Nicolas Tissot in front of Julio le Pac's painting at Galerie Perrotin booth at TEFAF
Hello Nicolas, it's a pleasure and a honour to have a conversation with you today. As a Millennial collector, you already have quite an established art collection. I'd love to know more!
Can you start by describing your Instagram account in three words?
Arty, Enthusiastic, Educative
Could you tell me more about yourself and your connection to the art industry?
I’m a French art enthusiast and art collector.
I started my Instagram account in 2016 - as everyone around me was talking about this app - and it appears that people reacted positively by liking and commenting my posts, appreciating my stories and following my journey in the artworld. I’m also discussing art in Clubhouse; that’s where we met!
Now, after almost 10 years of collecting art, I can reflect a little bit on my journey. I spend my free time visiting art galleries, museums, art fairs, artist’s studios and collector’s houses across Europe. I also travel the world for art visits (Covid-19 period aside of course).
When and where did you buy your first art piece?
I had to wait until I got my first salary to constitute my first acquisition budget. I did not wait too long. I acquired my 2 first paintings from a French young artist 6 months after starting my professional career and 3 more artworks from an international artist during the same year. Quite a quick start for a newbie in the art world, isn’t it?
I was lucky enough to be well coached at start. Art-aholic would you say? Definitely “YES”!
Mohamed Bourouissa's photo via Homaar platform -el gringo - 2019
Do you ever buy art online?
My first experience buying art online was in 2014 when I bought 2 drawings made by a well-known artist at auction. To be honest, even if I knew how auctions worked at that time, I was quite afraid to buy online for the very first time. Therefore, I asked someone else to buy them for me. Not because I was not accustomed to the tool but I was afraid not being able to control myself and stop bidding on the lots when necessary. I was not even attending the auction when the lots I desired were put up for sale. Few minutes later I won the two lots!
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, I’m more willing to buy art online at auctions, via art galleries viewing rooms/PDF or directly to artists via social networks (to avoid naming any well-known photos social media platform). Now, I am confident enough to see a photo of an artwork and confirm the purchase.
"Art gives you access to another world, another time, something else to think about. It helps deepen our understanding of life somehow. Your art collection also reveals a part of who you are."
Ra'anan Levy's painting - 2012
I’m very curious… Why did you start collecting art? What value does it bring to your everyday life?
Since my young age – I’m not that old, am I? – I’m interested in visual arts. I felt it was important but I did not know why and, more importantly, I had no budget to spend. When I try to remember my young years, I was always collecting something (playing cards, figurines, toys, books, etc.). I grown-up and evolved, my tastes and my budget too but not my collecting habits.
No matter the fact the art gives you interesting topics to discuss about or the opportunity to meet people in various fields you would have no chance to meet without this common interest; I would say – and I did not realize it before the Covid-19 pandemic - that art clearly helps free your minds. Art literally saved my mental health during the compulsory lockdown. Looking at the art on my walls helped me go quite easily through this bad period. Art gives you access to another world, another time, something else to think about. It helps deepen our understanding of life somehow. Your art collection also reveals a part of who you are. Showing your art collection to others is also accepting to drop the barriers. Am I ready for it? That’s the question.
However, I like to think that no one owns an artwork (even if we can buy it). A collector only owns the right to have it at home for a certain period of time before it moves to another place. In the end, the world heritage keeps the ownership of art.
Do you sometimes re-sell the artworks on the secondary market?
Never! I’m lucky enough not to have to sell the artworks I possess for the moment. In the situation I have to do it in the future, it would be due to a lack of budget to acquire another artwork. It’s not in my intention to sell an artwork of my collection to pay for expenses. Doing so would be the ultimate way; after all, we never know what is going to happen in the future.
Would you share some of your art collection with us?
I try to remain quite silent about the artworks I have in my collection. We never know who is reading the information published online… but my Instagram account shows what I like, so… You can also see my name in catalogues of institutional exhibitions.
I would say my preference goes to paintings and drawings but I don’t exclude other types of medium (engravings, photos, sculptures, etc.). So far, without having a clear focus for it, I recently noticed working on my inventory that my art collection is diverse but spread quite equally. There is also a clear split between two main fields: contemporary art and art brut, no matters the size of the artworks or if they are made by young, mid-career of well-known artists. I wish I had the budget for modern art but… I don’t.
I’m also thinking about opening my 100% virtual private museum in the future. My Instagram account is a good starting point. I think I own interesting pieces to share with others.
"Of course, as a young collector, you have to buy artworks of your time. Art from young or living artists and from young galleries."
There are more and more Millennials non-art insiders who are interested in buying original art. What advice would you give them?
That’s funny because I shared some tips and tricks on my Instagram account during the lockdown. I was not sure about their success but it turned out that my followers liked them and reacted to them. I’m going to concentrate on the 3 main keys that rule my behavior as an art collector:
- Buy only what you like;
- Avoid borrowing money for an acquisition;
- Refrain yourself from buying art as an investment.
It’s important because rare are the people who have unlimited budget which allow them to buy everything. Due to budget constraints, collectors are often obliged to make some kind of arbitrage between several works. Trust me, arbitrage is not an easy exercise. However, it helps you build a consistent art collection.
Of course, as a young collector, you have to buy artworks of your time. Art from young or living artists and from young galleries. This first phase is more in line with your budget and it resonates with your life. You have time to concentrate later on purchasing artworks by well-known artists, buying at big art galleries and going through the secondary market. This second phase requires more budget and definitely more interest in art.
I would also encourage everyone to have a look at art brut. Not easy at first sight but so inspiring.
What’s your point of view on the future of art buying?
There are more artists, more galleries and more people who want to buy art than ever. There is so much talent around us. However, budget is always the tricky part.
I see more and more artists making prints. This is quite the middle point between the two parties. Artists who are making art for a living are able to regularly sell at a lower price and buyers with low budget can purchase an artwork at a cheaper price. Keeping in minds limited edition prints are not originals, an artist’s print is always better than a highly produced commercial poster (to avoid naming any well-known Swedish furniture brand).
Another point, is the current trend to have more and more people wanting to consider art as an investment, which is a toxic behavior from my point of view. But this is another topic to discuss…
The most important question for the future of art would be to consider the impact of art on the environment. I think the art professionals should consider it carefully and find a way to improve, especially regarding transportation, packaging and exhibition staging. I’m honest, I don’t have the solution for the moment but I think social media are positive in that way. They help people seeing art without actually traveling to experience the exhibitions in person across the globe. So the importance for the museums, artists and art galleries to have social media accounts as well as art influencers.
Finally, what’s your favorite artwork on Art From Future and why?
Would it be fair to spot an artist and not the others? I don’t have a favorite artwork but I would say that the French art student Sybille Goldet caught my eye.
Thank you so much Nicolas
You are welcome! Thank you for contacting me.