Images courtesy of Martin Sanchez. Gallery created with D Emptyspace app (coming soon).

D Emptyspace helps artists and photographers showcase their work in immersive virtual galleries, so you’re probably expecting that our initial inspiration came from artists.

That’s only partially true.

When our founder, Ryan, studied in London from 2010 to 2012, he lived in a neighborhood full of artists who shared their stories, their struggles and their work with him. While that planted the seed in him to do something related to art, the specific idea for D Emptyspace came from another one of Ryan’s passions: Basketball.

Art Inspired by Hoop Dreams

Here’s the story that Ryan told me:

Do you know the story of why NBA star Steph Curry is contracted to Under Armour? He started with another big sportswear company, like about three-quarters of NBA players who get endorsements, but during a pitch meeting to renew his contract, the company representative mispronounced his name multiple times and left another player’s name in the PowerPoint presentation he was showing to Steph and his father.

Steph signed with Under Armour instead and now the Steph Curry signature shoes outsell everything but Air Jordans. According to an investor note from Morgan Stanley in 2016, “UA’s US basketball shoe sales have increased over 350% YTD… Its Stephen Curry signature shoe business is already bigger than those of LeBron, Kobe, and every other player except Michael Jordan.”

Watching these Steph Curry highlights, it’s easy to understand why he’s so “inspiring”.

Back to the Start of it All

Speaking of Michael Jordan… His story of finding sponsorship is just as interesting. Here’s the opening of an article from Edgar Daily about how Michael Jordan forged a decades-long (highly lucrative) partnership with Nike:

Five thousand dollars. That was the fine that the NBA slapped on a 21-year-old Michael Jordan every time he stepped foot on the basketball court in 1985. Given the choice, most people would deem being fined $5,000 every time they went to work a rather unwise investment — but most people aren’t Michael Jordan.

But what did the undeniably talented rookie from North Carolina University, who had only recently made the transition to professional sports after being drafted by the Chicago Bulls, do to incite the league’s wrath? What crime could he have committed that would cause him to be fined $410,000 for the season? The answer: his shoes.

Daily goes on to explain exactly how big a bet this was. Until Nike’s $7 million five-year contract with Michael Jordan, the biggest sponsorship deal had been a $150,000 per year deal between James Worthy and New Balance. But by betting on an untested rookie and using an attention grabbing marketing strategy created an unstoppable hype machine.

And exactly how did this inspire D Emptyspace?

First off, we’re committed to growing along with emerging artists, putting our faith in them and support behind them before anyone else will.

Eventually we’re also planning to become an art marketplace. If we’re able to discover even just a few amazing artists and put them in front of fans and buyers, our bet can pay off, just like Under Armour’s bet with Curry and Nike’s bet on Jordan.

In the process we can also do a lot of good for a lot of artists. It’s in keeping with the belief that underpins what we do and inspired our company’s name: Discover the Gift.

So, now you know how basketball can inspire an app for artists and photographers.

Images courtesy of Martin Sanchez. Gallery created with D Emptyspace app (coming soon).

Download the app on iOS:

Android version coming soon!

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6 Amazing New Artists to Follow in January

6 Amazing New Artists to Follow in January

Artists all over the world have been hard at work, filling their galleries with incredible works of art. We love to spotlight talent, so we rounded up this month’s top-viewed galleries to give you a boost of artistic inspiration!

From screen printers, to photographers, to fine art painters, to digital artists — artists across all mediums and techniques have raised their profiles and grown their followers on D Emptyspace. The variety is truly astounding.

@Sadulsky_art — Shannon Sadulsky

House of Card Series by Shannon Sadulsky in D Emptyspace

Shannon Sadulsky is a fine art photographer in New England, USA. She’s been obsessed with art since the age of 16 and has cultivated a “lifelong interest in photography as fine art”. Her surreal photographs never fail to evoke a sense of curiosity, wonderment and reflection. By combining dramatic lighting scenarios with digital manipulation, each artwork leaves you wondering what was real, and what was an illusion.

Click to View Gallery

“I’ve always been intrigued by art that is really an illusion. Creating mountains out of paper. Water out of plastic. Mirroring or blending of images to create entirely new subject matter. The surprise of, and interest in, how an image was created is the most satisfying part of being an artist.” — Shannon Sadulsky


Desolation in a Box by Khaotic.ish in D Emptyspace

Khaotic.ish is a photographer who’s creating and sharing some incredible statement pieces. In this gallery, “Desolation of a Box”, an ominous and mysterious ‘X’ makes an appearance on every frame…Khaotic.ish is one to watch for social commentary that doesn’t get lost in pretentiousness.

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“My art can be described as controlled kaos or completely pretentious, it depends I guess.” — Khaotic.ish

@fiddler — Lillie Morris

Water Works by Lillie Morris in D Emptyspace

Lillie Morris is a US-based fine artist who uses acrylic, collage and mixed media to create textured abstract paintings. She is “inspired by the landscape, waterways and rich history of the Piedmont region of Georgia,” and has participated in multiple residencies in Ireland. In this gallery, “Waterworks,” Morris has created a series of colorful explosions. By layering unique marks on the canvas, she creates a striking combination of textures and colors.

Click to View Gallery

@johndolecheck — John Dolecheck

Paintings of Sports Legends by John Dolecheck in D Emptyspace

In this gallery, John Dolcheck uses monochromatic paint to recreate legendary snapshots of sporting events throughout history. His painting style blends digital image processing with traditional painting methods to make each work a statement piece.

Click to View Gallery

@jonnieturpie — Jonnie Turpie

Powder Drop by Jonnie Turpie in D Emptyspace

We always encourage artists to treat their gallery space like another blank canvas and truly make it their own. In this gallery named “Powder Drop,” Jonnie Turpie covers each wall edge to edge with abstract splatters of black fine powder gently pressed onto A4 paper. With a Rorschach-esque effect, the viewer is left to interpret each work, and indeed each wall, within their own imagination.

Turpie mentioned that he was astounded by the virtual scaling effect possible in D Emptyspace and is considering creating more artwork at a much greater scale.

Click to View Gallery

@d.lee.t — Darren Lee Thomas

Untitled by Darren Lee Thomas

Darren Lee Thomas is a UK-based painter, printmaker, and art education teacher. In these screenprints, Thomas has combined vibrant dots of color to form abstract shapes that hint at a deeper subject matter.

Click to View Gallery

We look forward to seeing what you create next month with a whole four extra gallery designs to choose from!

Click here for more details!

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Android version coming soon!

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Head to Japan to see the most advanced museum in the world

Head to Japan to see the most advanced museum in the world

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Yes. This place is real.

Move over Disneyland. Japan’s making magic in real life.

For a long time we’ve focused on Japan’s whimsical tales of Studio Ghibli, crazy vending machines, and school girl scandals. But there’s a new attraction in Tokyo and it’s yanking on the spotlight with both hands.

Here’s the kicker… it’s an art museum.

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“Artworks Move Around The Room Freely”

When you first read the video subtitle “Artworks move around the room freely” it sounds like a bad translation. But nope. The art in this museum really does drift along the walls with a mind of its own, playfully interacting with visitors motions and footsteps. Check it out.

“teamLab Borderless is a group of artworks that form one borderless world. Artworks move out of rooms, communicate with other works, influence, and sometimes intermingle with each other with no boundaries.”

All the art in teamLab’s Borderless museum is made using complex light projections and Augmented Reality (AR) technology. Its an interactive experience of a virtual world in a real-world setting.

Just let that sink in for a second. The people at Borderless are actually building the virtual world into the real one. This is where the lines between art and reality begin to blur.

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Art that’s seamlessly more interactive

The museum contains almost 50 artworks that “form connections and relationships with people, communicate with other works, influence and sometimes intermingle with each other, and have the same concept of time as the human body.”

Exhibits are in dark rooms with pitch black walls and the occasional mirror. Black shapes jut from walls or forming mini hills and forests to create a landscape that you can interact with. Check it out.

They’ve also built an underwater forest that you can walk through. It’s titled “Sea in the Memory of Topography.”

Okay, one more. Watch as 16 lightrays intermingle to create the artwork, “Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are Destined to be Chased as well, Life on Collision — 1 Crow where 16 Light Rays Cross”

Revolutionizing school and learning through art

Welcome to the Athletics Forest. It’s designed for children to have fun and learn to think in three dimensions rather than two. Pus there’s a giant marshmallow-type trampoline that beckons event the most shy kids to step out of their shell.

But the true value of the Athletics Forest goes beyond a fun educational art experience for kiddos. Here’s the higher concept.

“Knowledge entails using the brain whilst keeping the body stationary, and limiting the amount of information. If the problem is “1+1=?” the amount of information is several bytes.

What we call “knowledge” that is taught in school, discards the body, it is acquired through language and mathematics, and in terms of information volume the amount is extremely small. However, if we take a quick look around ourselves, it is clear that the world is comprised of an immense amount of information.”

They’re working on teaching kids how to actively think in higher dimensions rather than flat planes. That means in the future, we solve problems using an entirely new set of skills. Head to their webpage on higher dimensional thinking if you want to know more.

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Seeping into reality

The whole concept behind teamLab’s Borderless museum is to make art in which you can lose yourself. Art that you can unify with. Art that “transcends the boundary between people and world”.

Consuming food and drink is one of our most basic functions as humans. So when you have a virtual flower literally blooming in a cup of matcha tea (tea ceremony is one of Japan’s most ancient and revered activities), you can’t help but be impressed.

Sure, it’s a bit of a gimmick at the moment… but give these artists 2 or 3 years, and who knows what they could achieve.

One things for sure, the creators are looking toward the future

While excited adults will flock towards this art museum as Japan’s next ‘big’ thing, it’s clear that it’s not for us.

It’s for the future.

The athletic forest alone show that teamLab is dedicated to inspiring and teaching children in new ways. And as Greta Thunberg has recently shown the world, the kids of the future will need all the inspiration and help they can get to tackle problems that are currently unsolvable.

Download D Emptyspace for iOS:

Android version coming soon!

Follow D Emptyspace for more company updates and art-curated content!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Download

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