By Lauren Brocato By Lauren Brocato | May 9, 2022 | Home & Real Estate HBCH Spotlight
Meet Apollo, the Chicago-born digital art platform that’s here to change the way we view and buy art.
From left: Tyler Shields, “The Mystery of the Mouth”; Tyler Shields, “Confessions”; Lea Fisher, “Black Diamond River #5”; Lea Fisher, “Black Diamond River #4.”
The art world is in the midst of an explosive and exciting revolution as the digital market dominates the space—something Michael Miller predicted in 2015. The Chicago-based principal of Centaur Interiors, who’s been in the design and construction industry for 25 years, has been patiently waiting for the rest of us to catch on, and for years, been building digital art platform Apollo.
Historically, the art world has been deemed stuffy, perhaps even antiquated. But as an artistic renaissance changes the playing field, Apollo enters to bridge the gap between artists and consumers in a big way. As Miller puts it, “We’re revolutionizing the art industry and changing the way [people] view and buy art.”
So what is this godly force that’s come to conquer the art world? Think Spotify for art. Just as the music streaming app curates personalized playlists, streams music directly to users and recommends new artists based on listening history, the Apollo app does just that, and more, for fine art. With an Apollo subscription, users have access to the platform’s online NFT marketplace, app and a place to store their digital art, and through the app, are able to display their works on any 4K device. “We’re putting people’s galleries into their phone, and they can play it any location they go, at any home and when they travel,” Miller says.
Apollo’s effects are twofold. It not only gives collectors exclusive access to new artists and works, it also allows individuals and businesses to curate a space at the touch of a button into whatever the occasion calls for. A hotel can narrate its vision and brand identity through curated works; individuals can transform their home to display their favorite art during a dinner party—Apollo makes any space an ever-evolving art gallery.
Mariam Otero Rodriguez, “Tepuyes 1,” “Tepuyes 2” and “Tepuyes 3”
Conversely, artists featured on the platform, ranging from emerging to world-class creators such as Tyler Shields, Bradley Theodore, David Drebin and David Yarrow, can showcase their work to a global audience. “We had a lot of artists being extra creative and making amazing content and art,” Miller says of the time when galleries shut down due to the pandemic. “Through our system in our app, an artist is able to make a piece today, and it can be live tomorrow. And you can view this in Tokyo, Canada, Mexico City or L.A.— truly anywhere.” Revolutionary, indeed. “Apollo is [helping] artists get their message out there and their creativity in front of everybody around the globe, and inspire the creativity of young creators who have zero representation and who really need a product like Apollo to promote their message.”
Apollo is restructuring the way art is experienced, and it’s needed more than ever as consumers are desperately trying to get in on the action. “There’s value in what we’re doing,” Miller says. “Now everyone believes in it, and now everyone’s actually investing in it.” Although just launched in March, the platform has already garnered attention from major corporations: Apollo recently debuted an in-flight channel with American Airlines where travelers can enter the Apollo ecosystem to stream behind-the-scenes content from markers and view curated playlists. Miller also assures there are more major global partnerships to be announced this year.
(From bottom of stairs) Tyler Shields, “Chromatic Legs,” “Champagne Kiss,” “The Control Of Chaos” and “Orchid.”
As I end my chat with Miller, I ask why he chose the name Apollo. “You may think of the Apollo space missions or the Greek god of art,” he responds. “I think all that ties into art and our brand of literally being cutting edge—the next frontier. No matter [how] you look at it, it resonates with what we’re doing.”
Photography by: PORTRAIT BY NICK GERBER; PHOTOS COURTESY OF APOLLO