Artcurial is embracing the art scene in Monaco, placing outdoor sculptures in prominent areas of the principality. Art has always brought people together and subtly has the power to address many questions, personal and universal. Art outdoors or in commercial environments such as airports and shopping centres ignites conversation, awareness and invites new audiences inspiring the artists. Usually, non-political or commercial, the artwork represents artists feelings and aspirations. This is important because society does not always encourage our inner emotions or has the time to contemplate abstract ideas. Placing art in public areas offers an opportunity to imagine beyond what is.
I met and enjoyed discussing some of these ideas with the Deputy Chairman François Tajan at the new premises of Artcurial in Monte Carlo for the Monaco Art Week.
by Kay Hare
How did you get involved in the art-world?
After having started a career in film for 5 years following my studies in law, I chose the job of the auctioneer and became my fathers’ associate at the family auction house Tajan.
Why did you set up in Monaco?
Monte Carlo is complementary to Paris with regard to luxury, products like jewellery and watches, accounting for why our prestige auctions of these categories take place in Monaco. The principality is also international attracting important collectors from around the world allowing us to target a unique clientele, including many people who rarely come to Paris, an opportunity to identify new buyers and sellers
Are you concentrating purely on sculptures or will you also be selling paintings?
We already organize many important painting sales in Paris several times a year, including Old master, modern and contemporary art. The idea was to build a specific project for Monaco, bringing something different from our Paris activities. This is the reason why we have found it more pertinent to focus on a differentiating speciality in Monaco, that of modern and contemporary sculpture. With all the villas and outdoor areas on the Riviera and the special partnership with SBM, it made sense.
Should there be more encouragement and opportunities for cities and towns to invest in public art, displaying sculptures and to embrace art within the planning of new cities?
All new encouragement would, of course, be beneficial, but the display of artworks is already taken into consideration in the city planning of today and tomorrow; notably monumental sculpture which is the perfect urban partner for architecture.
Where are the auctions held in Monaco?
Our auctions take place at the Hermitage hotel for our July session, where our sculpture sale will also be held, and at the Monaco Yacht club, a superb architectural prowess of Sir Norman Foster, in January.
Do you think people come to Monte Carlo as a holiday destination and also use it as an opportunity to buy art?
Monaco has an incredible will and the capacity to be both a high-end holiday destination, and a hub of exceptional luxury business, as witnessed by the new infrastructures made for the One Montel-Carlo and the Hotel de Paris. Finally, it is also a cultural and artistic powerhouse with museums, exhibitions, concerts, ballets, salons, galleries and auctions, which strengthen the principality’s attractiveness, creating a global offer the international clientele loves.
Has the internet changed the way people buy art or do they still want to view art in person and actually see and feel the artwork?
Internet is first and foremost a powerful communication tool that permits sharing information concerning the sale of artwork throughout the world. Once the information has been received, the aficionado can come to examine the work or not, depending on its value. For pieces under 15 and 20 000 €, collectors increasingly buy without prior inspection of the work. Good pictures, a complete and thorough description and the good reputation of the house do the rest.
Artcurial Monaco has two small paintings for sale in the next JUNE auction by the Chinese artist Zao Wou-ki -why are his pieces demanding such high prices?
These paintings are from the greatest Chinese postwar abstract artist. Further, considering the might of the country and the exponential increase of local art aficionados; it is only logical that Zao Zou-Ki’s prices are so high and register records at each new sale.
What are your favourite art pieces at the moment?
Two sculptures of our July sale, one from César entitled Brigitte currently exhibited at the Artcurial gallery and a monumental piece by KAWS, which should arrive in the coming weeks in one of SBM’s establishments.
For more information
Phone +377 97 77 51 99
3/9 Boulevard des Moulins
Inspiring international lifestyles based on the French Riviera