An app for buying and selling art in the digital age

“Curation, community and opportunity”

Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf

An app for buying and selling art in the digital age

Written by: Jerry Davich
July 5, 2018


Throughout history, artists from van Gogh to Vasarely have struggled to market and sell their work. 

Valparaiso artist Jay Weinberg, who’s living the “myth of the starving artist,” is convinced that his Digital Age creation, Artunity, can change this situation for artists of all ages, talents and mediums. Three years in the making, Artunity is a mobile app designed to empower artists and collectors by combining social networking, eCommerce and a dynamic spin on crowdfunding. It integrates an artistic culture of “Curation, Community and Opportunity.” 

“What Uber did for the taxi business, Artunity can do with art,” says Weinberg, a graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago. How? By tapping into “compassionate capitalism,” Weinberg says.

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Throughout history, artists from van Gogh to Vasarely have struggled to market and sell their work. 

Valparaiso artist Jay Weinberg, who’s living the “myth of the starving artist,” is convinced that his Digital Age creation, Artunity, can change this situation for artists of all ages, talents and mediums. Three years in the making, Artunity is a mobile app designed to empower artists and collectors by combining social networking, eCommerce and a dynamic spin on crowdfunding. It integrates an artistic culture of “Curation, Community and Opportunity.” 

“What Uber did for the taxi business, Artunity can do with art,” says Weinberg, a graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago. How? By tapping into “compassionate capitalism,” Weinberg says.

Artists who need to sell their work publicly can use Artunity as an entry point into the buyers’ world, without capital financing or costly marketing. Artists can determine the best “price point” for their work, and buyers can obtain a piece of art for as little as $10 or $50, with the possibility of landing it for a fraction of its actual price. 

If an Artunity user shows interest in a piece of art, it will pop up in their app with a different colored frame—red to show they’re interested in it, and gold to show they were randomly selected to possess it. The artist then delivers or ships the work to the buyer. Artunity uses a computer coding system through algorithms, randomly selecting a user’s number. The buyer who gets selected receives the artwork, with Artunity receiving a 15 percent cut of the transaction. 

Weinberg got the idea when a $150 household bill was due and he couldn’t afford to pay it. He only had one of his illustrations to sell, so he asked 15 potential buyers to put up $10 each, with one of them randomly chosen to own it. Weinberg ended up paying his bill, the bidders enjoyed the idea of spending only $10 for his artwork, and the chosen buyer was thrilled. “The only way for Artunity to be a success is if both parties are happy,” Weinberg says. 

To date, several artists have used the platform to successfully sell their pieces. And he’s looking for more investors to take Artunity to its next phases. “I am pulling in disparate ideas akin to Leonardo da Vinci,” Weinberg says. “It’s why I need a couple of patrons from the ‘New Renaissance’ to help me really bring this to life, into the app stores and fully scalable. The Artunity process will become deeper and more fully gamified as time passes.” 

Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Jay Weinberg
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Jay Weinberg

Artists who need to sell their work publicly can use Artunity as an entry point into the buyers’ world, without capital financing or costly marketing. Artists can determine the best “price point” for their work, and buyers can obtain a piece of art for as little as $10 or $50, with the possibility of landing it for a fraction of its actual price. 

If an Artunity user shows interest in a piece of art, it will pop up in their app with a different colored frame—red to show they’re interested in it, and gold to show they were randomly selected to possess it. The artist then delivers or ships the work to the buyer. Artunity uses a computer coding system through algorithms, randomly selecting a user’s number. The buyer who gets selected receives the artwork, with Artunity receiving a 15 percent cut of the transaction. 

Weinberg got the idea when a $150 household bill was due and he couldn’t afford to pay it. He only had one of his illustrations to sell, so he asked 15 potential buyers to put up $10 each, with one of them randomly chosen to own it. Weinberg ended up paying his bill, the bidders enjoyed the idea of spending only $10 for his artwork, and the chosen buyer was thrilled. “The only way for Artunity to be a success is if both parties are happy,” Weinberg says. 

To date, several artists have used the platform to successfully sell their pieces. And he’s looking for more investors to take Artunity to its next phases. “I am pulling in disparate ideas akin to Leonardo da Vinci,” Weinberg says. “It’s why I need a couple of patrons from the ‘New Renaissance’ to help me really bring this to life, into the app stores and fully scalable. The Artunity process will become deeper and more fully gamified as time passes.” 

He insists that pitching Artunity to investors is no different than da Vinci pitching his grand horse sculpture to the Duke of Milan. “Well, there is a slight difference,” he says. “Unlike Leonardo, I intend to finish my masterpiece.” 

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For more information on Artunity, email Weinberg at jay@artunity.co