As the online art sales space crumbles, the New York Times asks whether the young wealthy of the tech world will ever become interested in buying art. Old-line advisors assume interest in art as a status signifier is inevitable. But the culture of the new economy suggests otherwise . . . or does it?
To those used to start-up culture, with its utopian transparency and meritocratic ideals, the art world’s barriers to entry are discouraging and confusing. Parties are exclusive. Works are not always sold to those with the most money. Images are often not online. Invoicing can take months. There is, to borrow a term from the lexicon of tech culture, a preponderance of inconvenient “friction.”
As [Jonas]. Peretti put it, referring to one prominent Chelsea gallery, “It’s not like there’s some instruction manual when you show up at Barbara Gladstone that explains all this to you.” Paraphrasing typical complaints some in tech have with the gallery system, he said: “Why are they making it hard for me to buy art? I want to write a big check to this person, and they’re treating me in this way that I don’t quite understand, like they don’t really want my money.”
Mo Koyfman, a venture capitalist at Spark Capital, which has provide funding for companies including Twitter and Foursquare, is of the same opinion.
“For technologists, it’s all about leveling the playing field, and the art world is a very structured, hierarchical system,” he said. “There is a conflict there, and it’s probably a good bit of the reason why technology entrepreneurs struggle with the art world.” […]
“The art world has a lot of cliques,” said [Josh] Guttman, 37, who calls himself an art novice. “I’m less interesting in the cliques, but you could argue that tech is the same. If you have a start-up, you need to network, get to know the right people and the community at large. You need people to like you.”
Does Anyone Here Speak Art and Tech? (NY Times)