Ambitious and forward-looking, Mathilde Soubie, co-founder and president of Studio Artera, gives us the details of these new structures that are disrupting the functioning of the art market: artist agencies.
Hi Matilda. Can you tell us about your first relationship with art, as well as your background?
I developed a very young passion for art, especially visual art, which came very naturally to me. After graduation, I thought a lot about the future of my education. I was torn between taking an art history course or a business school prep course. My heart told me to do art history, but my mind and those around me pushed me to join prep school and then EM Lyon.
At the end of my studies, I did my internship at Tokyo Palace, in the corporate sponsorship team. After that, I was hired at the Paris Opera. After three years, I really missed the world of contemporary art. I couldn’t see myself opening a gallery, I wanted to think of something a little different and that would suit me 100%. That’s when I had the idea to create a talent agency in the visual arts sector.
Did you identify a specific need in the market to create Studio Artera?
I had identified two needs. First, artists who often find it difficult to make a living from gallery sales and, for many, want to break free from the shackles of white walls and pursue larger projects. Then the willingness of companies, structures of all sizes, to join forces with artists to tell new stories and bring out their DNA.
Can you tell us a little more about how your agency Studio Artera works?
We position ourselves as a talent agency in the visual arts sector. We are looking for what we consider to be the most promising talents on the contemporary scene; in these different mediums: painting, photography, sculpture, digital art. After signing these talents, our mission is to bring their art to the public. We create collaborations between our artists and our companies, between our artists and our communication campaign brands, and between our artists and public structures to develop public art projects in urban space.
What are the values that drive you?
First, “beautiful”. How to restore the place of beauty in our increasingly gray cities? It’s beautifully inspiring, it evokes a certain joy, and I think our society needs it today.
We also use the word “courage” a lot: we encourage our artists to do new projects, to push themselves. The brands we work with are also bold: they associate themselves with talent that sometimes breaks out of their field.
What is the selection process like for your artists?
We have several criteria. First, artistic talent: how an artist can master a medium and do it with perfection. The second criterion is the artist’s thought, what he wants to convey. Thirdly, it is very important for the artist to be relevant to the times, to offer slightly different works, not what we see. Finally, the fourth criterion is the personality of the artist. It is necessary to work with artists who want to get out of the traditional field of the art market, to implement bigger projects than themselves and to go beyond the classical exhibition framework.
What makes your agency different from an art gallery?
It’s a very different way of working: where a gallery would reach a few dozen people a day, we can reach millions of people with our projects. We don’t bring the same to artists.
I think the agency model will grow in the art market, we often say that we want our artists to be in the lead role. Galleries are very good in the art market, they do their job very well, but we try to get out of it all and create stars!
Can you tell us about your projects, future and past? How do you see your structure developing?
We are very proud of our collaboration with the Prada brand, which is our first major project. Artist Itchi intervened in their Printemps Haussmann boutique in Paris. His role was to design works on site, which were then handed over to customers who came into the store. All passing customers could leave with a piece as a memorable photo of their visit.
We also recently released a collaboration with spirits brand Le Barteleur, where Itchi created limited edition boxes.
We are also working on public art projects, notably a very large mural in an urban space in the 10th arrondissement of Paris with Caroline Derveaux. I’m not revealing the location yet, but it will be out soon!
We see ourselves as a large, structured agency. There are many independent agents in the art market. We want to grow, recruit, have more artists, bigger projects. We understand that there is a huge market, with needs on both the artist and client side. In ten to fifteen years, talent agencies will have the same place in the market as acting or sports agencies. We want to be the pioneers and pioneers of this trend.
more information about website From Studio Artera.
Interview with Ines Dezauzie