Artsper guarantees: secure online transactions, worldwide shipping and free returns! Find out more

Meeting with Vera Bertran, Art advisor, film director, screenwriter, and founder of Contemporary Art Collectors

Interview

Meeting with Vera Bertran, Art advisor, film director, screenwriter, and founder of Contemporary Art Collectors - illustration 1

Art advisor, film director, screenwriter, and founder of Contemporary Art Collectors, Vera Bertran is a multifaceted art lover, and expert of the contemporary art world. Her colourful and beautifully curated Instagram page inspires thousands of followers. This summer, Artsper invites you to discover Vera's world, as she tells us about her work, her ideas about art and her future plans.  www.verabertran.com.

Artsper: Could you tell us about your passion for contemporary art, and how your collection first came about?

Vera Bertran: My parents collected antiques, so from a small age I was surrounded with various kinds of art. My passion was further stoked by going to museums and reading an array art books, having been fortunate enough to have a big library in our house. I enjoyed contemporary art most of all and began collecting at the age of 19. After finishing school, I studied Art History and Fine Arts in London, and after completion of that I went on to study Art Business at Sotheby's Institute of Art.

Meeting with Vera Bertran, Art advisor, film director, screenwriter, and founder of Contemporary Art Collectors - illustration 1
Meeting with Vera Bertran, Art advisor, film director, screenwriter, and founder of Contemporary Art Collectors - illustration 1

Artsper: You are based in Barcelona: what are your favourite places to experience art in the city? 

Vera Bertran: One of the best ways to experience art in Barcelona is simply by taking a walk through the city. Barcelona is the world capital of Modernism and the home town of Antoni Gaudi; one of the world's most famous architects. With so many wonderful buildings around the city, you could say that Barcelona is itself a kind of outdoor museum. There is mind-blowing architecture almost everywhere you look, ranging from romanic architecture to contemporary, and from gothic to neoclassical, etc. 

My favourite museum is the Fundación Joan Miró. Designed by Josep Lluís Sert in tribute to Joan Miró, the building beautifully intertwines art and architecture, and houses a massive art collection, including all of Miró's graphic work as well as an archive containing 70,000 photos and documents that provide an insight into his working process. Furthermore, the building is also home to a library and various temporary exhibitions.

Artsper: How long have you been an art advisor? Could you tell us about Contemporary Art Collectors and the Collector Club?

It was during university that I first began advising some of my parents' friends, who were modern and antique art collectors, and wanted to start collecting contemporary art. As their collections grew in size and value, my name spread around the relevant circles and other people started to contact me. In regards to Contemporary Art Collectors, the concept started when I created an Instagram page in 2017 in order to share the art I liked. Consequently, due to its rapid growth, I decided to set up a website that would be specifically interview-focused. My reason for taking it in that direction was because I feel its more interesting to read a personal opinion coming from the people directly involved in the art world rather than just a generic article. 

The idea of making the Collectors' Club came spontaneously. Having built up a solid database of art collectors, I decided to create a private club for like-minded people who not only appreciate works or art, but also the backstory of the artists and the works themselves. It gives our members both a new and alternative way to access and collect art, often by sharing their experiences with like-minded people. 

The Collectors' Club has a “Membership by Invitation Only" policy. This means that every new Member who joins the Club must be recommended by and receive an invitation from the existing Club members.

Meeting with Vera Bertran, Art advisor, film director, screenwriter, and founder of Contemporary Art Collectors - illustration 1
Meeting with Vera Bertran, Art advisor, film director, screenwriter, and founder of Contemporary Art Collectors - illustration 1

Artsper: What are your views on the expansion of the online art market? And how do you think it will contribute to major changes in the art world in the next few years? 

Vera Bertran: In my opinion, the online market has already dramatically changed the art world, and will keep doing so even more in the coming years. The move to online has been a dominant force, one that has completely re-shaped the art industry. Major auction houses such as Christie's and Sotheby's, for example, have and continue to invest huge amounts into developing their digital and online technologies. In turn, investors are spending more and more money in the online art auction house sites like, Paddle8, Artspace, Lofty, Artbinder and Auctionata,. etc. 

Since Gagosian launched its first online viewing room at Art Basel in June 2018, it has generated millions of dollars in sales. Naturally, numerous other platforms have followed suit and also launched online 3D viewing experiences in collaboration with artists and galleries. 

Online customers can not only now browse for more information relating to the art they are interested in, but also without the added pressure of having a gallery assistant haranguing them into buying an artwork. Thus, investors feel they can make a calm decision based on rationale rather than instinct alone; a process that usually leads to better decision making that will benefit them in the long run. 

And of course, not to mention social media. Due to its enormous reach, Instagram is one of the most prominent and powerful social media networks enabling artists to directly connect with audiences.

Artsper: You are an art advisor, a film director and screenwriter. How does your passion for film interact with your passion for contemporary art, and what pushed you to pursue these two careers simultaneously? 

Vera Bertran: Its easy for me, as I just see them as different expressions of art. I always had a passion for cinema, so when the time came that I was able to study cinema I took some courses and, once I'd acquired enough experience, I began to make movies. 

Artsper: Your first short film, an incisive piece poking fun at the contemporary art world, came out last January. Could you tell us about what inspired this project and expand a bit on the criticism you address, in the form of comedy, in this short? 

Vera Bertran: It's a satirical and sarcastic take on modern society. Nowadays many people fake and exaggerate aspects of their lives in order to look more successful in the eyes of others. Strange as it may seem, ego sells, especially with the saturation of social media and widespread reach of the Internet. 

For example, You no longer have to be qualified to receive titles or awards. Its very easy you just need to pay to be awarded. Some companies are even approaching you.

For the movie,  I used an artist as an example, but it could be any other profession.

Artsper: Jumping off that last question, what is your favourite film or documentary dealing with art or the art world?

Vera Bertran: My personal favourite is Art and Craft (2014). It's one of the best art documentaries I have ever seen! The story is centred around Mark Landis, a seemingly frail and deeply peculiar man that forges works and donates them to museums simply for the pleasure of feeling like a philanthropist. It's a must watch for everybody, not only art lovers!

Artsper: You always seem to be travelling the world and working on a myriad of different projects, what are your plans for the end of 2019?

Vera Bertran: At the moment, I am working on my next short movie, which I am planning to film at the back end of 2019. I am also planning to expand the Contemporary Art Collectors website, adding some new features. My other plans I shall keep under wraps for the moment. 

Artsper: Who are the three artists that you think everyone should keep an eye on at the moment?

Vera Bertran: Chloe Wise, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Adrian Ghenie. 

Artsper: Finally, what would be your top pieces of advice for someone looking to start collecting contemporary art?

Vera Bertran: Firstly, you need to decide if you want to start collecting art as an investment or if it's just something that you enjoy. 

Second, you need to consider the budget; if you have a limited budget then I would suggest you look more towards emerging artists, possibly even checking art schools'  degree shows. 

Lastly, it's important that you discover your own tastes, get to know what you like. What visually stimulates and inspires you.


Their favourite artworks

Marlene Dumas, Before, Print

Marlene Dumas

Before, 1993
23.6 x 19.7 x 0.4 inch
Print

$2,482

Gérard Schneider, Composition, Print

Gérard Schneider

Composition, 1969
16.5 x 13.8 inch
Print

Sold out

Tom Wesselmann, Claire sitting with robe half off, Print

Tom Wesselmann

Claire sitting with robe half off, 1993
64 x 52 x 3 inch
Print

$32,000

JR, Action dans la Favela Morro da providencia - Détail Arbre et Lune, Print

JR

Action dans la Favela Morro da providencia - Détail Arbre et Lune, 2008
27.6 x 40.6 inch
Print

Sold out

Helen Frankenthaler, Un poco más, Print

Helen Frankenthaler

Un poco más, 1987
27.2 x 37 inch
Print

$6,769

Hernan Bas, The dragon's eyes, Print

Hernan Bas

The dragon's eyes, 2013
27.6 x 19.7 inch
Print

$406

Paola Pivi, Untitled (ostriches), Print

Paola Pivi

Untitled (ostriches), 2013
19.7 x 27.6 inch
Print

$406

Shepard Fairey (Obey), Wrong Path, Print

Shepard Fairey (Obey)

Wrong Path, 2017
24 x 18.1 x 0.4 inch
Print

$1,523

Francis Bacon, Seated figure, Print

Francis Bacon

Seated figure, 1983
40 x 28 inch
Print

$32,762

Takashi Murakami, Korin: Superstring Theory, Print

Takashi Murakami

Korin: Superstring Theory, 2015
28 x 28 inch
Print

Sold out

James Rosenquist, Paris Review, Print

James Rosenquist

Paris Review, 1967
32 x 32 inch
Print

$2,500

David Hockney, Homage to Michelangelo, Print

David Hockney

Homage to Michelangelo, 1975
23 x 31 inch
Print

$12,500

Willem de Kooning, Untitled, Painting

Willem de Kooning

Untitled, 1974
23 x 14 x 14 inch
Painting

$260,000

Alex Katz, Rose Bud, Print

Alex Katz

Rose Bud, 2019
44.1 x 33.1 inch
Print

$10,668

Alex Katz, Black Dress, Print

Alex Katz

Black Dress, 2015
80 x 30 inch
Print

$31,589