How ArtGuru could organise your next date….

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….with your favourite artist.

 

It is spring and it is time to discover. If you suffer from hay fever and cry at flowers not because of their everlasting beauty, if your skin is so pale that the producers of Twilight nearly called you up, than what better time is there than to hide in the safe realms of British art galleries? This blog comes indeed a little late, but we thought we don’t want to steel Apple’s SpringForward show on Monday.

And we might not have a $10.000 gadget to show off (hell, not even a stage and snazzy shirts), but what we do have, is free: our app. If you don’t have it yet, than now is the best time to get it, preparing yourself for the British summer rain. It comes in a single colour and can turn your handheld iOS product into a personal art assistant. Instantly.

I have started this entry telling you to discover. And so you should. If you already have the app than you might have noticed a little update this weekend: the Discover function. It looks a little like this:

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We decided that it was time to include a function into our app that so far has only been common practice in your well-known music apps: recommending what to look at next based on what you have already seen. We here at ArtGuru have learned it the hard way: Looking at a painting, liking it and then starting a complicated Google search, finding out where to go next. Doing that only for London, we thought, is already a huge task, but for the whole of the UK this was sheer impossible. And in an age where everything seems to get easier with the help of apps, finding art was not one of them.

I have talked about the existing apps in an earlier blog post and the trouble of having them all in order to be always up to date. And this is when we decided to cooperate a news feature in our app, personalised, and tailored around you.

How often do we look at recommendations that are kept so general that we might as well look at somebody else’s phone? But since our mobile devices turned into something so close to us (hopefully not too close…), so why shouldn’t the messages we receive be personal as well?

The function itself is absolutely easy. You don’t have to do anything, well, not more than you already did. Collect the art you like, store and share it and we do the rest.

So how might this look in practice? Well, for example, quite early on I started to collect van Gogh and Monet. I am a huge fan of impressionism and post-impressionism. In the past, I have relied on my mediocre art education from high-school to identify new artists or artists in the legacy of impressionism. Sure thing, I have missed quite a lot of them. Now, by liking just one of them, let’s say Sunflowers by van Gogh, I get recommendations on other paintings that are similar or by van Gogh himself. I can go through them, like or dislike them, and the Discover function becomes even more personalised.

It is like a dating app, but for (mainly) deceased artists and their work. And without the awkward meeting thing, when you suddenly realise that they look nothing like they did on that photo. We make sure that what you see, will be the same painting in the end.

But eventually we want to take that even further. A date wouldn’t be a date if you didn’t know where to meet up. And instead of shabby bars in the back corners of the town, you’ll meet them in breath-taking buildings like the Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery of Scotland, or Tate St. Ives.

I, for example, would get a notification letting me know that the Impressive Impressionist exhibition is currently on at the National Gallery. With one click, I could get to know more about it, how to book tickets and share it with friends to see who might pop along (this might be awkward for a real date though…).

So there is a lot to look forward to. And if we experience the same heat as last year, where better can you hide from that hideous sunburn then in the art galleries of the UK?

9 must visit art galleries and museums in the UK

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Here is our selections of museums we think you should visit at least once in your life.

 

  1. Tate Britain
    1. We should have really put them as four seperate museums, as they are all awesome on their own. But depending where you are in the country, make your way either to the Tate Britain and Modern in London, Tate Liverpool or Tate St. Ives. All four of them have an amazing selection of original paintings and artwork you could use ArtGuru with. Have a look at the BP special exhibition at the Tate Britain for example. They also have free Wifi. So there are no excuses anymore.
  2. National Gallery
    1. If you like it a bit more traditional and you rather see a Renoir than a Matisse, cross the waters towards Trafalgar Square and escape the late winter cold at the National Gallery. You don’t have to go far to find a classic. From van Eyck to van Gogh, there is literally something for everyone (and for the ones of you that can’t handle art at all, make sure you visit their café).
  3. National Portrait Gallery
    1. You could leave your coat in the cloak room at the National Gallery and hop over to the National Portrait Gallery. Find landscapes boring and rather study the wrinkles of past and present royalty? Then you are right there. You can feel close to everyone who somehow got famous during the last, well, properly 500 years if not longer. Maybe you can also detect what is a photograph and what is a painting.
  4. Manchester Art Gallery
    1. Got enough of London, but can’t quiet let the city smoke behind? Why not have a day/weekend trip to Manchester. You live there? Well, then ignore me. You probably know the Manchester art scene much better than I do. So if you have any suggestions, do let me know and we will update the list. For everyone else, head to the Manchester Art Gallery. From Impressionism to Chinese Art and Craft, they got it covered.
  5. Scottish National Gallery
    1. Haggis rather than Yorkshire Pudding? Robert Burns more a name than Dylan Thomas? Then we have crossed the border to Scotland. From Scottish Art to French Impressionism, everything to your delight. In the same city there are also the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish Gallery of Contemporary Art. So make sure you plan at least a day for your art hunt. And don’t forget to take ArtGuru with you. We are always excited to see what you’ve discovered.
  6. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
    1. Enough of the East Coast? Then book your ticket and head over to Glasgow and visit one of the most beautiful museums I have seen so far: Kelvingrove. Have a look at the works of MacIntosh or take a leisurely stroll to the Dutch Gallery. Definitely plan in a day to see it all!
  7. Plymouth City Museum and Gallery
    1. We are travelling South. Like, so much south that it would probably take a whole day if you follow this list step by step. We advise: Don’t do it. Travel sensible. But if you are there anyway, visit the Plymouth City Museum and Gallery. From Ancient Egypt to China, travel the word while being in the same building.
  8. The Royal Pavillon Brighton
    1. In the suburbs of London….No, wait. We are wrong. Brighton alone is beautiful enough to make it a daytrip, even for all the grumpy Londoners. And don’t just spend all your money on the pier, but get some quietness in the Royal Pavillon. Always worth a visit, but check before you travel what is on, as it is changing regularly.
  9. Leeds Art Gallery
    1. I have realised that I am sending you up and down the country. But we are already at nine and after that you can plan your own travels. Last stop: Leeds. Don’t walk past this beautiful building, but enter and you will find a great selection. Have a look at the Age of Glamour or Herakles. The choice is yours.

 

Now, this list is not here for no reasons. This should give you some inspiration for our competition. ArtGuru will give away the National Art Pass to one lucky user. See what you have to do on our website to be in the chance for winning.

Entering the Surreal – Discovering Dalí

As you may have seen it on Twitter, we have finally left the National Gallery. We had a great time. But nevertheless, it was time to move on.  And boy, we went far, not only in London mileage but also in the art-time-dimension.  While we enjoyed the Impressionists it was time to go hunting for something more surreal. And we have found in the Tate Modern on the other side of the Thames. After nearly losing our way in the escalator maze we found Salvador Dalí and his painting Mountain Lake.

© Salvador Dali, Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation/DACS, London 2014

© Salvador Dali, Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation/DACS, London 2014

Like many of Dalí’s painting it is not what it seems at first. The lake itself can be seen as a fish. Questions arise by the disconnected phone, associated by some with the German annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938. But also personal emotions played a role, as Dalí’s parents have visited the lake before he was born. Soon we are fascinated by this painting transporting us into a world so strange and far away from our own but still being able to tell a story we all seem to connect with.

We are lucky enough to snap a picture of it as well as scanning it in with ArtGuru. It gives us the possibility to take Dalí’s story with us as well as sharing it with people who might not be able to come to the Tate Modern anytime soon.

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And if there any more special Surrealists exhibition, you will know. Not from the app just yet, but by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

We have also tried the beta version of the app on an IPod with iOS8. Feedback on this will be available on the next blog. So if you don’t have an IPhone but an IPod or IPad this might be interesting for you. We will also tell you which museums in London do have a working Wifi-connection.

The next weeks will get exiting for ArtGuru. We go hunting for new artworks and paintings in London as well as introducing you to new ways to look at art with ArtGuru. Get to know your capital and its art in a totally new way. So stay tuned. We’ll be back.

 

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