Transcription of Storyteller – Coach – Author Dominique Barreau’s article published on July 7th, 2019 in Forbes France.
Find the article’s link here.
Virginie Tison is the Founder and President of Art-Trope, a “new generation” of Artists agency that supports Fine Arts Artists such as Sculptors, Photographers or Painters in France and around the world to promote their Artworks to collectors and develop their career. Its motto? Let Artists create! Beyond her passion for Art, Virginie has the ambition to put forward a winning financial model positive for all: Artists and Collectors.
Can you talk to us about the Art market?
The Art market, like many others, has known a rapid and profound evolution with digitalisation. When we think of Artists, many picture them as people who are a little off the wall, spending their days and nights creating Artworks in their studio and not having to make a living! Nowadays, the contemporary Art market has become a real market, which requires Artists a high level of professionalization. The codes have also changed a lot in the last few years. This is how the Collectors have gradually turned into investors, asking “Art dealers” to find the best strategy to attract them. In addition to their talent and aesthetic innovation, Artists must develop their artistic career as a real business and arouse the interest of the market. According to the 2017 activity report of the Maison des Artistes, this market represents around 50 000 Artists in France for an estimated potential of 300 million euros. On a global scale, this figure can rise to 40 billion!
From an Artist point of view, is it so idyllic?
This is neither idyllic nor even very readable because if everyone shares the same analysis, there’s no easy answer. Like all types of markets, the sellers must be able to find the buyers. The particularity of Contemporary Art is that the value of the product sold depends directly on the value of the Artists who depend on their dynamism. However, to create, Artists need time and a minimum of financial security. This virtuous circle can be obtained by selling their Artworks. But to sell them, it must be visible. This visibility is the main stake of this market: it implies substantial budgets to position itself on the international canvas that is Contemporary Art. The equation is complex. As proof, the large number of talented Artists who leave the market for not having met the right representative during their career.
Why is this so important to support Artists?
Because they are the ones making Art. Let us recall that the value of Artists is based on their creation and ability to innovate. Without Artists, there are no Artworks, and without Artworks, there is no market! Let’s not forget that existing collections can be depreciated little by little because of the lack of continuity in the Artists’ representation. Art-Trope offers services gathered in a single entity enabling all Artists to devote themselves to their creativity with reasonable budgets.
Our first priority is that emerging or confirmed Artists have communication tools to professionalize and build their visibility. The Artists’ life is far from an easy journey and Art-Trope is aware that it is in the long term that it is possible to optimize their career. This involves a personalized follow-up to enable them to exhibit their Artworks in France and abroad. A capital Art is maintained and it is even, let us not forget, the primary objective of Collectors.
How to invest? Are there only wealthy collectors?
There are different types of Collectors and I can tell you about those who gravitate around the Artists we coach and whom we call Artlovers. The latter is the enthusiasts of Art, not necessarily very wealthy but surrounded by Artists whose Artworks they appreciate. He or she buys following their heart with an average annual budget of 5K €. Then there are the more systematic Collectors who target the confirmed Artists and browse the exhibition fairs in search of the best investment. Finally, there are investment funds. These last two are often motivated by tax exemption.
That said, the financial investment is not the only trigger for the acquisition of works. There is also the emotional aspect and the beautiful stories that can be created between a Collector and an Artist. The magic operates when the Artist’s approach resonates with the Collector.
How does Art-Trope support Artists?
We are convinced Artists need global support to feel encouraged at 360° in the development of their career. We have developed an online service platform accessible in the form of annual and monthly subscriptions. We guide Artists “step by step” with a first free offer to start, then more advanced services to help them develop their skills. If Art-Trope is their “digital house” today, we also have the project to open the first Artists’ house in Paris to have an exhibition space. Access to this booming market is conditioned by the possibility of deploying these Artists’ houses in the main Art capital cities.
What is your driving force to continue this trip to the land of Art?
I am an Artist myself, with the experience of the financial world. What motivates me is to be able to support in the long term Artists’ statements often unknown by lack of know-how but not by lack of talent! Art opens up new ways of thinking and it seems obvious to me that in today’s world, where we only talk about transformation and disruptive innovation, artistic creation has a vital role to play. Art is also a universal language that brings cultures closer together by going beyond physical and mental boundaries. For Art-Trope, Art is both a passion and a virtuous business. This is why we have financial partners, as I mentioned on Boursorama TV on June 28, 2019.