“For young galleries, it’s a great chance to meet collectors”, smiles Suzana, in her thirties from Bucharest, presenting a German artist. The international contemporary art fair Art-o-rama opened this weekend in Marseille with the ambition to support emerging creators.
The event, which is in its 15th edition, takes advantage of the end of August to bring together large fortunes interested in art while on vacation on the Côte d’Azur or in Provence, galleries from all over the world. ‘Europe, local collectors, museum or foundation curators and artists hoping to have the means to continue creating.
“We are really focusing on young and emerging artists in a city-world, Marseille, which is like a giant workshop and attracts more and more creators”, underlines Véronique Collard Bovy, director of Fraeme, the association co – organizer of the show at the artistic center of the Friche de la Belle-de-Mai.
The 44 selected galleries, in a deliberately intimate format, come from 11 countries, from Russia to France, via Romania or Germany, with this year a partnership with the Barcelona scene whose ADN gallery presents inspired drawings. social struggles by Marinella Senatore.
“Art-o-rama can serve as a validation body for young galleries who then access another level of fair after having met with us”, emphasizes Véronique Collard Bovy.
This is the experience of the Suprainfinit gallery in Bucharest, founded in 2015 by the young Romanian Suzana Vasilescu. “We came to Art-o-rama in 2019 for the first time and we made a lot of meetings, which then allowed us to be invited to Art Brussels and Arco Madrid”, she explains.
This year, she is presenting Kristin Wenzel’s ceramic orchids in Marseille. These flowers with suggestive shapes inspired the German artist during confinement, a period of intense walks in nature but also marked by “the absence of flirtation, of bodies that mingle”.
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Gallerist in Cologne (western Germany), Philipp von Rosen also sees Art-o-rama as more accessible than the Fiac de Paris, one of the three largest world contemporary art fairs with Frieze in London and Art Basel in Swiss.
“We can have a nice exhibition space here in Marseille. It’s a show where we find people interested in the concepts of art, its political meaning,” he said. On her stand, the Spanish artist Anna Malagrida photographed in a moving series the hands of punters in a PMU bar in the Paris region. For these players, gambling is a hope of escaping poverty, even if, one of them blurted out, “luck is like that, it goes, it comes”.
“We have been coming to the show from the start. There are Parisian gallery owners that we know, emerging artists, it is renewed with each edition and it allows us to see what is happening in the world of art”, confides André Duclos , collector from Marseille who walks with his wife.
This year, four awards were created. Private collectors Benoît Doche de Laquintaine and Italian collectors of the Taurisano collection as well as two companies will buy one of the works on display. “We want to shed light on painting which has sometimes been a little forgotten by contemporary art”, explained to AFP Eric Chauveau, director of Pebeo, historic manufacturer of paints for art which endows one of these new prize, won by the Italian Bea Bonafini.
“For an artist, especially at the start of his career, seeing an acquired work is a joy, a sign that gives confidence”, remarks the painter Codruta Cernea, visiting the show.
Young local artists are also getting a boost with a prize awarded by the Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur region to graduates of art schools in the South-East. The winner Flore Saunois will notably benefit from a creation aid of 2,000 euros and an exhibition space during the next Art-o-rama fair.