Back in 2012, the art world was still eyeing the internet warily. “Art was lagging behind other luxury industries,” says Stas Johnson-Chyzhykov, associate director of collector relations at online art platform Artsy. “There was a growing interest in culture and living with art, but no one place to go for information.” In that window of opportunity, Artsy was born. Originally conceived as an online resource for discovering and collecting art, today it has grown into a vibrant marketplace featuring more than 2,000 galleries, 700 museums, 25 auction houses and 60 art fairs in over 90 countries.
When Artsy began to partner with leading galleries to upload their artwork onto the site, the level of transparency was revelatory—and transformed a closed-off ecosystem into an open platform. “Galleries realized that the new generation of collectors wanted to see all of the art, and all of the information, at their fingertips,” says Johnson-Chyzhykov, who has been with the company since its launch. “They needed to get online if they wanted to grow. We’re driving new leads and helping partners build relationships with new collectors that they wouldn’t have met otherwise.”
These days, Johnson-Chyzhykov has shifted her focus to professional buyers and interior designers (the site’s “super-users,” she says) to improve their experience. “More data democratizes the market,” she explains. “We often get questions from buyers: Am I making the right choice? Am I paying the right price? Now, we can give you all of the data points you need to make you feel confident in the decision to purchase a piece.”