Among all the celebrity collectors and art patrons out there, Leonardo DiCaprio must be among the most prominent ones.
The famous Oscar-winning actor (we can finally call him that) is a proud, frequent and paying visitor of art fairs and auctions, has an eponymous foundation which auctions off artworks for charity, and owns a few notable pieces himself, including those of Salvador Dalí, for instance.
His latest foray into the world of the arts will be one that has to do with technology as well, as it was announced that DiCaprio joined the board of investors and will be the advisor to Magnus - an art app proudly calling itself the ”Shazam for art”.
The news comes in as a good one, after Magnus was removed from the app stores due to illegal information scrape allegations, and then brought back in again.
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Founded in April 2016 by book author and former gallerist Magnus Resch, the Magnus art app allows its users to take a picture of an artwork and, if it’s a part of their vast database, obtain its key data: from artist’s name to the work’s exhibition history, and most importantly and controversially - price.
This last bit in particular was the reason the app was briefly unavailable - shortly after Magnus was released, Artsy and ArtFacts accused Resch of using information from their databases without permission. Furthermore, three German gallerists also said they were tricked into providing artwork pricing by his team.
After the complaints were either withdrawn or resolved, the app returned to the store and is now offered free of charge for Android and iOS. Its technology now covers over 20,000 galleries, museums and action houses for accurate information providing.
The Magnus app has an aim to democratize the $44 billion global art market and raise its low online share of 8,4%, according to the TEFAF Art Market Report 2017.
In February 2018, the Magnus app founders announced they closed a ”Series A investment round” which gathered several investors, including Leonardo DiCaprio.
Our goal is to make the art market more transparent, open and honest. We love working with our great investors who are passionate about our mission and are equally experienced in the market, said Magnus Resch, founder and CEO.
He goes on to say that the app has grown to become one of the biggest apps in the art world.
Leonardo DiCaprio, who will also join Magnus as an advisor to the company, stated:
Visual art is a powerful tool for spreading ideas, memorializing history and bringing people together around a common purpose. I am proud to partner with Magnus as the app continues to educate people everywhere about the art around them.
Featured image: Leonardo DiCaprio examines portraits outside the office of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on September 15, 2016 in Washington, D.C., via State Department Photo/ Public Domain.