A new business called Artkick says it can provide customers with a cache of private art that rivals those of world-famous collectors such as Steven Cohen and Leon Black.

And all that’s needed is an Internet-ready TV.

Artkick, which launched in January, essentially turns a flat screen TV into a canvas for some of the world's most famous paintings, such as da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Van Gogh's Starry Night, Cezanne’s The Card Players and thousands of other masterpieces.

"Everyone has art, everyone decorates their space," said Artkick co-founder Sheldon Laube. "It's one of those older human desires."

The service is free for now, and Laube says one of the chief advantages is it allows those who appreciate art to display a variety of works, in the privacy of their homes, to fit any occasion.

If someone is hosting a friend who likes French impressionism, for example, the TV can be a canvas for a Manet or a Monet (Laube said his service has about 800 Monets). Different masterworks can be displayed in different rooms, and displays can change under a preset schedule.

Laube's Artkick partner is Abe Ostrovsky, the former CEO of Accelio Corporation. The former chief innovation officer of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Laube was one of the founders of US Web, a Web site engineering and design firms started during the Internet boom of the 1990s. This is his fifth startup.

Providing art online is a logical extension of the way people have embraced the Internet for access to music, through services such as iTunes, Pandora and Spotify, Laube said, who likens the service to “streaming” high art.

The service is currently available on Samsung and Sharp TVs that are Internet compatible. Its iPhone and Android apps can serve as its remote control. The service is free, Laube said, but the company may add a subscription plan with premium content—for example, exclusive photos of sporting events or the Oscars' red carpet.

Artkick has access to more than 100,000 including photographs ranging from the works of Ansel Adams to astronomical photographs taken by the Hubble space telescope. Users can also upload their own images for use on the servicem, which is available at www.artkick.com.

"We do not take the position this is as good as the real thing," Laube said. "It's the same as listening to music through headphones compared to going to a concert. … Still, this brings a lot of pleasure."