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How Russian – born created the app which makes you friends through the art.

How Russian – born created the app which makes you friends through the art

ARV app (arvme.com) was created by Maria Meshcherskaya back in 2018. Throughout the first months, it gained over 400 users and became popular among many cultural institutions and art spaces. ARV app lets everyone explore art and find adherents based on mutual interest in certain works. We talked with Maria about her journey with ARV, her passion for art, and future plans

(via Zoom, of course)


Hey Maria! Great to have you here, finally! we couldn’t catch you for a while.

Thank you, so great to talk with you. True, sorry, times appeared to be a bit wild, yet we are here!

https://ibb.co/qN8cwFC

So, first and foremost, what brought you into art?

Well, I wouldn’t say something brought me in particular, I guess like many of us I used to go to museums and exhibitions from a very young age and also thanks to my mom, who literally inspired me from kindergarten to visit all of these spectacular places. I’d say till my nineteen I didn’t even realize the full potential of the art world.

What happened at this age?

When I first came to NY as every cosmopolitan city it stunned me with its diversity and high concentration of different cultures, social groups, and so on. I discovered that art doesn’t have to be necessary as I used to know it, which is quite traditional and maybe even conservative to a certain extent. Since I grew up in Russia most of the art, I used to see till my trip to NY was rather Medieval, 19th century or Old Masters, but not that much modern or contemporary.

What impressed you that much in contemporary art?

I think freedom. Freedom of expression, the wildness of colors and techniques, and of course ideas. To be honest it excited me that much, that I constantly wanted to discuss with someone what I saw and my emotions regarding one or another object, that’s basically how ARV (arvme.com) has started.

From the desire to discuss?

Yes, from the desire to discuss, to share, and experience and also because it seemed like a perfect opening line for making new friends or just find interesting people, you know, how all of us sometimes appeared to be shy to start the conversation with the new person, right? So, imagine you start with the question about what someone’s thoughts on a certain object are, how do they feel about it, or simply what brought them into the museum…

So, are you saying that art brings people together?

Indeed, it does! Think about it, through decades it’s been a mirror or the reflection of certain cultural characteristics, traditions, and certainly fountain of human creativity. Besides, interaction with any art piece always triggers this desire to discuss, share or depict this experience.

Fair point, so where did ARV start?

https://ibb.co/fkqjGCN

It started as the idea that hit me through the summer courses at Sotheby’s back in 2017, turned into the app that we launched in 2018, turned into the company that we opened in Prague at the end of 2018 and I guess lifetime project, that I’m working on now in New York in 2021.

Lifetime, why so? Do you plan to work on this your whole life?

Well, let me correct myself. Lifetime not in terms of the delivery, but possibly in terms of improvement and changes that I’d like to see in the upcoming future. I’d love to see ARV representing each and every culture or movement, which exists out there, also bringing people together from every corner of the world through the shared passions, ideas, and values. I deeply believe that the role of art and culture in international cooperation and communication is so undervalued now, so would be great to see it changing, and hopefully, with ARV we could contribute to these upcoming transformations.

Sounds great, thank you, and good luck!

Thanks for having me!

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