Artsper has met with Guy Boyer, Editor of the Connaissance des Arts magazine. He shared with us his favorite artists and his selection of artworks featured on Artsper.
Artsper: The Connaissance des Arts magazine has been around for more than 60 years now. Could you present its evolution in a few words?
The magazine was born in the ‘50s when a few art lovers gathered around auctioneer maître Rhins. It has worked really well until 2000. It had 50,000 subscribers, it was sold internationally and had many important collectors in its audience. LVMH has bought the magazine in 2000 and it has become more open to contemporary art, design, photography, video, subjects that took less space at the beginning; it kept its orientation towards decorative arts though, even if today it’s harder to sell decorative arts than at the time. The audience demands more contemporary art and it is this openness to all these subjects that interests me. It is a journal, not an art magazine; it’s more dynamic, featuring portraits of people, interviews. It’s less formal and less cold.
A: How do you choose the web and print articles?
We don’t have the same readers for the print and web versions. The interesting thing for us is that the Internet brings us a younger audience, a more international one. When we see the number of Facebook likes, we are at 17,000 likes today, the places they come from are incredible, there are many people from the Arab world, from countries in South America…
A:Where to you position Connaissance des Arts compared to publications such as Art Press or Beaux-Arts Magazine (that you have led in the past)?
We are much more traditional than the two of them. Art Press deals mainly with contemporary art, Beaux Arts is mostly interested in cool contemporary art. We have a much more classical approach, but on the other hand we have a complete opening towards subjects varying from archeology to contemporary art, design, gardens, so it covers a much wider panel, and a style of writing that I think is more serious. Our goal is not to pull media stunts, but to pursue these subjects while giving our readers some entry points to the world of contemporary art.
A: Are you a collector yourself?
Yes, and a compulsive one.
A: What are your favorite media?
I have a collection that I have been enriching for years, of drawings and sculptures. The problem is that it was worth nothing 20 years ago. Today, everybody turned back to modern art. And today I buy much more contemporary art.
A: What was the show that touched you the most this year?
I’d say the one that impressed me the most was the Braque retrospective. I have seen it four times, and every time I ask myself more questions. Why this artist who is so fundamental, so essential, the inventor of the cubist collage, why has he been always left aside? And why, while I find moments in his career that are fascinating, why are there moments when I get so bored of his work?
A: Do you have an artist or an artwork that you have discovered in 2013 and that you’d like to share with us?
There is a brilliant show right now in Villeneuve d’Asq, organized by Marc Donnedieu, on an impossible subject, the figuration after 1950; this exhibition is a true masterpiece, featuring very complicated artists, such as Bernard Buffet.
A: What about an artist that you have seen emerge in 2013?
I have bought a photograph of Davide Montoleone, who has received fondation Carmignac’s last award and I thought he was so brilliant, that right now I am buying one of the photos that were on the cover of the catalogue.
A: Today one can find so many things online: books, also magazines… are you more keen on the glossy paper or the screen?
If you want to know what I prefer, I’d say the instantaneity of the web fascinates me, it’s great, I’m at work until 9 pm in order to get to do all the work I have today, because today, besides working on the monthly issue, there’s a leitmotiv I’d like to keep - “web first”. For the web, it’s this spontaneity that is so fascinating. There are things we can write on the web, and that are censored in the print edition.
A: What do you think about buying art online, and more particularly about the Artsper project?
I think the most amazing thing about Artsper is that it allows you to see what sells, no matter where you are. For example an Indian client can see what sells in Paris; the limitation is that one can’t see the work. Nothing will replace seeing the work, that’s why exhibitions are so important.
A: Could you explain to us your selection on Artsper?
Nils udo: What impresses me in this series is the ephemeral element. It’s a memory of an installation he has produced and that has disappeared. I love his work in the nature.
Bernard Buffet: being against tradition, a Bernard Buffet, a work from the ‘50s, as the Femme nue debout (Nude Woman Standing), is a magnificent one. The ‘50s were the best years for Bernard Buffet. This work shows us that an artist can have bad periods but produce excellent paintings at certain moments.
Espectadores by Plademunt : a series of photos that I adore and I even advised Société Générale to buy some of these works. They have slightly surrealist settings that I find amazing.
And finally, Laurent Cammale: the monochrome series.
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