When an artist creates a piece of art, they often do so with reason or inspiration. Maybe their art holds emotional significance to pinpoint a time in their life or represents a stance on an injustice in the world. Perhaps a piece was created as a commission for a good friend or to simply pay the bills. Whatever the reason, it’s why Ryan Mayberry founded ArtMoi. ArtMoi isn’t the first digital platform designed to document an artist’s body of work. That idea in itself is not innovative.
The defining feature that sets ArtMoi apart from other documentation software is the ArtMoi ID. Ryan’s many years of experience in the art industry lead him to the realization that a central tracking and cataloguing system was desperately needed. Out of this, the ArtMoi ID was developed. Each artwork added to ArtMoi is assigned its own globally unique identification number so that all of the information surrounding a single work of art can be tracked over time.
The ArtMoi ID is an initiative to standardize the way we track art and it is the world’s first centralized tracking system for the art industry.
We easily track the movement of goods around the world, but visual artists have very limited abilities to protect their creations or have real influence on how their artwork is used once it leaves their hands.
No governing body exists in the art industry that maintains a history of the transfer of art or the knowledge surrounding it. Every gallery, museum, auction house, art historian, and curator study, gather, build, and share information in the quest to understand a piece of artwork or learn about its history. Sometimes enough information is compiled about an artist and art books are written or catalogue raisonnés are built. These resources greatly help to validate an artist’s work when it is being appraised or going up for auction.
And sometimes an educated guess about a piece of art is the best anyone can do.
Ryan is always quick to point out that works of art are important not just because they were created, but because they existed at a time and a place. Documenting the story of the artwork allows insight into the history of the piece. When was the artwork created? Why was it created? Who first purchased the art and where did it go from there? All these questions are important and necessary to the provenance of a piece of art. Provenance, in this case, can be both the place of origin or earliest known history of the artwork and a record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality.
How does The ArtMoi ID work? After a creation is documented in ArtMoi, the artist attaches the assigned ID to their artwork physically in whatever way they choose. It’s really just a type of reference number. Then, many years from now (or tomorrow) the ID can be searched in the ArtMoi ID Search. For an artwork to be searchable, its public record must be activated. If the public record for a creation isn’t activated and a search using the ID is conducted, a simple message will be returned that the information about that artwork is unavailable. In this example, the public record of Sarah Gee Miller’s piece Wavelength 705 has been activated and is searchable by its ArtMoi ID. You can see all the information about Wavelength 705 that Sarah has chosen to share about that piece. This process begins the artwork’s historical record and helps with validation after the artwork has transferred hands.
ArtMoi is more than a documentation platform, it was created with the intention to give authority back to artists. If artists and the rest of the art industry adopted these simple tools, much of the guesswork can be taken out of the process and the art world can take another step into the future history of art.
Speaking of the future history of art, if you’d like to learn more about the benefits of a centralized tracking system and technology in the art world, watch this video:
About the featured artists:
Randolph Parker is a Canadian artist living on Salt Spring Island and in Victoria British Columbia. Randolph a thirty-five year veteran on the Canadian art scene has observed his artistic landscape paintings change from intimate images of forests and lakes created in a style reminiscent of the Group of Seven’s paintings to sweeping vistas of the Canadian landscape done on a monumental scale. http://randolphparker.com/
Sarah Gee Miller lives and works in Vancouver BC. She works with archival cardstock, often painted in acrylics, to make collages revealing an interest in regularity, equilibrium and the formalities of hard-edged abstraction. http://www.sarahgeemiller.com/