Docent: A content-based recommendation system to discover contemporary art

Recommendation systems have been widely used in various domains such as music, films, e-shopping etc. After mostly avoiding digitization, the art world has recently reached a technological turning point due to the pandemic, making online sales grow significantly as well as providing quantitative online data about artists and artworks. In this work, we present a content-based recommendation system on contemporary art relying on images of artworks and contextual metadata of artists. We gathered and annotated artworks with advanced and art-specific information to create a completely unique database that was used to train our models. With this information, we built a proximity graph between artworks. Similarly, we used NLP techniques to characterize the practices of the artists and we extracted information from exhibitions and other event history to create a proximity graph between artists. The power of graph analysis enables us to provide an artwork recommendation system based on a combination of visual and contextual information from artworks and artists. After an assessment by a team of art specialists, we get an average final rating of 75% of meaningful artworks when compared to their professional evaluations.

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