Art Fag City at The L Magazine: ArtStack, The Pinterest for Artists

by Paddy Johnson on January 30, 2013 The L Magazine

René Magritte, Golconda (1953), The Menil Collection, Houston © HERSCOVICI, Brussels - 2011

Why is ArtStack suddenly so popular? This week at The L Magazine I talk to a few artists using the service to figure out why.

Something has changed at ArtStack. Over the holidays, I noticed an uptick of users on the art social network, described by many as “Pinterest for artists.” People “stack” art in much the same way as they might “pin it,” which is to say they add, caption, categorize and reblog images. When I asked artist and ArtStack user Jennifer Chan why a lot of her friends had joined recently, her answer was simple: thanks to the break, “they had the time to hang out.”

That seems straightforward enough, but it doesn’t explain why people are sticking around, especially as the site has some problems. As artist and new user Gizelle Zatonyl pointed out, ArtStack isn’t a very good social network. “Comments are on the artwork information-pages and it discourages users from leaving much more than trivia about the work or artist,” she complained over email. “There isn’t a private messaging system or way of communication other than comments. I find this very frustrating; sometimes I just wanna thank someone for uploading something.”

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