We are experiencing an unprecedented interest in Contemporary Art. Last year the Tate attracted a whopping figure of 7 million visitors of which 4.8 million visited just one space: the Tate Modern. 41% of visitors to Tate Liverpool said their reason for coming to the city was to visit Tate. No wonder with such passion for Art many young students are graduating from Art schools. Galleries play a pivotal role in presenting new talent to a wider audience outside the University environment, but it may take several years before they spot the next Picasso. Chloé Bonafous, the director and founder of MyArtsphere.com, wants to address this by creating the first 21st Century online salon. Young artists will be able to connect with other artists and Art lovers to share their creation process and their artworks via a uniquely tailored online platform. The face to face traditional salon will also be organised in the form of regular events to facilitate a strong and ever expanding supportive positive community.
The project is backed by active organisations supporting the next generation of makers such as Made In Arts London, the University of the Arts (UAL) promotion team and it includes talented people in the committee such as: Becca Pella-Fry, Director of The Griffin Gallery in White City, London; Lord Dennis Stevenson, ex-chairman of the Trustees of Tate Gallery (1988-1998) and the previous chancellor of the University of the Arts London (UAL); Susana Gállego Cuesta, curator at Le Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux Arts de Paris; and Jessica Carlisle, curator and founder of pop-up galleries in London and New York. An exciting Kickstarter was launched on the 1st of June. Everybody is invited to join in.
Untitled by Viriyah Edgar Karet
Bonafous has kindly agreed to respond to the following questions:
1. Can you please tell us a bit about your background?
I have been lucky to be born in an art city, Albi, in the South of France and in a loving family that cherish art. I fell in love with art very early on and studied art and history for a few years and in parallel with my business studies. I then worked for 2 years during my studies for the direction of the Museum of Fine Arts at the Petit Palais in Paris. While in Paris, I made the most of this amazing city by attending Beaux-Arts and Ecole du Louvre classes, but also a lot of exhibitions, and other cultural events. My time in Paris reinforced my love for art. I then worked as a strategy consultant for more than 5 years in Paris and then in London. So, one year ago, after having identified the strong need for some of my artist friends to have access to a platform to connect with each other, to promote their art and solidify their network, I decided to develop the project.
2. Where did the idea of creating an online salon for young art graduates come from? Where did the title: "MyArtsphere" come from?
At first from some of my artist friends, discussing with them but also understanding their challenges and their needs. It also comes from my own interest in Art. Last but not least, I have worked on different projects that apply new technologies, in doing so I realised that Art is one of the few areas in which the internet has not brought more transparency and more meritocracy.
I wanted a name that implies a community, as the main aim of My Artsphere is to provide young artists with a community they can be part of. A community is a sphere of people sharing a common interest. Sphere is also a geometric and aesthetic shape, so I really liked this double meaning. Artsphere sounds a bit like Atmosphere and I really like that too: something light that support you and that makes you feel alive, that was perfect!
FleshCube Study by Jack Spencer Ashworth
3. Has it been challenging to get on board such an ambitious committee of talented people and the backing of the University of the Arts London?
I have been extremely lucky to find amazing people on my way and strangely enough it has not been that difficult. I think all my partners are aware of the need for such a tool for young artists, because they work with young artists.
4. You are launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to create a state of the art MyArtsphere website. What are the highlights of the campaign?
The rewards we have created for the people backing My Artsphere on kickstarter are really attractive. Three artists gave some of their pictures for us to be able to print them on canvas bags and notebooks but also to print them as very limited, numbered and signed editions! We have also created a catalogue of promising young artists selected by the advisory committee. Finally, the main backers will also be invited to the "artist only" events that we will regularly run with young artists on the platform. Participating in the campaign by backing the project, is being part of the My Artsphere community from its initiation, but is also about being in a privileged position to acquire stakes in My Artsphere when it evolves into a company. The unique 21st century online art salon!
To participate in the Kickstarter campaign, please visit website: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2122296969/my-artsphere
For more information about MyArtsphere, please visit website: http://www.myartsphere.com
Untitled by Anais Ysebaert