Ulrich Delepee of Artsuggest Talks Art Print Editions and the Future of the Online Market
On several occasions, we’ve talked about the rise of the internet-based art market and the way it enabled collectors around the world to purchase works of the arts of any kind without ever leaving the comfort of their own home. One such platform is Artsuggest, an online contemporary art gallery specialising in Urban art editions. Since it was founded in 2009, it has established its place in the cyber universe of artwork trading and showcase, without ever having the need of an actual, physical space to do so. Recently, we caught up with its creator, French collector Ulrich Delepee, who explained the importance of an online-only gallery and platform, as well as the very business of dealing with art editions, the exciting features that ArtSuggest is offering to its clients on both sides of the art trade, and much more. Scroll down for our interesting conversation!
On ArtSuggest and the Art of Selling Editions
Widewalls: Hello Ulrich, first of all, we would like to ask you to introduce yourself to the Widewalls community.
Ulrich Delepee: Hello, my name is Ulrich Delepee and I am a French Collector who started gathering Contemporary artworks since 2008 with different pieces by artists coming from the Nouveaux Réalistes movement. In time, areas that I am interested in have enlarged and during an auction sale in Paris I met some artists specialized in Urban Art with whom I got along. So it was the beginning of an idea which transformed a project of creation of virtual environment with a view of exhibiting some works of these artists I followed and liked.
Widewalls: ArtSuggest is a Contemporary Art Gallery available online only, could you please tell us more about it? How is the concept behind an exclusively online gallery functioning?
UD: In 2009, I created Artsuggest.com, an online gallery for Urban artworks. It has since evolved to be an Online Gallery with interactive tools such as a 3D virtual environment for my exhibition and a specific place for viewing and sharing our Catalogues. For the gallery, I select large range of artworks by Contemporary artists mainly from the Urban Art. Artworks come directly from artists or from second hand sources (collectors, galleries or editor partners).
Widewalls: Your online approach incorporates a very interesting way of exhibiting and promoting the artworks; through online exhibitions in a virtual 3D environment. Would you mind elaborating a little bit on this innovative method?
UD: I wanted to make something different, not just put up works for sale in an Art shop; something more elaborating that could involve artists in a global project of exhibition… but online only. 🙂 That means putting works both on my website for shopping and in a 3D interactive area for the show. Honestly, I think the online exhibition is one of the best way to offer artworks to people, the most important is to be accompanied by good professional press and web medias as well as partners.
Widewalls: By enabling the global audience to become the viewer in your gallery, you provide shipping to Europe and Overseas. Has this proven to be more successful in terms of reaching a wider audience and increasing the sales factor?
UD: My first idea was to show and sell artworks through a website, so that collectors who were unable to reach exhibitions would be able to access it, with the possibility to acquire artworks anytime and from anywhere they are in the world. This opening to the world allows me to satisfy some collectors who are not able to visit the galleries. I have some clients based in Noumea in New Caledonia, UK, US… They appreciate their art to be delivered quickly and securely, through the services I provide (private carriers or Postal services).
On The Future
Widewalls: What are your predictions on the future of the Art Galleries, will all the gallery spaces inevitably need to accommodate their services to the digital age, or is this approach still just a trailblazing method?
UD: As of today, there are two different approaches: Traditional and Digital. Most of the galleries are more focused on developing the customer networks through Art Fairs or trade exhibitions… not really preoccupied with the digital approach. At the same time, some new online sales platform like ArtNet and Paddle8 emerge every day. Even some traditional houses such as notorious Auction Houses adopt online auctions in order to increase their sales. I would say digital is the future for each type of commerce regardless of what you sell.
Widewalls: You’ve represented numerous prominent artists from the Urban Art scene, as well as the emerging ones, who are some of your personal favorites?
UD: From the beginning my motivation has been to show artists I like, their style and work process. My interest is not only for distinguished and already recognized artists but also emerging ones. My customers purchase a piece of art of an artist they already know. They discover a new artist, not well known, while visiting artsuggest.com. Emerging artists benefit from this visibility provided via our online gallery. It encourages me to continue to exhibit artworks of different artists.
Widewalls: Who are the artists you would like to display in the future?
UD:There are many and many artists I would like to collaborate for an online exhibition. My dream is to display artworks by the Os Gemeos brothers. It would be great to have their works on paper. Nevertheless, I like also to display the same artist several times just to show how they evolved in time.
Widewalls: What are the next plans and projects for ARTSUGGEST?
UD: I have been working on a project of exhibiting around 300 Vinyl covers designed by Urban artists. But It should not be displayed in a 3D interactive environment, not yet. 🙂
Currently on view at ArtSuggest are the works of Speedy Graphito, be sure to check them out at ArtSuggest.com!
All images courtesy of ArtSuggest.