A little-known fact about our boy Leo? He is a big-time player in the art world. Besides being an environmental activist, proponent of dating many models, and actor, he’s also a known art collector. And now, he’s investing in an app being described as the “Shazam for art” — aka a way to identify art as quickly as Shazam does that song in the coffee shop you can’t quite place.
Called Magnus, users can download the free app, available in the Apple and Android app stores. You go into a gallery, take a photo of artwork, and all the pertinent information you need pops up, from cost to its exhibition history to the name of the artist. Artnet reports that Magnus’s methods of retrieving data have been questionable. The sources of the app’s data aren’t public, but both Artsy and ArtFacts have accused founder Magnus Resch of taking their data with permission. Three German gallerists also claim that Resch’s team tricked them into providing information.
The claims led to Magnus being removed from Apple’s app store halfway through 2016, but upon the complaints being resolved or withdrawn, it was returned to the app store in November 2016. In a state, Leo spoke about his new investment:
“Visual art is a powerful tool for spreading ideas, memorializing history, and bringing people together around a common purpose,” he said in a statement. “I am proud to partner with Magnus as the app continues to educate people about the art around them.”