All Articles
All Articles
CULTURE

ART:I:CURATE

CULTURE

ART:I:CURATE

The new social online platform invites you to curate artwork from emerging contemporary artists and develop your taste

by Nara Shin
on 28 November 2013
articurate-1.jpg

Art—thanks to the internet—is becoming more democratic and accessible than ever before. There are already numerous online platforms, like Artsy, which use the web to full advantage and encourage users to discover and experience art. Things are getting more creative, though, as the internet's social aspect is being tapped by new platforms like Gertrude, which organizes intimate private salons hosted by an art specialist and ART:I:CURATE, who stopped by CH HQ last week to discuss their mission, which is to turn passive viewers with an interest in art into an actively engaged collective.

London and New York-based ART:I:CURATE (which rhymes with "articulate") was started by Irina Turcan and Nur Elektra El Shami in March 2013, but they've known each other for more than seven years. "I'm Italian and Irina is from Moldova, but we met in Milan and [back] then we pursued completely different industries," says El Shami. Turcan was working in investment banking while El Shami was in luxury goods, but the two remained in touch over the years and have become partners behind a manifesto they share.

articurate-3.jpg

"In a way, we are part of our audience," says El Shami. "The idea came because we're very interested in art. We have artist friends, we go to exhibitions, we go to openings—but we feel that sometimes, there's a certain wall, a lack of dialogue and it's very difficult for emerging artists to be seen or get exposure. So we were thinking of ways how it could become something more engaging than just going to galleries."

"That's how the idea for ART:I:CURATE was born. We thought, 'What if we could decide what is exhibited and be part of the curatorial process?'" says El Shami. "And [decide] the definition of what 'contemporary art' is," adds Turcan. The website showcases artists—their current roster has a little more than 100, representing around 40 countries—and encourages people from outside the industry to enter the platform and either discover art through browsing (with help from a "suggested artists" section) or by following other people. Artists must apply in order to be featured on ART:I:CURATE, and because all content on the site is curated, they do not create their own profiles or bios.

articurate-screen-shot-2.jpg

Users can "like" artwork and add them to their virtual collection, as well as follow artists who they admire to receive news updates about forthcoming exhibitions or works. El Shami says, "We take this feedback and information; we see a lot of people really love this artist or that artist. So we invite the artist, and say 'Hey, you guys have had a great response,' and organize an exhibition offline. And so the people were directly part of defining the exhibition."

articurate-2.jpg

ART:I:CURATE has already hosted large-scale shows of the most popular artwork during London Design Week and the Frieze Art Fair, and plans to make them bimonthly. "We try to challenge the spaces as well as offer an experience, rather than a white-cube gallery. The one here in New York was in a collector's apartment on Wall Street," says El Shami. "Because the people come from such various industries—design, fashion, finance, writing—you meet people that you wouldn't meet usually, plus you get to speak to all the artists at openings which are usually a little protected, maybe, by gallerists. We really want people to interact," says El Shami.

articurate-screen-shot.jpg

Another feature that allows users to discover new art and create a dialogue is their "Curated By" section. Every two days, a user is given complete freedom to select a minimum of six artworks to share with the community, under a specific curatorial theme. Some have chosen to spotlight contemporary artists from their hometown, whether it's Charleston, South Carolina or Singapore; others have gone more abstract with themes like "Olfactory Art of the New Millennium" or photography and film as sculptural mediums. The clean design makes it feel like a collaborative Tumblr page, but it's the nature of the content—the introduction of unfamiliar artists whose work is being highlighted by someone else, for a special reason—that will have you infinitely scrolling. Upon perusing the curators who have posted, it becomes obvious that ART:I:CURATE is a bona fide global community—users from Hong Kong, London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, San Francisco and more have most recently added to the conversation.

articurate-4.jpg

Cool Hunting's very own social media manager Katharina Galla curated the website for two days, from 18-19 November, and was "compelled" to focus on digital art: "I thought that would encourage some thinking about the difference in perception of artworks on the platform versus a [physical] exhibition space." Of the experience, she notes, "I can see the potential for new projects emerging from the connections made on ART:I:CURATE, because curators can now see the taste of other curators and other people all over the world."

By widening access to the traditionally limited and exclusive art world, ART:I:CURATE looks to be a place of continual experimentation and discovery, pushing art lovers to develop their voice and opinion. We recommend checking out the past online "exhibitions" curated by A Magazine's Editor in Chief Dan Thawley and Copenhagen-based art historian Aukje Lepoutre Ravn to start. You can create an account on the ART:I:CURATE website; no secret invitation necessary.

"Must-Have" event images courtesy of Kasia Bobula, "a:jam:session" image courtesy of Pierluigi Erroi (performance by Teresa Cos and THATCHER), website screenshots courtesy of ART:I:CURATE, fish sculpture "Medusa" courtesy of artist Tim A Shaw

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue
Loading More...