Artificial intelligence to manage and enhance an art collection: Wondeur’s case

ARTE Generali

 

Wondeur uses quantitative analysis to clarify aspects of the art world and art market while respecting its main characteristics. The goal is to reconcile the mathematical and numerical practices with history of art knowledge in order to understand what gives value to art and what makes it such a cultural force. In order to do so, Wondeur has focused on the past century of history of art and has acquired data on the main artists and their careers. Wondeur has aggregated data for approximately 95% of artists born after 1900 and who have operated throughout the XX century. The data gathered covers all aspects of their careers, including factors such as personal and collective exhibitions, collections, acquisitions and publications. By leveraging on artificial intelligence, Wondeur is able to examine how such events are interconnected and to make predictions about possible future risks throughout an artist’s careers and potential variations in value of his or her artworks.

Moreover, Wondeur analyses the whole spectrum of the art world, including an assessment of its mechanisms, factors that determine its evolution, and the impact that each art institution (e.g. galleries, museums, non-profit institutions etc.) has on the art world as a whole. Wondeur differentiates itself from competitors thanks to the depth and breadth of its analyses and its capacity of identifying the actual factors that determine value’s evolution rather than simple trends. To this day, the majority of available solutions on the market focus exclusively on 1% of market transactions and mostly base their analyses on auction results. Through the implementation of a highly innovative approach, Wondeur yields significantly deeper analyses and insights, making it a strategic tool that advisors can use in managing art as a cultural asset class.

The partnership between ARTE Generali and Wondeur, makes it possible for ARTE Generali’s clients to access the latter’s services via the “Market trends” functionality available on the App. In this way, the collector not only can monitor the performance of artists who are already part of his or her collection, but also carry out comparisons amongst artists. Based on the data acquired from the collector, the platform can outline a positive trend for a specific artist (e.g. artist in “growth” phase) based on which the collector can choose whether to proceed with a purchase or not.

Wondeur also supports the management of institutional collections, such as corporate ones, by carrying out four level analyses based on the following parameters: by asset, by artist, by portfolio or by market performance. By uploading the necessary data on the platform, the system recognizes the artists and performs a portfolio analysis. In this way, the tool assesses their value and risk distribution in order to support advisors in the decision of which artworks to insure. Furthermore, this approach makes it possible to identify collection biases and to understand how to build collections that are more representative of current audiences.

In the past eight months, Wondeur has also been evolving its capacity to analyze NFTs, a trend with rising popularity in the art sector. Woundeur’s tool may already be used to analyze the values and risks of NFTs by applying predictive analysis to this new asset class. Italian artists play a significant role in this movement and have encountered so far the appreciation of numerous foreign collectors, especially in the United States.

Wondeur’s role could be compared to that of an art consultant supported by artificial intelligence. The latter does not aim at substituting the art expert’s competences but rather at integrating and enhancing them. There are currently two types of artificial intelligence. The first strives to replace human knowledge and, in the art world, this would represent a great mistake. The second is finalized at integrating and promoting human expertise. Wondeur focuses on the second and the combination of know-how and artificial intelligence are exactly what this market currently needs.

 

By Italo Carli

Italo Carli is Head of Arte Generali Italy since Februrary 2020. Following his degree in Electronic Engineering at Politecnico in Milan, he started his career in the IT sector and progressively transitioned to the insurance one where he specialized in Fine Art risks.

Sophie Perceval and Oliver Berger are both French and based in Toronto. They have founded the startup Wondeur AI which uses artificial intelligence and big data to analyze the impact that museums and cultural institutions have on the value of artists and their artworks.