Sculpture - 18.1 x 5.5 x 4.1 inch
For our inaugural Collector Portrait, Artsper met Loulou de Laclais, a collector like no other. After being unable to resist a painting while he was still a student, now at the age of 28, Loulou has a beautiful collection. Impulsive, curious and always between two exhibitions, this art lover tells us how the slightly crazy desire to buy art seized him... and never left!
1. Hello Loulou, can you tell us about your first art purchase?
I discovered the works of the artist Julien Sitruk during a vernissage organised in Rennes in 2014. A student at the time, I fell in love at first sight with one of his paintings. It was called Pape and was painted in 2010 when he was only 11 years old. I was overwhelmed by the power of this work and especially after I learned that it was done at such an early age. It was difficult for me at the time to afford a painting but I wanted it badly. A few weeks after the exhibition, the painting was in my home. That was the beginning of my collection.
From that day onwards, I have continued to carefully follow the artist's career. For a few years now, Sitruk has been asserting himself in several domains other than painting: namely photography, fashion and music. He is a multidisciplinary artist. He recently exhibited at the Grand Loft du Canal Saint-Martin in 2018 and at the Galerie Schwab Beaubourg as part of his solo show Addiction italienne in 2019 and this artistic diversity was visible in his new paintings. It's always interesting to follow an artist over several years and see their evolution. Spotted by Diane Pernet, Sitruk has made several notable appearances in magazines but also at the Centre Pompidou in 2015, where he exhibited a painting created as part of ASVOFF 9.
2. What motivated you to start your collection?
Above all, art is a pleasure which has no connection to my current profession. I work in finance and art is a way to break up my work rhythm. When I go to an exhibition, often alone to take the time to see the works and not feel rushed, there is nothing but art: I escape for a few hours.
Ever since I was a child, I have loved collecting. I have an incredibly varied collection: you can find figurative work, abstract work and even canvases that are almost like architecture, such as the work of Thomas Canto. I don't impose rules on myself: I buy on the spur of the moment, whether the artist is well-known or not.
I use social media a lot. It's a great way to meet new artists and follow their work, but also to follow gallery owners. It's a small world and we all get to know each other very quickly.
Once you start a collection, it's hard to stop. I often tell myself that I don't have any more room at home, I try to restrict myself. But when I see incredible works, as is the case lately with the solo show of artist Alexandre Benjamin-Navet at the Derouillon Gallery, I forget my sensible intentions and often leave with a new painting.
Terracotta, Guy Yanai / Que se passe-t-il auprès de l'étang, Alice Grenier-Nebout
3. How would you describe your relationship with art?
I'm an enthusiast! My friends often tell me that I should open a gallery, although it's not a project in the works right now. I take pleasure in spending whole weekends visiting exhibitions, discovering new artists and above all sharing my passion. I don't have a favourite style, even though I'm very attached to contemporary art, I also like modern art and Cubism. If you stop by my place, you would see a multitude of styles: Street-Art, with a work by the artist JonOne, a figurative piece in the form of a recently acquired painting by Diane Dal-Praou and works by the artists Cleon Peterson, Guy Yanai, etc..
4. Where do you exhibit your collection? What does it add to your interior?
Currently you can find a large part of my collection at my home in Paris, but also some pieces at my family home. I have two projects in progress: the first is to exhibit a large part of my collection in the city where I grew up, Le Mans. I am in conversation with museums to exhibit all or part of my collection in 2020. Alongside this, I am preparing an exhibition in Paris for 2021 around the theme of women, a recurring theme in my collection. You will be able to find works by French artists, Alice Grenier-Nebout, Inès Longevial, Johanna OLK, Johanna Tordjman, and also international artists such as Julia Vanderbyl based in Australia and Helen Beard based in London.
My home is a bit like a museum apartment. When I invite friends to dinner, I have to move my vases and other sculptures for fear of breaking them. I love talking about my recently discovered artists and new acquisitions.
5. Which artists do you most closely follow? And who are the ones whose works you dream of acquiring?
I continue to follow the artists whose works I already own with the greatest attention and with some of whom I have forged strong friendships, like the artist Julien Sitruk as previously mentioned, but also the artist Ivan Le Pays. I met him through Instagram a few years ago and over the years I have seen his work evolve and his technique improve.
I would very much like to acquire a work by the artist Ludivine Gonthier. Her works are very socially engaged. I discovered one of Ludivine's paintings during a group exhibition at Galerie Bertrand Grimont.
I also admire the work of Pauline Guerrier, especially her Totem collection. I found her work via Artsper just after an exhibition that I had not been able to attend.
In general, I avoid revealing the artists that I follow, because I like to show my friends my latest acquisitions without their prior opinion.
For Artsper, I have created a short list of my favourite artists that you can find on Instagram: Alexandra De Assuncao, Stephen Felton at Galerie Valentin (Paris), Jesse Mockrin at Night Gallery (Los Angeles), Hélène Garcia at Galerie Chloé Salgado (Paris), Christopher Mudgett, Panar, Salomé Partouche (editor's note: whom Artsper also had the pleasure of interviewing) ...to name a few.
Vol jusqu'au jardin des mers, Alice Grenier-Nebout / On the wall: Alexandre Benjamin Navet, David LaChapelle, Ines Longevial, Johanna Tordjman, Alex Foxton
6. Which artists have you discovered or bought from thanks to Artsper?
I use Artsper as a search engine: I save my favourite artists and as soon as a work is added I get a notification. I recently bought a work by the artist Johanna Tordjman on Artsper, of which a portion of the sale was donated to the charity 'Banlieues Santé'. I also discovered the artist Inès Longevial during an exhibition at the Villa Rose, rue d'Amsterdam in Paris which had been referenced on your site. Additionally, I discovered one of my favourite artists, Cleon Peterson, via Artsper. There were lithographs for sale on the site and I saw that there was an exhibition in Agnès B's former gallery. I went to the exhibition and came back with a painting by the artist.
7. What advice would you give someone who wishes to acquire their first work of art?
The first piece of advice is really to go with your gut. Thereafter, some works can be a significant amount of money. At that point, you have to take an interest in the artist: look at their evolution, the galleries where they have exhibited, the fairs where you can find their work and above all, don't miss any of their exhibitions. Galleries can offer very good advice too. For my part, as soon as I fall in love with an artwork, I'll show it to my gallery owner friends to get their opinion on the work, its quality, the technique, etc.. But it's always the artist who can tell you the most about it.
Don't forget as well that tastes can change. When you buy a work of art when you are 20 years old, your sensibility may be different in years to come. You have to ask yourself "will I still like this work in 10 years time?". Personally, I've stopped asking myself that question. It's happened to me before, but I always circle back to the same conclusion: If I bought it at 20, it was for a good reason. What I advise is to rotate your works at home: put new ones up, change the layout, and you then have the impression of a perpetual renewal.
Sculpture - 18.1 x 5.5 x 4.1 inch
Print - 34.6 x 41.3 inch
Design - 12.6 x 8.7 x 6.3 inch
Painting - 18.1 x 15 x 0.8 inch
Painting - 9.8 x 7.9 inch