines art and the digital world in a particular way that defies the old archetype. Before, there was a boundary for many artists to get into galleries and gain exposure to people who would appreciate their work. Now with a single post, Avant Arte has the power to help a new or struggling artist gain significant recognition and momentum.
They are able to do this as independent curators who don’t feel the pressures of galleries or outsiders when looking at artists. “We don’t look at numbers or how big they are or how famous they are or anything. We just look at whether we like their art or not and thats it” Curtis tells us.
They have also changed the experience for art lovers as well. No longer do you have to go to art galleries and stare at a piece for an hour that you may not connect with or relate to at all. They have brought all the benefits of going to a gallery, like finding new and exciting art and artists, and have shared that with people all over the world.
Art in real life too
But the experience that Avant Arte offers is not only restricted to the virtual world. Last year they curated an art show in collaboration with Unit London which, turned out to be a huge success.
“We wanted to show people the offline part of art. It was a great success The Financial Times wrote about it, New Your Times, The Wall Street Journal. There were over 2,000 people with lines to get in. It was really nice to see… and we sold almost all the works at the show.”
In putting on this show, Avant Arte has gotten a whole new crowd of people excited about going to an art gallery who otherwise probably would not have cared. Because it has grown on a platform dominated by younger generations, it’s inspiring younger people and giving them the opportunity to get into appreciating and collecting art now more than ever before. They are removing the stigma and cultural barrier to entry that traditional galleries held on to.
In this digital age we live in, the way to appreciate art is definitely changing and Avant Arte has built a powerful platform that is bringing us that change in an awesome and accessible way. “Art will always happen offline,” says Curtis “but people can include art into their everyday lives and technology can aid that process.”
Make sure you follow Avant Arte’s Instagram page for awesome art daily and be prepared to see more shows to come. Currently we know of one other art show with Unit London that is being planned for March of 2018 and we hope to see many more.