Contemporary art collector, art advisor, writer, and movie director: Vera Bertran is all of this and also a style icon. She is a young woman in a fresh style, with the passion for contemporary art and also a globetrotter in search of fine art. She founded “contemporary art collectors“, a platform followed by around four hundred thousand people.
We had the pleasure to talk to her about the values of collecting art today and about how to move in this field for those who intend to start off a career in the art world.
Question: For many people you are not only a style icon but also a modern renaissance woman: a passionate art advisor, writer, film director and the founder of “contemporary–art-collectors.com“. Can you tell us what your guiding values are in regards to collecting art?
Answer: In my opinion, there are two types of collectors: emotional and rational ones. It’s always important to remember that not all collectors buy art for the same reason. There is a multitude of divergent reasons whether you’re looking to invest in established artists or new and upcoming ones breaking through onto the scene. Investing in well-known artists’ works will always be a stable, risk-free investment, but if you’re willing to take a gamble and purchase the work of an emerging artist, it’s possible you might get ahead of the pack and make a significant profit.
Some people predominantly see art as an investment, a way to earn easy money. However, I think that if you’re prepared to personally invest in art it says to me that, despite wanting to make a profit, you also have a genuine love of art. I know of established collectors who spend months searching meticulously for works based on a particular style, medium, or the thematic content of their own collection, and in some cases who might even buy a piece due to what’s en vogue in contemporary trends. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule; and in the case of the art world, some less than reputable ‘collectors’ purchase art solely as a form of money laundering, since it is often considered an easier way to move black money.
Q: How have you been living through the social changes caused by the pandemic over the past few months?
A: Each year the art world has a more significant and more far-reaching online presence, which, in regards to the current situation, is proving more essential than ever before. During the pandemic we have seen a heightened interest in art, evident from the fact that galleries and museums have been experiencing record web traffic. Many galleries have adapted to the situation by launching online viewing rooms and exhibitions, and various art fairs including: Art Basel Hong Kong, Frieze NY have gone virtual after they had to cancel their shows.
During this difficult time, I would recommend that everybody involved in the art world create a strong online presence, including a professional, regularly updated website. This is the perfect opportunity to develop your social media and to learn how to appeal to a wider audience.
Q: What advice would you give to any young, inexperienced people who aspire to work in the contemporary art world?
A: I would suggest they acquire the maximum knowledge possible, not only in art history but also in marketing, ‘personal branding and art business’. You should know this field inside out. Although it might sound bizarre, I often meet people who have no idea who Marlene Dumas or Peter Doig are, or don’t have a website or any kind of presence on social media.
Q: Nowadays an artists’ profile is heavily influenced by social media, as Alex Israel recently explained in his essay: “Always on my mind”. What is your opinion on this subject?
A: In short, I agree. Social media is already regarded as an important and staple part of the art world. It’s a great tool to spread your name and self-promote, to make important contacts and meet like-minded people. Collectors and galleries have long been discovering artists with a visible online presence or artists who have created a buzz around themselves.
Q: Your platform “contemporary art collectors” has been very successful. What is the strongest aspect for you?
A: I mainly put our success down to a few simple reasons; firstly, everything I do is done with love and passion, and secondly, I have a good taste and don’t copy anybody. The strongest aspect of the platform is that my page is well – curated. I only post artists that are, in my opinion, exceptional and worthy of being given the attention of an established art collector. Despite regularly being offered paid posts, I value my reputation and therefore reject the majority on account of the fact they don’t adhere to my high standards.
Q: In the post-emergency covid world, what is the ideal trip that you would recommend to contemporary art lovers?
A: As many museums and galleries are now reopening, I would recommend any of the major cities that have incredible contemporary art collections such as New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, and Berlin.
We just saw that Vera Bertran is worth her fame. Personally, we highly value her directness and pragmatism when addressing issues related to the art market. According to her choices about the artists she involved in her community, there is a high quality both for the established and emerging artists. This interview stands out in relation to the others conducted so far as her point of view about the importance of social media also to build a career in the art world seems to be foregrounded. Personal branding and art business are also some core aspects but not to the detriment of quality. Such vision might be conditioned by her advisory role, which we – as art advisors ourselves – share and support, especially applicable to the reality of young emerging artists.
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