Stuart by Saatchi

December 20, 2006

Stuart is the latest innovation from the art collecter Charles Saatchi in the UK. It’s a virtual gallery open to Student Artists wishing to upload images of their work for viewing and sales. While nothing can compare with the experience of seeing art in it’s natural (?) environment (for digital artists the cyber space may in fact be the natural environment) – there is much to be said for a virtual space that allows one to wander through the imagery in the comfort of one’s own home – hopefully leading to enough curiosity to explore the work in real time and in real life.
The site has a blog, gallery, social networking gizmos (i.e. a MySpace feel in terms of adding “friends” and a chat area etc), listings and a vast array of visual artists from around the globe sharing images, engaging in discussions and (hopefully) selling their work. It seems straightforward enough in terms of signing up. It looks like a fairly substantial site and I’m curious to know how it’s serviced, used and the costs involved in running it. I frequently hear artists asking for this kind of environment as a showcase/networking tool but I’ve rarely seen costings or useage data to see whether it works in practice so I’ll be watching developments there closely to see if it turns out to be the marketplace that artists are expecting.