For two years, Artfetch has been making the buying and selling of quality art easy by providing an online platform to curate works. Now, this company will act as the agents and promoters of emerging artists around the world with an expansion into the United States and Asia. ‘The vision is for Artfetch to represent all of the world’s most talented artists,’ said Katie Tsouros, co-founder and CEO of Artfetch. From the beginning, Artfetch planned to become a global presence. The company aims to become the leading presence for online art exchange. ‘We want to make art buying as simple, safe, fun and meaningful for people as possible,’ said Tsouros. In November, Artfetch celebrates its international growth with an ‘Artfetch Offline’ exhibition in Berlin. For more information, visit artfetch.com.
Just to clarify, exactly what sort of e-commerce services does Artfetch provide to its artists? What makes the company unique?
Artfetch is a curated ecommerce platform for emerging artists. A team of experts vet and select up-and-coming artists from around the world, represent them and sell their work online via the website. We act as the agent, promoting their work and connecting them with buyers globally, and taking a commission on all sales. For our customer that means you can see art that you would never previously have had access to, which is well curated and well presented, and for the artists that means they are reaching new audiences and buyers that they wouldn’t easily have had an entry point to before.
Why has Artfetch decided to take the company global?
It was our intention to be a globally focused company from the outset. The vision is for Artfetch to represent all of the world’s most talented new artists, to be the go-to place for the next generation of art stars and be the dominant player in the emerging part of the online art market.
At only two years old, Artfetch is still a relatively young company. What have you done to launch such a large scale global campaign in relatively little time?
When we launched the site last year somebody said to me it’s the goals that you set about where you want to be in five years time, the vision, and the small steps you take every single day to get there that matters, nothing else in between. So I guess from the beginning we had a clear plan and mission, as all companies starting out do, and we’ve always kept that in mind, some things work and some don’t but you need to always show progress towards the end goal.
What do you hope to accomplish with this expanded global presence? Is there a specific goal you have in mind?
To have talented artists from all over the world reaching new buyers and collectors, and for our customers to be able to see and own art from exceptional artists from every part of the globe, getting access to work they wouldn’t usually have such an opportunity to see. We want to make art buying as simple, safe, fun and meaningful for people as possible. We want to be the place that people go to to find the best young artists out there.
As you take Artfetch to different countries, do you find that you have to adapt your traditional business practices to the specifics of foreign art markets?
I think you have to be sensitive and aware of cultural nuances, and sometimes there are slightly different practices, language often being the main barrier, but mostly the principle remains the same. As yet we haven’t encountered any major issues.
How do you identify foreign markets that would benefit from the services of Artfetch?
It’s mostly down to experience, all of the team have a knowledge and background in contemporary art and art business and we keep up to date on current reports, trends, articles and what’s happening in the art world, as well as customer feedback and growing desires for our services. The US is the largest art market in the world so that was an obvious progression, and Asia is a fast growing emerging market that we intended targeting from early on, especially China which has received a lot of attention in recent years and is a market that has been widely reported on. We’re now seeing it develop quite significantly into an outward facing market, whereas previously it was relatively closed.
What other plans are in the works for the company’s future?
In the immediate future we have our first birthday coming up on 30th October and we plan to celebrate with lots of great special offers for our subscribers, customers & supporters, then on the 14th November we have our first Artfetch Offline exhibition coming up in Berlin at GSL Projekt, and of course we’re gearing up for Christmas. In the longer term we plan to continue to grow our global presence, launching in new markets with more and more Artfetch partners and curators working on the ground, searching for great artists and connecting them to buyers and art lovers. We have lots of plans for developing the platform, an Artfetch prize, and many other things but they are a bit down the line. And of course the grand vision remains, to be the go-to place for the newest emerging artists from all over the world.
Is there anything else that you would like the readers of Totally Dublin to know about Artfetch?
We provide a free curatorial service and help our clients find for the perfect piece of art for them, or for a gift, with prices ranging from €75 to around €4,000. With some expert help it’s the best way to start buying art that you love with great investment potential, so get in touch!
To find out more, check out Artfetch.com
Words: Keri Heath