My friend Jon Berrojalbiz has launched VirtualGallery.com, a new virtual community for artists and art lovers. If you’re an artist, you can create your own 3D gallery for free and exhibit your artwork to the world. Art lovers or anybody faintly interested in art can browse through the different galleries and can purchase many of the pieces directly.

The site has a very lean design and easy to understand. You can even enjoy it in fullscreen. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, VirtualGallery.com offers a recommendation engine that worked quite well for me. If you are browsing through a premium gallery (for which the artist has to pay a certain annual fee), you can also listen to soundtracks created for that gallery, making the experience even more enjoyable. Artists can additionally embed their galleries in external sites and hold “opening events”, where they can chat with their guests and show them details of their artwork using the “follow” function.

VirtualGallery.com also solves some of the typical problems you encounter when browsing for art online: you get detailed information about the texture, and you can zoom in to have a good look at the artwork. Also, you have the option of changing the background color, which makes it easier to imagine how a certain piece of art would look like in your home if you have differently colored walls. Every piece of art is also shown in comparison to the dimensions of the human body.

If the definition of an art lover is simply a person who enjoys art to a great extent, then I would certainly consider myself as such. Maybe that’s the reason why I really enjoyed Jon’s new project. I find it especially useful for discovering new art without needing to sacrifice a lot of time, which is often the case when you physically visit different galleries. And I don’t know any gallery in the world that can offer the same amount and variety of art in one place!

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Adair on May 26, 2011  · 

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