Vegas Giovanni’s ‘Elemental of Earth’
If the art world can sometimes feel a bit rarefied or haughty, the proliferation of digital technology would seem to present the unique opportunity to expand its accessibility to people who don’t, say, have Richard Prince’s personal mobile number. To wit, the exhilarating new app Loupe – which has positioned itself uniquely as something of a high-tech curator. The numbers don’t lie – it was launched on Apple TV in December, and quickly rose to the #1 Lifestyle App in 30 countries (#2 in the U.S.), definitively proving its zeigeisty timeliness.
Founder Dot Bustelo explains, “Loupe applies streaming technology to visual art so you can be as immersed in art as we are with music. It expands that physical experience of great art – like that first visit to the Louvre – to infinite physical locations, times of day, and moods. Imagine walking into a faraway hotel or sexy cocktail lounge, and seeing extraordinary art streaming on ultra-thin LED displays and other ubiquitous multi-dimensional surfaces.”
Indeed, bringing together dozens of established and burgeoning artists, it offers users the opportunity to live with a smartly-chosen collection of contemporary works, which cycle across the screen of your computer, phone or television. Art is grouped by strikingly realized aesthetic or ideology categories (that’s the curating part) like Fragmented Reality, Urban Landscapes, The Human Form and Places Never Been, amongst others so ethereally named.
“It is pioneering,” says Loupe Curator Nicole Kutz, “but also capitalizes on already cultivated technology. When applied to art, it creates a virtual ambience that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. Art generates an experience the moment it is conceived, and Loupe harnesses that rhythm by imbuing our lives and living spaces with creative energy and flow. The viewer comes to the app as a recurrent escape, a means of effortless inspiration.”
Loupe also acts as a virtual gallery, connecting artists and art lovers by means of a virtual “market” – so one can readily purchase prints, and soon even the original pieces. Surely this seems like the future of art: allowing you to, in a sense, live with the works before you make a purchase…and admirably democratizing the interaction between the art world and the public.
Loupe already has some high-profile musician fans, including Jeremy Dawson from Shiny Toy Guns/MXMS, Nat Motte from 3OH!3…and Ronnie Vannucci of The Killers (whose side project Big Talk has released two albums, including 2015’s raucous, distinctly new wave influenced Straight in No Kissin’) – which makes sense, considering the obvious interplay between art and music that Loupe is able to facilitate so easily. We chatted with Vannucci about that very intersection of art and music, and he also created this exclusive Spotify playlist, meant to act as a soundtrack to our favorite Loupe Channel, the Dark Edge.