Growing up, one of my many passions in life has been art–from abstract to pop culture and photography. But ultimately my greatest passion is for contemporary art, a passion that was passed on to me through family generations, and which throughout the years has become a day-to-day reality that has eventually translated into an addiction–and a difficult one to fulfill.
In terms of context, abstract art (or modern art) exploded back in the 20th century, as artists from all over the world were able to portray the changes taking place in society. Science and technology played an important role, but totalitarianism, World Wars, and oppression were the main triggers of the new art movements that transformed the art landscape globally.
Fast-forward several decades. Today, contemporary art has become a channel for true freedom of expression and has evolved into an industry worth more than US$64 billion. Yet this same industry has reached a stage where it has become very difficult to differentiate between true expressionism and opportunism.
This was the state of things when I came across WeTransfer (my meaningful media). Yes, you heard me correctly–the file-sharing website that a lot of us use on a daily basis. Most people might not know this, but WeTransfer has a sister site, WePresent, where consumers can access information about the artists who are highlighted on WeTransfer’s main screen. This strategy paid off as WeTransfer advanced well beyond a functional product and positioned themselves as a center of creativity where people from all over the world can express, share, and celebrate art. WePresent has been able to democratize an industry that had become too posh for many, and to a certain extent rather absurd. Through the platform, both artists and art lovers are able to go deeper. They are able to share and understand art, and, most importantly, are given a common workspace where they can tell their own stories in a way that was not previously available.
I believe that art is a very subjective topic. It is a mixture of self-expression and self-interpretation. A challenging mix that is frequently translated as: “I could have done that…” Yet it’s unlikely that any other industry as sizable as art genuinely shows the meaning of self-expression in every possible shape and form. Today, many of us observe it purely as an investment opportunity driven by big pockets and big industry names: Miró, Tàpies, Picasso, Basquiat. However, there are a select few who view the industry from a different perspective, one that’s driven by subjective taste, personal enjoyment, and bank account limitations.
For me personally, WeTransfer has become one of my main sources of information and has supported me in my ongoing quest to identify new artists from all over the world. The artist curation is exceptional; it’s blind to stereotypes, with no filters or codes. A neutral space that welcomes everyone to celebrate freedom of expression.
With the digitization of the industry, unknown artists have the opportunity to broaden their reach and introduce themselves to the world, rather than being left at the mercy of a gallery or two in their neighborhood. Digital galleries have truly expanded this reach, specifically with the rise of e-commerce galleries such as Artsy, Artfinder, and Saatchi Art. These are bringing a vital breath of fresh air to an industry that for many years has been very opaque and inaccessible to most. Luckily for me, I have the best of both worlds: a reliable source and a channel to feed my passion for art. The bank account is a different conversation…