Leonardo DiCaprio has become the hero of news headlines again. At this time, he announced his investment in the development of the former gallery owner Magnus Resha – an application for pattern recognition. The Magnus program is called “Shazam for painting” (Shazam or “Shazam for art” is a free cross-platform project to determine what song is playing at the moment).

The Oscar winner also became a startup advisor.
The Magnus application was created in April 2016. It allows users to get key information from a picture snapshot, including the name of the artist, the name, date, exhibition history and, most importantly, in the notorious art market – its price. Magnus Resch, who wrote the book “Managing Galleries”, says that the main task of his brainchild is “to increase transparency in the art market and increase the number of buyers.”

Magnus Resch with his friend. Photo: magnus.net

By providing special data, Magnus relies on a database of over 10 million works in more than 20 thousand art institutions – from museums and galleries to auction houses. According to Resch, this information was collected and tested by two main groups: independent passionaries (“people I have never met,” the developer said) from around the world and a number of proactive galleries that voluntarily provided prices (in large part because, according to the words Decision, “they knew that we would still get them”).

Painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat “Untitled (Boxing Ring)” in DiCaprio collection 

The process of launching the Magnus database was not without controversy. As reported by artnet News, until mid-2016, the application was removed from the Apple store after Artsy and ArtFacts Internet platforms accused Resh and his team of having borrowed information from their resources without permission. Three German gallery owners also said that the developers of the program lured data from them under false pretenses.

Elizabeth Peyton, Leonardo (2013). Portrait sold at auction Christie’s for 1.05 million dollars

Nevertheless, Magnus Reshe proved his innocence and after all the conflicts were settled, Apple returned the application to the App Store in November 2016. Now it is available for free download for iOS and Android.

Reshe refused to provide more detailed information on the participation of DiCaprio or the amount of investment in Magnus. However, according to some sources, the round of financing of the series, A in Silicon Valley is intended for deposits in the amount of 2 to 15 million US dollars.

In his statement, DiCaprio explained the company’s financial and consulting support as follows: “Visual art is a powerful tool for spreading ideas, perpetuating memory and uniting people around a common goal. I’m proud to be working with Magnus, because the application continues to teach people everywhere about the art around them. “