FRANÇOIS BLANC, FOUNDER OF COMMUNIC'ART “Arteïa HAS A POSITIVE IMPACT ON ART MARKET PRACTICES”
François Blanc, founder of Communic’art, is the advisor for Arteïa, the ultimate art collection management and cataloguing software.
Created by and for art collectors, Arteïa takes into account all aspects of artwork management, documentation and valorisation.
The renowned publisher Cahiers d’Art has called on the technology of Arteïa to edit, under the brand name Raisonline, digital catalogues raisonnés with blockchain-secured data.
Arteïa comprises numerous developments that will stimulate the trust of the art market.
Can you tell us about your journey and what has led you to be the Arteïa advisor?
François Blanc: In 2004, I founded Communic'Art as an all-round communication agency to meet the needs of culture, art, design and architecture professionals with regards to communication strategies.
The idea is to establish the narrative as well as the means clearly before rolling out a coherent communication via press relations, a strong exposure on social media and the internet, a worldwide projection and the publication of catalogues and monographs made available in libraries and major selling websites.
The same year, I also launched Archipresse Media Consulting, a print and online written communication agency that advises press editors and takes care of and publishes, on behalf of businesses, online magazines and information systems for their clients or staff.
I am both a collector and a communication and marketing professional with in-depth knowledge of art market matters, in France and abroad.
These are the reasons why the founders of Arteïa, Philippe Gellman (CEO), Marek Zabicki (CTO) and Olivier Marian (CSO) have found it beneficial to welcome Communic’Art onboard to support their development.
What are the main features of Arteïa, the ultimate art collection management and cataloguing software?
François Blanc: Arteïa is part of a wider trend of technological integration in data and artwork exchanges within the art market.
These technologies make complex information much more readily available for art world professionals and neophytes alike.
Arteïa is an art collection management tool. It enables art collectors to catalogue all the data concerning the origin, location, status and valorisation of the artworks.
Thanks to a dedicated 25-strong team of developers who have worked on the project for the past 3 years, Arteïa offers better functionalities than any other solution in this field.
What impact do you anticipate Arteïa, the ultimate art collection management and cataloguing software, could have on the art world?
Arteïa’s purpose is to enable art collectors to fully gauge their decisions with regards to the management of their artworks, the acquisition of new ones and the development of their collection.
Anything geared towards assisting collectors to manage their acquired artworks contributes to a maturation of the market, which can only help to establish it for the long term.
Investors such as Hugues and Marie Taittinger, the Marian family, among other investors – 21 in total, all of them art collectors – have fully understood this.
These days, technologies are clearly increasingly present and used in the art world and, like Arteïa, play a growing role in the evolution of market practices. What is your view on this?
François Blanc: One can read in the Hiscox Report 2019 on the online art market that “the lack of transparency remains a source of concerns among collectors”.
But 84 % of respondents (vs. 45 % in 2017) believe that technology can improve the traceability of artworks, namely thanks to the systems rooted in the blockchain.
55 % of participating online art buyers have said that they planned to buy more artworks in the next 12 months, which represents an increase compared to 2018 (52 %).
According to the prospects for growth, it is estimated that the online art market will be worth $ 9.32 billion by 2024.
Instagram remains the most valued social media platform in the art world, with 65% of respondents saying that it is their preferred social media platform for all things relating to art.
Today, the art world blockchain is most relevant to check provenance and register property of artworks and collectable items.
Arteïa is part of this trend and is a clear example today of the positive contribution that technologies bring to the market, the sustainable development of which rests on the buyers’ trust.
This is the first digital catalogue raisonné solution rooted in the blockchain set up by the publisher Cahiers d’Art and Arteïa. What is it about?
François Blanc: Cahiers d’Art, the celebrated publisher of catalogues raisonnés of Pablo Picasso, Ellsworth Kelly and soon Frank Gehry, has called on Arteïa’s technology, the ultimate art collection management and cataloguing software.
Founded in 1926 by Christian Zervos at 14 rue du Dragon in the heart of Paris’ Saint-Germain-des-Prés quarter, and now under the leadership of Staffan Ahrenberg, Cahiers d’Art is the publisher of the catalogues raisonnés of Pablo Picasso, Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Gehry.
Thanks to the unique alliance of Arteïa’s technology and the premium content of Cahiers d’Art, Raisonline is a digital catalogues raisonnés solution rooted in the blockchain that will, I believe, become a benchmark for art market professionals, artists and collectors alike.
What are the breakthroughs that the introduction of such advanced technologies in the production of catalogues raisonnés enables?
This solution enables the fully secure storage on the blockchain of data regarding the existence and the provenance of artworks, with information directly approved by the artists or their estates.
Thanks to the unique alliance of Arteïa’s technology and the secure premium content of Cahiers d’Art, a benchmark in digital catalogues raisonnés rooted in the Blockchain is offered for the first time to art market professionals, artists and collectors.
This breakthrough was made possible thanks to Arteïa’s technology, a highly secure, comprehensive and intuitive cataloguing solution that facilitates the inventory management, visualisation, logistics, financial optimisation and sharing of collections with the assurance of total confidentiality for the collector.
These technological advances bring real and direct benefits to professionals, collectors and, not least, artists.
Arteïa today is an art collection cataloguing software, but with an aim to give collectors the ability to make their collection come alive thanks to exchange and transaction facilities.
François Blanc: Indeed. I have always thought that a system that would allow art collectors to interact with each other to sell and purchase artworks without being subject to a 40-50 % deduction – the typical difference between the price paid by the buyer and the amount received by the seller – would be welcome.
This gap, which includes commissions, fees, taxes, is the cost of brokerage. To bring this cost down would be an appealing prospect likely to help the flow of exchanges in what is called the second market.
This probably does not apply to the most expensive artworks but suits the best part of artworks owned by art collectors.
Many market stakeholders are interested in this possible practice enabled by the integration of technologies secured by the blockchain, making contemporary art’s second market more fluid and therefore more virtuous. It would be very beneficial to the first market as it needs confident collectors.
What are the necessary conditions for the first market to benefit from a fluidity in the second market?
The transparency of data guaranteed by Arteïa offers its members a secure relation within its art collector community.
Taking advantage of its technological breakthrough, there is an opportunity for Arteïa to write a new chapter to boost an evolution of market tools most useful for the many collectors who want to make their collection come alive thanks to exchange and transaction facilities.
What is good for the second market will be good for the first market. All stakeholders will benefit from it. Arteïa is working it.