On July 7, 2019, the referral site Forbes France published an interview with Virginie Tison highlighting her vision of the new financial model required for Art.
Virginie Tison is the founder and president of ART-TROPE, a new generation artistic agency backing-up Fine-Artists as sculptors, photographers or painters, to promote their creations to collectors and develop their careers internationally and locally. Her motto? Let the artists create! Beyond her passion for art, Virginie has for ambition to set forth a winning financial model for both artists and collectors.
Can you give us some insight into the art market?
The art market, like so many others, has evolved rapidly and in depth as a result of digitalization. Most of us think of an artist as an off-beat person who spends his days and nights creating in his studio and living on air! The current market of contemporary art has become a real market requiring a high professional level on the artists’ part. The codes have also come a long way in recent years. This is how the collector gradually became an investor, requiring “art dealers” to find the best strategy to attract them. On top of his talent and aesthetic innovation, the artist must develop his artistic career as a real business and stimulate the market’s curiosity. According to the 2017 activity report of the Maison des Artistes, this market concerns about 50,000 artists in France for an estimated potential of 300 million euros. On a global scale, this figure can reach up to 40 billion!
From the artist’s point of view, is it so idyllic?
This is neither idyllic nor even very obvious, because if all share the same view, there is no miraculous cure. As with all markets, the seller must be able to find a buyer. What is specific to contemporary art is that the value of the product sales is directly related to the artist’s value, which in turn is related to his dynamism. However, to create, the artist needs time and a minimum of financial security. This virtuous circle can be achieved by selling his works. But to sell them, he must be visible. Visibility is the main challenge of this market: it implies a substantial budget to take a position on the international canvas of contemporary art. The equation is complex. To prove this, the large number of talented artists leaving the market because they have not had the opportunity to meet the right representative over the course of their careers.
Why is it so important to support artists?
Because they are the ones making Art. Let’s keep in mind that the value of an artist is based on his creation and his capacity to innovate. There can be no artworks without artists, and there can be no market without artworks! Moreover, we have to keep in mind that established collections may gradually depreciate due to a discontinued representation of the artists. Art-Trope provides services under one roof allowing all artists to focus on their creativity with reasonable budgets.
Our first priority is that artists, whether emerging or established, master the communication tools they need to become professional and build their visibility. Life as an artist is not on Easy Street and Art-trope is aware that a career can be optimized only in the long run. A personal follow-up is necessary to allow the artist to exhibit his works in France and abroad. An art capital must be sustained and this is in fact, the prime concern of collectors, let’s not forget it.
How to invest? Are there only wealthy collectors?
There are several kinds of collectors. I can tell you about the ones we name Artlovers surrounding the artists we coach. This one is an Art lover, not particularly wealthy but surrounded by artists whose works he appreciates. He buys on impulse with an average budget of 5K€ per year. Then come the more systematic collectors who target confirmed artists and scour the art fairs looking for the best investment. Lastly, there are the investment funds. These last two are often motivated by tax exemption.
This being said, the financial investment is not the only incentive to acquire a work. There is also an emotional side and great stories can arise between a collector and an artist. Magic happens when the artist’s approach connects with the collector.
How does Art-Trope support artists?
We are convinced that the artist needs a global coaching to feel supported at 360° in his career development. We have developed a platform for online services that can be accessed through annual or monthly subscriptions. We guide artists “step by step” with a free offer to start with, followed by more advanced services to help them increase their skills. If currently Art Trope is their “digital house”, we also plan to open a first artists’ house in Paris in order to have an exhibition space. Access to this booming market depends on the ability to deploy these artists’ houses in the main art capitals.
What drives you to keep going on this journey to the land of Art?
Artist myself, I also have a background in the financial world. What drives me is the ability to be a long-term supporter of the approach of artists often overlooked by lack of know-how and not by lack of talent! Art opens up new ways of thinking and it seems obvious to me that in the current world, where transformation and disruptive innovation are the main topics, artistic creation has a crucial part to play. Art also is a universal language linking cultures above physical and mental barriers. To Art-trope, Art is both a passion and a virtuous business. That’s why we’re calling on financial partners, as I mentioned to Boursorama on June 28th 2019.