Posted: March 17th, 2016 -
Interview of Frédéric de Senarclens, founder of ArtAndOnly
What are the key things we should know about ArtAndOnly?
ArtAndOnly is an innovative sales platform specializing in contemporary art across many disciplines. With a focus on quality and a carefully curated selection of unique work by emerging and established talent, ArtAndOnly makes buying and selling art a full-service experience. Also, in our blog “Le Journal”, we provide invaluable information on artists and trends in the market from the art world’s most respected writers.
How is ArtAndOnly different from other sites and how does that difference benefit collectors?
ArtAndOnly is a curated platform where each piece is carefully selected through a rigorous artistic line, exactly like in a physical gallery. Our expertise and network in contemporary art is a huge benefit to collectors who are looking to be personally guided through the buying or selling process with a trusted and confidential partner. The platform is the premier source in the art market for collectors who are looking to acquire interesting artworks from both renowned and emerging artists.
Before launching ArtAndOnly, you’ve had a lot of success running contemporary galleries in Singapore and Switzerland. What did you learn from your experience in the Asian market that will help with this new venture?
Running galleries in Switzerland and then in Asia brought us a great understanding of both the Eastern and Western art scenes. Our experience in Asia proved invaluable as it offered us an expanded vision of the art market that ultimately led to this new global online project. Living in Singapore for more than 6 years allowed us to discover a wider range of artists not only from South East Asia, but also from China, Korea, India, Pakistan and Australia. In Singapore, we also developed an understanding of how new media can increase our global reach. Thanks to our strong online presence, we realized we had followers and collectors from all over the world. Today, the physical gallery space has become less relevant, and thanks to the Internet, we can assist in an “uberisation” of the market.
How exactly does the platform facilitate buying and selling?
It is very straightforward. The collector offers us a work for sale, our experts review it and if the work meets our standards (authenticity, quality and condition) we agree on a price and a period of consignment. The work is then presented across our platform and offered for sale. The buyer makes a price offer, we convey it to the seller and we help them to close the deal. ArtAndOnly works on a commission basis and then takes care of the logistics until the work reaches its final destination.
What’s different about doing business in an online global market when it comes to marketing, reach and logistics?
A strong social media strategy is absolutely key in growing an online marketplace. We’ve leveraged Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in parallel with the upcoming launch of an international media campaign. Additionally, we benefit from a global network of contributors and partners in Europe, Asia and the USA to create a global buzz with a variety of expertise. As per the logistics, it is slightly the same organization as in a traditional gallery. The works are stored in safe and insured facilities, shown in private locations and shipped through our network of logistics partners.
What challenges do you see?
We are confident in the fact that the future of the art market is online. This is a competitive area, but we believe our platform is tailor-made for today’s collectors and a natural expansion for us. It’s not just that the costs of operating a traditional gallery are getting higher – the marketplace is changing and the mentalities of collectors are evolving fast. They are looking for more transparency and ready to buy online from a trusted platform. We know what they are looking for and are able to source the right work from anywhere in the world.
Your platform also relies on the shipping and storage of the works. Can you tell us more about the logistics of it all?
The consigned works are stored in secured and insured facilities until sold. Potential buyers can organize a private viewing of the work in various cities around the world; New York, Geneva, Singapore, London, Paris to name a few. The acquisition is then pretty classical; once paid, professional art movers will ship the work to the buyer.
After so many years in Singapore, why have you returned to Switzerland to launch ArtAndOnly?
We love Singapore and very much enjoyed our life in Asia. In Singapore, we ran a very successful gallery which attracted international names. We are proud of what we achieved, and are responsible for several public works around the city from Ian Davenport at the Hana residence, to monumental works by Bernar Venet in private residences. We were pleased to be part of the rise of Singapore as a cultural destination. However, we are European and were missing our home country. Thanks to our new, expanded online presence, we are free to work and live anywhere we like and of course to travel back to Asia often.
How often do you return to Singapore?
We have plans to visit often for the major art events and look forward to these trips.
Your site has many works across various disciplines. Would you mind telling us about a few specific pieces?
We are excited to unveil a new sculpture by renowned American artist Jedd Novatt, whose monumental work can be seen in Singapore on Scotts Road. We will also present an iconic work by Korean artist Chun Kwang Young, known for his structural works made of the assemblage of hundreds of polystyrene foam triangles wrapped in Korean mulberry paper called hanji. Other highlights are important sculptures by Armen Agop, Pablo Reinoso and Yves Dana.
Do you have a rough breakdown of the geographical locations of your artists?
Our past data shows an even distribution of about 30% Europe, 30% USA, and 30% Asia, but its too early to give an exact answer. We have definitely created an interesting dialogue between East and West.
How do you review and evaluate each of the pieces that collectors wish to consign with you?
ArtAndOnly believes in quality, not in quantity. We are a high-end platform presenting only the best works through a strong selection process. We combine our expertise and eye for talent with various curators to offer exclusive and interesting works to a wider audience.
Where do you see ArtAndOnly in five years?
We believe ArtAndOnly will not only be one of the leading sales platforms worldwide, but also grow into the premier informational resources about the global art market, news, emerging talent, and trends for art lovers and collectors alike.