[Convelio x Artyque] Episode 5- Portrait of Artyque

Artyque is a Berlin based agency dedicated to the success of the new generation of emerging and mid-career Artists. Created by Ksenia Stepanova and Mattia Cremieux, their mission is to support the most exceptional creative minds out there to develop their career and share their vision and Art with the world.

1- Could you tell us a bit more about Artyque and How did you come up with this idea?

We launched the agency a year ago, in summer 2019. Both of us are very passionate about art and we had the same reflections about how the art world functions: most of the people that enter the art world professionally find themselves on the institutional/business side of it (I mean galleries, auctions houses, foundations...) and get the chance to hone the skills they’ve usually acquired in university: how to organise and promote an exhibition, sell art, grow your network, etc... When you are an artist, these absolutely essential skills are not things you are generally taught. To be fair, even if you are an artist with high entrepreneurial skills, self-promotion takes away a lot of time and is a significant distraction from your main activity - creating art.

Mattia & Ksenia

Before Berlin, we used to live in London so we are lucky to be surrounded by and constantly meet new talented artists since quite a long time now and this is a struggle that comes back quite often when speaking with them. So it felt right to step aside from the traditional model and focus on the artists’ career itself rather than only on the product of their creation - the artworks. That is how ARTYQUE agency was imagined.

2-How do you make a difference?

We put our artists’ interest first and our support helps them to fully focus on their practice and reach their full potential. As a hybrid model company, we take the best from existing business models. Like a gallery, we organize exhibitions for our artists and bring them to art fairs. Like a talent agency, we go the extra mile to promote our artists and scope for new opportunities for them, whether it is a participation in a show, an art prize, a residency or even a collaboration. One of our dreams is to achieve collaborative projects with brands that are not related to art. We believe that such interdisciplinary partnerships will make art more accessible and attract the younger generations into the art world and may even, in the long term, inspire some of them to start their own collection. This being said, our focus is on our artists and their potential collectors, as our strategy is also beneficial for those who are interested in collecting or investing in emerging art because they can rest assured that behind each of our artists stands a team dedicated to their success and growth.

3- You recently launched your new upgraded platform: what’s new?

These last few months we have developed our website to provide viewing rooms and a better way for visitors to see the exhibited works of our artists. Obviously, nothing can replace the experience of standing in front of an artwork but we believe that viewing rooms are a smart way to complement your existing activities if you are a gallerist or an artist. The lockdown showcased that it is crucial to have a well-maintained, curated and sophisticated online presence, especially if you operate in the art market, that brands itself as luxurious. It helps to promote your activity and adapt faster to extraordinary situations.

4- How do you source and select your artists?

The main criteria for us is uniqueness. We try to find artists who show a willingness to experiment in their practice showing their ability to evolve and have a strong artistic voice. We search for these talents through the numerous applications we receive on the website and by visiting studios all the time, everywhere we go in Europe. Some of the artists we currently follow were found thanks to social media. We think social media is a fantastic source to find talents and keep an eye on their evolution. This, again, is only a first step, meeting and experiencing the works in person is crucial. All our artists need to consider their practice as professional, produce works on a regular basis and have previous exhibiting experience.

5- Could you tell me about a particular artist you represent?

Currently, we are working with Gina Soden and Silvia Sarsano - two powerful female artists, unique in their artistic practice.

Gina Soden

Gina Soden is our very first artist, whom we know since 2015. We met her at The Other Art Fair and since then we are in love with her art. She is a London-based photographer, who travels across Europe to depict the beauty of abandonment by photographing ruins of houses and manors that once were architectural gems. At first, the casual viewer might think her photographs depict the past: the decaying yet beautiful scenes one sees and the lives one imagines in them all push towards that impression. But in fact, Gina’s photographs carry a deep and intimate reflection on our perception of passing time and how our present, that we consider eternal, will be the past for all the generations to come. These last few months we have been working closely with Gina on her new series of works ‘How Long is Now’, in which we studied this time capsule phenomena.

Silvia Sarsano -2

Silvia Sarsano is our latest gem. We met her a year ago during a studio open-door event here in Berlin. Unfortunately, we lost her contact the same evening and it took us a few months of intense research to find her again! In any case, it was well worth the struggle. Silvia is a portrait painter who is able to distil an amazing level of sensitivity and introspection into her works - in fact, her entire practice is dedicated to witnessing and telling the stories of common people in contrast of who is generally subject to being portrayed. Following the portraying tradition from modern to contemporary painters, Silvia presents the unfixed beauty of real people without idolization, without any pretence of perfection, in their happiness and sorrow.​One special feature of her latest works: only the uncovered skin of the subjects is visible, all clothes are covered by the background, or is it the background covered by the clothes? Whichever way you go, this technique, while carrying a unique meaning for each work, pushes you to focus on the human behind the clothes, the colours and the patterns, letting her works become a powerful reminder that the eyes are the only true mirror to the soul.

6- Any upcoming events that we should be aware of?

Of course! We would like to invite you to our first virtual exhibition of Gina Soden’s ‘How Long is Now’ series. It will be live on June 16th, 2020 on our website www.artyque.com. The exhibition will be premiered in November in Paris at the Fotofever art fair.Also, if you are in Berlin July 10th-12th, visit our pop-up exhibition of Silvia Sarsano, in Auguststrasse 35, 10117, Berlin. It will be the first in a series of events to promote her works and involvement into a humanitarian project she launched back in 2019. Part of the profit made from each sale during that exhibition will be donated to the New Light India NGO in Kolkata, in India.To keep updated with all our new events and artists, follow us on Instagram @artyqueagency and subscribe for our newsletter on our website www.artyque.com!

June 15, 2020