||When the caterpillar peered through his hookah smoke and asked Alice that titular question, "Who are you?" he wasn't thinking at all of the internet, where everything is linked together in an immense web of documents. Still, thanks to the advances of modern technology, we can make a similar query -- "Who links to Artnet.com?" -- and come up with some kind of answer.
Doing an advanced search on AltaVista (http://www.altavista.com), we discovered approximately 2,600 pages linking to our site. A cursory look reveals that these links range from formal site reviews and internet industry awards to the "favorite links" pages of individual artists and art lovers.
For instance, CyberTeddy (http://www.cyberteddy-online.com), a website that selects its links "in consideration of overall quality and appeal to a general audience," gave Artnet.com its Top 500 WebSite award. CyberTeddy's mascot, by the way, is a cuddly teddy bear with a passing resemblance to the star of those Downy fabric-softener commercials. We presume this signifies that Artnet.com is wholesome enough for children.
WetCanvas (http://www.wetcanvas.com), which deems itself "Your cyber source for artist news and education," made us a "WetCanvas Cadmium Red Hot Site." We also received a three-star review at ARC's Art and Culture Index (http://tatlin.arc.co.uk/main.arx), a British directory of links to sites that "provide real content."
We've also been noticed by some scholarly sites. The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (http://www.asianart.org) calls us "the most comprehensive art site on the Web," and we're included in the Frick Museum's links (http://www.frick.org).
We're listed as a resource at universities like Vassar (http://iberia.vassar.edu), and Kent State (http://www.library.kent.edu), at nonprofit organizations like ArtsWire (http://www.artswire.org), the WWW Virtual Library (http://vlib.org), the Parlin-Ingersoll Library (http://www.rsa.lib.il.us/~kbunner/parlin.htm), Turkey's Feyziye Schools' Foundation (http://kartal.fmv.edu.tr) and the Americas Society (http://126.96.36.199/index1.asp), which among its many activities runs a great exhibitions program.
We get a notable amount of traffic from our link on the AOL Webcenter (http://webguide.aol.com), whose editors call Artnet.com "one of the art world's most prominent sites and a great way to see new artists online" -- though you knew that already. ArtBusiness.com (http://www.artbusiness.com) says we're a dependable place to buy art online -- though you knew that, too. Other recommendations flood in, from Traditional Fine Arts Online, Inc. (http://www.tfaoi.com), from Critical Review (http://www.creview.com), from ArtCult Magazine (http://www.artcult.com).
As New Yorkers, we are gratified to be included in Best N.Y. (http://www.bestny.com), as one of the "best of New York's newspapers and magazines." We were also "truly recommended" by Art Quarter's (http://www.art-quarter.com) "all about art."
We're listed in directories such as Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com), About.com (http://www.about.com) (formerly known as the Mining Co.) and the Open Directory Project (http://search.dmoz.org), which is particularly interesting, since it's a listing assembled by volunteer editors. Other directories that include Artnet.com are ArtPlanet (http://www.artplanet.com), the Artcyclopedia (http://artcyclopedia.com), Maloney's Antiques & Collectibles Resource Directory (http://www.maloney.com), Open Studio (www.openstudio.org), Pablo (http://www.pablo.com), a directory of art for sale online, and the impressively named International Center for Culture and Management (http://iccm.co.at), which is in Austria.
Hardcore art-lovers will be pleased to know that among the most popular features on Artnet.com -- those urls that draw the most visitors -- is Leigh Oswald's monthly art horoscope and the Artnet Nude 100 (http://www.artnet.com/magazine/features/nude/nude7-23-97.asp), compiled during the long hot summer of 1997.
The Nude 100, which lists the most expensive nudes sold at auction, is included on Excite Germany as one of its top erotic art sites (http://www.excite.de/erotik/), is recommended in Sutin's Nude and Portrait (http://art-nude.com) and listed in Cybernude's (http://www.cybernude.com) "nude art on the net" page. We're even featured in Hippyland's (http://hippy.com/index.asp) list of links that "have artistic content to expand your mind."
The horoscope (http://www.artnet.com/magazine/horoscope/horoscopes.asp) is a featured choice in Vyktoria Pratt Keating's (http://www.mothersea.com/vpk/vpkframe) site.
We're also proud for links at sites such as Artful Gift (http://artfulgift.com), whose motto is "We Love Creation," and by the disturbingly named GetHit.com (http://www.gethit.com), which stands for "get hit by the best prices."
It's not only big corporations or organizations that link to us, of course. Individuals also recommend
Artnet.com. Freelance art writer Fred Camper (http://www.enteract.com/~fc/) calls us a "very comprehensive set of art resources and links to other art sites." Painter Prilla Smith Brackett (http://www.luceatlux.com/psbhome.asp) describes us as "high quality current news, analysis of artworld, essays, reviews." Artists Kent Manske and Nanette Wylde (http://www.preneo.com) list us as a resource in their "PreNeo Inspirations" page, and the Surrealist fantasy artist Csontos (http://www.csontos.com) links to us too.
Hairnet (http://www.hairnet.org), "the UK's first Internet training scheme for the over 50s," lists us in its links page under Culture Arts. Maybe the "over 50s" they refer to are the same people visiting Hippy.com?
Before you start thinking that we're not pulling our weight in this link business, take a look at our resources page (http://www.artnet.com/resources.asp), featuring links to nearly 300 American museums, over 400 international museums, and about 100 links to art schools, government organizations, art sites, periodicals and magazines, and nonprofit organizations. And don't forget to try out the Art Search Engine on our homepage, which features over 7,000 sites and is growing every day.
GIOVANNI GARCIA-FENECH is a painter who lives in Brooklyn, and Artnet.com's search engine manager.