arts and cultures

Young art collectors: who are they?

How is the cultural sector evolving? What are the behaviours and motivations of young contemporary art collectors in France today? Are they committed players in cultural outreach? What are the elements conducive to the birth of a collection? It is indeed this new generation that will create the collections of tomorrow. So what are their new acquisition practices: are galleries still popular? Based on the research of a specialist in the history of modern and contemporary art, a first edition of a series of round tables is organized around questions related to the evolution of the cultural sector, the art market and its practices. 
AWhat's a collector? Its definition covers different practices: some approaches emphasize the subjective value attached to the object, while others stress the importance of the process of accumulation and selection. In addition to being an acquirer, the contemporary art collector is likely to have an impact on artistic life, in particular through the material support given to artists and by contributing to the construction of artistic value. This particularity is all the more notable since the collector's commitment is no longer the prerogative of a single wealthy elite. Indeed, it appears that collectors' practices unfold along a continuum ranging from the collector-acquirer, driven by the need to own a work, to the collector-actor, for whom acquisition is merely the expression of his or her desire to contribute to the vitality of the artistic scene.
The numerous transformations that the world of contemporary art and its market have undergone have helped to redesign the image and role of collectors, who now seem to be able to act in depth on a globalized, hypermediatized ecosystem, subject to strong speculative strategies and in the process of being digitized. New trends are emerging. Already at FIAC 2016, "buy to buy" no longer seemed to be the order of the day; there were enthusiasts involved in the production of pieces or even exhibitions thanks to participatory financing, typical of the Internet generation. Helping to create seemed to be the trend of this new generation. 
And what about the so-called "classic" places of shopping such as galleries or fairs? If we take for example the Affordable Art Fair in Milan until January 28th, which gives major visibility to the latest trends in contemporary art accessible to all, as it does not exceed the sum of 6,000 euros, there is increased attendance by artists, gallery owners and collectors. The event aims to differentiate itself from "classic" fairs. It is intended to be a moment of meeting, exchange and sharing of the latest artistic trends in a dynamic and welcoming atmosphere. The event is thus structured around numerous initiatives: guided tours, workshops and fun activities for both children and adults, allowing them to experiment with certain techniques in the company of artists, notably with the participation in the creation of collective works of art. To democratize art? 
To better understand how the identity of a young collector is constructed, Frédéric de Clercq, AXA ART's General Agent of Record, is launching the first edition of a series of roundtable discussions on issues related to the evolution of the cultural sector, the art market and its practices: "Young collectors, marketing label or redefining practices? "on Wednesday 31 January 2018 at 6 pm.
This meeting is based on the research carried out since 2012 by Thibault Bissirier on the practices and motivations of young contemporary art collectors (postgraduate thesis). On January 31, 2018, he will present the main lines of his thesis, which will be followed by a round table discussion composed of by Hélianthe Bourdeaux-Maurin (founder and director of the H Gallery, Paris), Joseph Kouli (young collector),Nicolas Laugero-Lasserre (young collector, founder of Artstik Rezo), Leopold Meyer (President of the Société des Amis du centre Pompidou), Sébastien Peyret (young collector, founder of the Lumière Group in Marseille), Romane Sarfati (Director General of the Cité de la Céramique - Sèvres & Limoges) and moderated by Clément Thibault (art critic, curator).
The event will allow professionals and amateurs alike to better understand the expectations and spirit of this young generation.
Young collectors. For Clément Thibault, art critic and curator, "A noun full of symbols, sometimes fantasy, coupled with the adjective that best represents the spirit of our time. Today, we listen to - and elect - young people. In the end, an expression that questions, because it is paradoxical. Young collector, it implies that the practice remains reserved for an elite, white temples and black tuxedo - and it is true, all reports show that the average collector is a man over fifty -, while proclaiming the opposite.
Of course, grouping all international collectors under 45 years of age under the same banner implies some concessions. The media portrays the exploits of a Yusaku Maezawa, capable of paying extravagant sums at auction houses to take Basquiat as a trophy. Thibault Bissirier's excellent thesis a reality that is far less glamorous for magazine columns, but just as vital for the art world - if not more so.
But deep down, what distinguishes, or not, these young collectors from their elders? The act of buying seems to be motivated by the same reasons that drove Victor Chocquet to collect Cézanne. Passion for all, emotion for some, reflection for others - and profit for a few cynics. Are these the ways to build up and/or promote their collection (and its artists), sometimes with little means but inventiveness? This is the case of Nicolas Laugero-Lasserre, who exhibits his collection at École 42 and Station F, or Sebastien Peyret, who has pooled his resources with other collectors by founding the Lumière group in Marseille.
Is it the inexperience of youth, as Joseph Kouli esteems, filled with enthusiasm and ardour? Has the cultural context in which these young collectors grew up had an influence? At least in France, this generation grew up under the tutelary figure of Jack Lang, in cultural democratization, social networks and the Internet.
And what about taste and training? Prescriptive powers change... but to what degree? Is the expert put in competition by the clear democratization of databases? Do social networks, which already function as sales channels, favour particular forms?
And isn't being a young collector also a particular state of mind? In which case some people remain young collectors all their lives. In short, it is without (re)playing the quarrel between the old and the new that the round table will attempt to shed light on these questions. »

The organizers

Frédéric de Clercq
Frédéric de Clercq, AXA ART's general agent, advises professionals and individuals on their insurance needs. His team is specialized in the artistic field, where it accompanies many artists, art craftsmen, galleries, auction houses, collectors and restorers in France and abroad.
Thibault Bissirier (speaker)
After training in classical literature, Thibault Bissirier specialized in the history of modern and contemporary art. This theoretical and conceptual approach, which was validated by obtaining a degree in Art History, was subsequently completed by a Master's degree in "Art Market" at the Ecole du Louvre, where he is currently pursuing his research on the practices and motivations of young contemporary art collectors (postgraduate thesis). Parallel to his studies, Thibault Bissirier has personally invested himself in the promotion of contemporary artistic creation and the places of its diffusion to young audiences, notably through the creation and animation of the association CLAC! Club d'Art Contemporain (, co-founded in 2014 with Jean-Baptiste Héraud. In addition to these associative commitments, he has also been the assistant of several gallery owners and art advisors, before collaborating with the gallery owner Isabelle Gounod since 2015.
Clément Thibault (moderator)
Clément Thibault is an independent art critic and curator. He has acquired a fine knowledge of contemporary art and the art world by being editor-in-chief of Art Media Agency (AMA) for two years. After various experiences in the art world - in auction houses, in an international architecture firm and by assisting the art adviser Laurence Dreyfus -, he refocused himself in the world of journalism, then of criticism, notably through numerous interventions at Art Media Agency, La Gazette Drouot, Art Absolument or the magazine Critique d'art, then for institutions (Centre Pompidou, Centre d'art Campredon...), galleries and artists. Clément Thibault teaches at ICART, EAC and IESA in subjects as diverse as "History of Digital Art", "Constitution of a Quote" or "History of the Art Market".


Romane SARFATI, Managing Director of the Cité de la céramique - Sèvres & Limoges
Romane Sarfati, a former student of the Institut d'études politiques de Paris and ESCP Europe, holds a Master's degree in art history.
From 1992 to 1995, she was the director of the Daniel Templon gallery, then, until 2001, she was in charge, within Cryo Interactive, of the production studio for the video games in the "Historical Adventure" series, developed with the NMR. From 2002 to 2005, she was head of the Internet and audiovisual department at the Quai Branly Museum. In 2005 and 2006, Romane Sarfati was appointed Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor of Paris, in charge of heritage. In 2006, she was appointed Director of Culture at the Essonne General Council. In 2010, she founded Uah^, both a cultural production agency and a concept store specializing in Asian design, which she manages. In 2012, she joined the office of the Minister of Culture and Communication as an advisor in charge of plastic arts, architecture, design and fashion.
Since May 2014, Romane Sarfati has been director of the public establishment of the Cité de la céramique - Sèvres & Limoges, which includes the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres, the Musée national de la céramique de Sèvres and the Musée national Adrien Dubouché in Limoges. This atypical institution in the French cultural landscape combines missions of conservation and heritage enrichment with those of porcelain production and creation. The next few years will be devoted to strengthening the international artistic influence of the manufactory's creations, confirming Sèvres as a key institution in Greater Paris and creating a genuine European centre for research and the transmission of knowledge and know-how on the arts of fire.
Romane Sarfati is appointed to the rank of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, Order of 13 September 2016.
Nicolas LAUGERO-LASSERRE, young collector, founder of ARTISTIK REZO, Director of ICART
 "Culture is life-saving, because it is irreplaceable in opening minds, making them more tolerant and also distracting them. »
Curator Nicolas Laugero-Lasserre, a specialist in urban art, has organized more than 40 exhibitions over the last ten years around the movement. He has worked for the Grand Paris Sud agglomeration and the town hall of the 1st district of Paris. Passionate and a collector, his collection is on permanent display at 42 (founded by Xavier Niel).
He is currently carrying out numerous curatorial projects at Station F (the world's largest start-up campus in Paris) and at the Bordeaux Submarine Base. In the spring of 2019, he will open the doors of Fluctuart, a floating urban art centre, of which he is one of the founders.
Nicolas Laugero Lasserre is also director of ICART (the school of cultural and art market management) and founding president of Artistik Rezo (Cultural Media, Club and Art Gallery). Member of the board of directors of ADIAF (Association for the International Diffusion of French Art), he is involved in the association until the creation of the Young Collectors Department in 2014. Director of the Espace Pierre Cardin until 2015, he has developed for more than 15 years a multidisciplinary program mixing shows, exhibitions and cultural events. His activities and his professional network are transversal and focus as much on the performing arts as on the visual arts, thus offering a global vision of the cultural sector.
Hélianthe BOURDEAUX-MAURIN, founder and director of the H Gallery Paris)
 "The way of collecting hasn't really changed since the 19th century: works are still bought on a crush, a crush, to copy one's peers, to belong to a group, to fit into a norm, to get out of that norm or by speculation... It's the way and the means of getting information that have evolved. "
An art historian, Hélianthe Bourdeaux-Maurin is a graduate of the Ecole du Louvre (specialities 16th and 17th centuries), holds a Master's degree and a Master 2 at the Sorbonne (speciality "Modern and Contemporary Art") and has prepared at the Sorbonne a Doctorate in art history on a Franco-American sculptor.
From 2003 to 2010, she ran major modern and contemporary art galleries in New York City (Spike Gallery, Peter Freeman, Inc. and Parker's Box), contributed regularly to an art and fashion magazine called Whitewall Magazine. She is also an independent curator. She has represented artists as diverse as Joyce Pensato, Edith Dekyndt, Bruno Peinado, Virginie Barré, Simon Faithfull, Mel Bochner, Alex Hay and Helen Mirra.
From 2011 to 2016, she is the Exhibition Manager of the Pinacothèque de Paris both in Paris and Singapore. She organises large-scale exhibitions of ancient art: Romanov and Esterhazy, Van Gogh, Hiroshige, Leonardo da Vinci, as well as archaeology: The Mayan Jade Masks, the Kamasutra or modern and contemporary art Expressionismus: Brücke vs der Blaue Reiter, Giacometti and the Etruscans, Graffiti Art (Pressureism).
Since 2001, she has mounted or participated in more than 70 exhibitions, advised institutions and collectors both private and public, worked with more than 400 living artists, musicians, dancers and international curators, and collaborated with hundreds of museums and private collectors in the United States, Canada, Europe, India and Africa.
She has been running the H Gallery since 2016.
Léopold MEYER, President of the Society of Friends of the Centre Pompidou
 "In order to encourage a new generation to become patrons, in 2007 the Friends of the Centre Pompidou initiated Perspective, then Perspective Bienfaiteur, new membership categories dedicated to young art enthusiasts between the ages of 18 and 40 to help enrich the Centre Pompidou's national collections. They sharpen their gaze thanks to exclusive visits to artists' studios, new venues or exhibitions, while benefiting from the advice of the Centre Pompidou's curators. Becoming a Perspective member means belonging to a young group of enthusiasts and experiencing modern and contemporary art together. »
Léopold Meyer founded and manages Florac, a patrimonial investment company. After an experience in France with Les Nouveaux Constructeurs, then with neuf télécom, he left to complete his studies in architectural history in the United States. Upon his return to France, he devoted himself to managing the family business. Florac, which has developed in fields as diverse as fashion, food, real estate and energy, supports entrepreneurs with ambitious strategic projects and encourages the emergence of national and international leaders.
Léopold Meyer was elected President of the Société des Amis du Centre Pompidou in 2017.
Joseph KOULI, Young collector
"You're not born a collector, you become one. »
Joseph Kouli once understood that contemporary art was not a domain reserved for the holders of the three capitals (economic, cultural and social), but rather a domain of objects and practices which, because it was contemporary, was at the same time within its economic and cultural reach. The passage to the act of buying art took place one day in October 2006 at the Fiac. Other similar acts followed and ended up socially making him what we call a collector.
Attached to the artists of his generation, the collection now includes nearly 150 works.
These works have already been the subject of several loans in Institutions and Biennials (Venice Biennial, Kunsthalle, Hammer Museum, Museum of Fine Arts of Poitiers...) or Collectors Spaces (Summer 78 in Brussels, Atlantis in Marseille...) as well as two exhibitions dedicated to the Collection: at Mains d'Oeuvres in 2013, followed by the publication of a catalogue; at the CACC in 2017 (Centre d'Art Contemporain Chanot in Clamart - exhibition La Vie Mode d'Emploi - Curated by Madeleine Mathé assisted by Karin Schlageter).
Joseph Kouli is also a member of the Commission d'Acquisition et de Commandes of the CNAP (Centre National de Arts Plastiques), collège Arts Plastiques. He is also a member of the Selection Committee of the Art-o-Rama fairs in Marseille and Art Rotterdam. He contributed to the development of the collection management software Collector Studio.
Sébastien PEYRET, young collector, Founder of the Lumière group in Marseille
Sebastien Peyret is 42 years old and has been collecting for 10 years. He is based in Marseille where he works as a pharmacist. In order to federate and create social links around his passion for contemporary art, he created 5 years ago a group of collectors also based in Marseille, called "Lumière". The group manages a 160m2 space called "Atlantis", which allows them to exhibit emerging international artists and his collection.
Meeting on January 31 at 6 p.m. at the Hôtel de la Vaupalière (AXA Group Headquarters) - 25, avenue Matignon 75008 Paris
Follow Fabienne Marion on Facebookon LinkedIn

To go further:
– Report "Contemporary Art Collectors: Unsung Actors in Artistic Life" (in French)of the Department of Studies, Foresight and Statistics, 2015
- Information portal for urban and contemporary art Widewalls How to free oneself from prejudices and become a full art collector.
Artprice Report 2017 of contemporary art

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