Crowdfunding: Adopt Ginette!

Ginette is the name of a giraffe featured in the 2015 campaign undertaken by the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle in Lille to launch a participatory-financing operation. An exploration of cultural crowdfunding follows. “Crowdfunding” – also known as “participatory financing”, the “collaborative economy” or ”peer-to-peer lending” – is a catchword on everyone’s lips these days. This innovative fundraising method enabled – according to the CompinnoV agency barometer – nearly 300 million euros to be collected in France last year. Two other figures help give an idea of the importance of this phenomenon in the country. 2.3 million French people have financed a crowdfunding project ever since such platforms were launched, enabling nearly 18,000 projects to be funded in 2015. And the method applies to all sectors, from real estate to health via the environment. No small achievement! And yet the idea is dead simple… We could even ask ourselves why the heck no one thought of it earlier. This new fundraising method merely relies on a massive number of contributors – mainly private individuals – who often put up tiny amounts of money. Thanks to the options offered by Internet for making contact, backed up the viral potential of social networks, sums can accumulate very quickly. Accessibility, transparency, solidarity… The model has everything going for it. So much so that it’s come to be known by the term “love money”. Crowdfunders contribute money via gifts or loans when urged to “support a project”, and more rarely benefit from a promise for a “return on investment”. The practice of philanthropy But what does Ginette have to do with this, you may well ask. Parodying the advertising campaign of a well-known dating website, the slogan “Adopt Ginette!” was used by the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle in Lille, in 2015, to launch a participatory-financing operation....

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Franck Prazan: The Nouvelle École de Paris and market resilience

Since 2004, Franck Prazan has succeeded his father Bernard at the helm of the gallery Applicat-Prazan, located on Rue de Seine in Paris and specialising in the Nouvelle École de Paris (“New School of Paris”, 1945-1965). In 2010, he opened a second space on Paris’ Right Bank, on Avenue Matignon. Franck Prazan was formerly managing director at Christie’s France and steered the auction house’s opening on Avenue Matignon in Paris. The gallery Applicat-Prazan is represented by a stand at the Biennale des Antiquaires. Your gallery specialises in the Nouvelle École de Paris. The concept of a “school” conjures up the idea of curricula, teaching. Is this the case of the Nouvelle École de Paris – a concept which critic Lydia Harambourg has already undermined? This question comes up often. The Nouvelle École de Paris encompasses a number of varied and profuse artistic approaches. It is a brand, a marketing element used by postwar galleries rather than the description of a well-identified artistic movement. The “Nouvelle École de Paris” can best be likened to a label identifying a geographical space, which, following WWII and until the 1960s, was favoured by artists, collectors, dealers and critics. Until the start of the 1960s, Paris was considered as representing nearly half of the art transactions in the Western world. The Nouvelle École de Paris includes painters hailing from the French tradition such as Roger Bissière, Alfred Manessier and Jean René Bazaine; painters shifting towards lyrical abstraction, pioneered by Wols and theorised by Georges Mathieu; purely abstract painters such as Pierre Soulages, Hans Hartung and Gérard Schneider; surrealist artists, etc. In the 1950s in Paris, 350 artists earned their living by painting. The gallery’s long list comprises some thirty artists. Our shortlist – the one commonly represented on our picture rails and in international...

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Who’s afraid of Antoine Van de Beuque?

This is the story of an art dealer, Antoine Van de Beuque, former vice president of a renowned gallery (Wildenstein), who in 2012 launched ArtViatic. A high-flying digital dealing platform, whose ambition is to “free up access to exceptional works”. A portrait. “Change the codes”… The interview starts off with an order, which is unusual in the muffled world of art dealing, where discretion vies with propriety. But Antoine Van de Beuque isn’t one to hold back. This is the man behind online transactions that go over one million dollars. This is also the man to whom we owe some of the lowest buyer and seller commissions on the market. Offering an alternative to the traditional circuit for Impressionist, modern as well as contemporary art, the website ArtViatic is a (very) aggressive player. Its target? Paintings, works on paper and sculptures valued at over €20,000. Its method? Exchanges that take place “in real time, directly, at lower costs”. And this month, ArtViatic is launching its new platform: a 2.0 online version, on 20 September. For those who might have forgotten their Latin, let’s remember that viaticum denotes “travel provisions”. For Antoine Van de Beuque, founder of the platform whose name derives from this term, ArtViatic is a registered trademark synonymous with “online private sales of artworks”. So ArtViatic also rhymes with aesthetic, economic… and also “so chic”. The international platform gathers a number of signatures from the very top end: Louise Bourgeois, Victor Brauner, Piet Mondrian, François Pompon, Alfred Sisley… Not forgetting contemporary artists such as Richard Anuszkiewicz, Fiona Banner and Gregor Hildebrandt, whose presence is hard to ignore with a six by three metre canvas… This is no place for bric-a-brac: ArtViatic’s catalogue includes around one hundred pieces, renewed on an ongoing basis, and its ambition is to...

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An unprecedented loan from the Hermitage Museum

The Biennale des Antiquaires is presenting an unprecedented exhibition of 18th century French objects and furniture items from the Hermitage collection in Saint Petersburg. A primordial event. Vice president of the Syndicat National des Antiquaires (French National Syndicate of Antique Dealers) and director of the Galerie Dragesco-Cramoisan in Paris, Bernard Dragesco was selected to be the scientific expert for the exhibition “Un siècle d’élégance française, chefs-d’œuvre du XVIIIe siècle” (A Century of French Elegance, 18th Century Masterpieces), gathering thirty-five emblematic French decorative-arts pieces from the Enlightenment period, from the Hermitage Museum. An exceptional loan consisting of pieces that have never left Russian soil. Bernard Dragesco here reveals what went on behind the scenes of this exhibition and discusses the market for 18th century objects. How did this exhibition come to be organised? Jean-Daniel Compain, director general of the Biennale, and a former high official in the French Ministry of Culture, Georges-François Hirsch, came up with the idea of setting up an exhibition on 18th century French decorative arts featuring works from the Hermitage. We wanted to gather objects that had never come to France before in order to create a beautiful exhibition for the general public, but also in order to reflect strong interest among specialists in France as well as overseas. It thus became possible to set up the exhibition thanks to Georges-François Hirsch’s experience and contacts with the Hermitage management and curators, as well as very active support from the Institut Français in Saint Petersburg. The museum curators began by drawing up a list numbering around one hundred. We then decided on a smaller list to make up a coherent set of thirty-five objects. We took into account interest and rarity, and what already exists in French collections. I made a trip there to see all of...

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Dominique Chevalier: Selling dreams… but also more!

Renewal, identity, strategy, vetting, and a breath of fresh air. Working towards this goal is Dominique Chevalier, president of the Syndicat National des Antiquaires. We find out how and why. The Biennale des Antiquaires has undergone a change in pace. Now held yearly, this most chic of art-market events has also seen “deep evolutions” in its organisation. As organiser of this feast of excellence for over fifty years, the Syndicat National des Antiquaries (French National Syndicate of Antique Dealers) promises “new influence” for its twenty-eighth edition… AMA wanted to find out more on the behind-the-scenes of this event described as the “quintessence of French art de vivre”. A backstage visit on the eve of its opening, to be attended by some 7,000 guests. Peter Fuhring, Robert Landau, Maryvonne Pinault… The arts elite has gathered for this new “Biennale committee”. How have these “qualified figures” contributed to this edition? What the public of the Biennale des Antiquaires wishes for today is to be surprised. This is important, all the more so as there is now quite a wide number of antiques events, fairs and exhibitions, and it’s not rare to find the same paintings and furniture from one event to the next… Our prime motivation was therefore to bring real freshness to this new edition, namely with a few contemporary touches. This “Biennale committee” was composed by Henri Loyrette (editorial note: former head of the Musée du Louvre, from 2001 to 2013), with the idea of rebalancing power in the board of the Syndicat National des Antiquaires, made up of dealers. The choice of these new “qualified figures” who drew up the list of exhibitors allows us to avoid staying closed. It’s a way to disentangle ourselves from the influence of friendship or enmity. I like this idea of transversality,...

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