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  • katyatherholt

meet Cohart: a new platform for social art discovery

Why is your project in the Collective Media collective? Connection and play are two of the most critical aspects of art and creativity. Artists have been left out in the cold when it comes to tools they need to grow their businesses and nurture their fanbases and communities. Cohart is the first and only platform for visual artists to get discovered, sell their art, and offer essential tools and infrastructure to grow their businesses and communities online. The reality is that the experience of shopping for art is antiquated and inaccessible, both online and offline. No platform exists for consumers that makes finding art interesting and fun.

We’re not just a transaction platform – we’re a social commerce experience where users can develop and refine their tastes and build relationships with artists that they love - facilitating interaction through chats, livestreams, and intimate conversations. In contrast to a traditional art world that functions because of gatekept business models, we want to remove the gaps between fans, taste-makers, and artists, empowering both artists and their supporters to exercise influence over the monetary value of the work they make and the work they love. We’re building a more equitable and inclusive art ecosystem rooted in meaningful connections and shared incentives – bringing art closer to our personal and shared cultural identities.

Introduce us to yourself and your team! Who are the builders?

I’m Kendall, the CEO and co-Founder of Cohart. I’m building Cohart to level the playing field in the art world; for artists, but also for people looking to find pieces they love. I previously launched Wonderspaces, which helped popularize immersive art in the United States. I also worked in fashion, at companies like Marc Jacobs, DVF, and Helmut Lang.

I’m building Cohart with Shyevin S’ng, a co-founder and COO. She is a gallerist, educator, collector, and art advisor based in Vietnam and has extensive experience building art businesses and communities over the past 20 years. She is a guiding light for international collectors and professional artists, wearing many hats in the art world as an entrepreneur and dealer, facilitating upwards of 100 multi-million dollar sales each year. What brought us together is the shared throughline of art and commerce.

Each stop in our journey has been about solving problems of accessibility, connection, and creativity. Whether building viral art events, or helping independent artists get placed and sell pieces, we understand how to blend tech and art, and it’s why we are driven to make Cohart a success.

Which of the CM shared principles is most important to your mission?

Creating spaces that explore and celebrate all corners of who you are.

Share your biggest win so far!

In our first year of beta, we achieved over $1 million in sales without spending a dime on marketing. We’ve also expanded our investor base to include high-profile backers like Paris Hilton. But it's not just about the numbers; it's about the real impact we’re having on artists and art communities around the world. Some of our favorite stories involve artists in Italy selling their work to buyers in the Bay Area, or artists in Vietnam finding new fans in New York City.

These connections transcend geographical boundaries and create life-changing experiences for everyone involved, and helping artists monetize their craft and build sustainable careers. There are so many connections and sales that would never have happened without Cohart. Moreover, we're democratizing art discovery for everyday people. Finding art online has historically been a cold, transactional experience. However, when you buy an original work of art directly from an artist through our platform, it's a paradigm shift. You're not just a buyer; you become a collector with a deep connection to the artwork, understanding its story and making a direct financial contribution to the artist's career and a more inclusive art market.

Cohart was also recently featured in TechCrunch!

Share the biggest challenge in realizing your vision.

Fundraising is a constant challenge – for any builder! It’s often the classic chicken and egg problem. You want to get funding, but to do that, you need to show traction. And to get traction, you need a solid product and a talented team. When it comes to art, it's a different ballgame. Many folks assume artists aren’t “business people,” but the flip side is also true - most business people don’t understand artists or the art market itself. Artists are SMBs, and the market is worth over $68 billion.

We all own art and are likely all connected to art in some way, whether we realize it or not. Getting people to see this opportunity hasn’t been easy. People often think art is only for the super-rich; the elite 0.01%. But we're here to change that. We're in the business of bridging the gap between art and everyday life. Consumer behavior is evolving, and we're right there with it, ready to meet those changing needs head-on.

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