Using a similar concept to the audio search app Shazam, Magnus allows users to upload a photo of an artwork they’re curious about. The app will then return details such as the work’s name, artist and price — information that can otherwise be difficult to obtain for all but the savviest collectors.
The Magnus database, which relies in part on crowdsourcing, includes more than 10 million images, covering 20,000 museums, galleries and auction houses around the world.
The goal of the app, says its founding company, is to democratize the art market and, in the words of founder and CEO Magnus Resch, to make it more “transparent, open and honest.”
In a statement announcing his involvement with the company, Leonardo DiCaprio echoed that aim, saying, “Visual art is a powerful tool for spreading ideas, memorializing history and bringing people together around a common purpose.”
The company hopes the app will also help to grow the art market by attracting new collectors and giving existing buyers a new and useful tool. It joins a number of players that are finding success in bringing art into the digital realm, including the online platform Artsy and art market site Artnet.
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