We’re very excited to have tomorrow’s workshop lead by Ezra Konvitz of ArtStack! Ezra Konvitz is the Co-Founder of ArtStack, the social platform for art. ArtStack is a new way to discover, share and remember art. The community includes leading artists, curators, museum directors, collectors, gallerists and art enthusiasts in 175+ countries.
He previously worked at the Serpentine Gallery and at Bain and Company, the strategy consultancy. Ezra holds an MPhil on the social development of avant-garde movements and an undergraduate degree from Cambridge University, as well as an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, where he studied postmodernism in France.
Ezra, can you tell us a bit more about you and your background?
I am one of the co-founders of ArtStack, the social platform for art. ArtStack makes it easy to share and discover art - and to remember works you love.
I've always been passionate about art and people, which is really what ArtStack is about.
I have a master’s degree in history of art, previously worked at the Serpentine Gallery and then decided to create ArtStack with old friends who were working in art and technology and equally passionate about bringing art online.
Can you tell us a bit more about ArtStack and your vision for it?
ArtStack is a new way to discover, share and remember art.
The community includes leading artists, curators, museum directors, collectors, gallerists and art enthusiasts in 175+ countries.
We believe that the best way to discover art is through people. This is nothing new - after all, people have always showed works they love in their homes and told friends to check out the artists they like. We've taken this online and created a free platform where artists, art professionals and art lovers can grow and engage their audience.
We're dedicated to being the best place for artists to share their work and inspirations in a community that's passionate about discovering art.
Where do you see ArtStack develop in the next five years?
We're seeing incredible growth on ArtStack, and more and more people are also using it to share and browse works directly from their phones - our iPhone app is popular around the world, so that's a focus. We've launched in English, Spanish and Chinese and are working on more languages. It's very exciting seeing people sharing works from Beijing, Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi - and this global trend will only become stronger.
A lot of people will be confused about the difference with Pinterest. Can you clearly give us the differences and advantages of ArtStack?
ArtStack and Pinterest differ in some key ways - we developed ArtStack for artists and the art community, so all the art on ArtStack is organised and everything is classified in categories – so you can see all the work by an artist or from a gallery or collection, no matter who added it, and find new works by the artist when they are added. As a result, it's both a resource for artists and a powerful research tool, with works by over 25,000 artists.
We are devoted to seeing and engaging with art in the best way online, so ArtStack’s layout has been designed for an art-specific audience - with key functionality and detailed information for people who are passionate about art. It’s a very clean design, with large images and the works that are posted are only art – and some of the most interesting people who work in the field are using ArtStack to share their work.
ArtStack is also organised as a searchable archive to facilitate access to the art people are looking for - and make it easy to discover artists similar to the ones they already love through people who are passionate about the work. It’s really interesting to see what other artworks people like who also like a particular artist – or to see all the works that have been added from a particular year or country.
How did you come across Debut Contemporary and what do you think of our business ethos?
I first heard about Debut through friends and have heard terrific things. Debut Contemporary is an innovative, and much needed, resource for artists.
Where do you see the similarities between Debut and ArtStack?
ArtStack and Debut both empower artists and enable them to best reach and engage more people. We believe that artists should have a platform and tools to access their audience and also to be discovered - it's really exciting to be able to support artists around the world in their careers!
And on a more personal level…
Who are you own favourite artists?
Too many! Robert Frank, Wassily Kandinsky, Sterling Ruby... among others!
What is the best exhibition you’ve seen in the last year?
Bronze, at the Royal Academy and Jonas Mekas at the Serpentine Gallery were both terrific. I'm a huge fan of William Klein, so I really enjoyed seeing his work at Tate Modern this year.
Is there a book you would recommend to us?
USA, by John Dos Passos.
Do you have an interesting fact for us?
A few I've learned though ArtStack: there's a strong art community in the Arctic Circle in Norway; Man Ray used his own erotic images (with Kiki de Montparnasse) to help finance a Surrealist poetry magazine in 1929; and Delacroix considered Victor Hugo the most talented painter of their generation.