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Meet Andrea Steuer & Elena Zavelev

Directors and founders of CADAF

Meet Andrea Steuer & Elena Zavelev - illustration 1

This year, the Digital Art Month Paris festival is presented by @cadaf_art in collaboration with @beauxarts_magazine and @artsper_ © CADAF

Elena and Andrea are at the head of CADAF, the Crypto and Digital Art Fair, as well as the Digital Art Month, of which Artsper is proud to be an official partner in Paris this year. These unique events shed light on the various artistic practices of the digital realm, from AR to NFTs, and how they integrate in the contemporary market today. Artsper interviewed this visionary duo to learn more about their vision, their projects, and to get some advice for young collectors out there!

1. Hi Elena and Andrea! For this Digital Art Month, contemporary art will be flooding the streets of Paris in augmented reality through QR codes. This system is entirely in phase with Artsper's core value: making art accessible to all. How was this idea born?

Digital Art Month was born in New York, in the fall of 2020, during the first year of the pandemic. At the time museums and galleries were closed, so going to enjoy art exhibitions was not an option. Along with Digital Art Month's co-creator Jess Conatser, founder of Studio As We Are, our goal was to bring digital art to the public and create a safe and interactive experience. This event offers an opportunity for families, individuals, collectors and more, to experience and engage with high quality art free of charge.

Digital Art Month works closely with the different city organizations, which gives us access to public locations and benefits the participating locations.

2. Even if it's recent, Digital Art Month has already completed successful editions in Paris, New York and Miami. What has been your greatest challenge since the very beginning? What are your next steps?

Each edition of the festival is different to the one prior, and each city offers different possibilities! We have seen the festival grow and evolve through the years, and began inviting guest curators to participate and artists began creating site specific artworks. We believe the biggest challenge is accessibility, and finding barriers between the public and the artwork. The amount of engagement with the art grew significantly after we decided to limit the festival to just Instagram and Snapchat. Most people already have these on their phones and would have not taken the time to download a new app. We are always exploring new ways to allow connections between artists and the public.

Meet Andrea Steuer & Elena Zavelev - illustration 1
Meet Andrea Steuer & Elena Zavelev - illustration 1

On the left: "Peaceflowers" by Katina Bitsicas and on the right: "Ironed Curtain" by Rosa Hirn

3. Inherently urban, the augmented reality artworks of the Digital Art Month reveal themselves in the streets through interaction with the passers-by. Do you think that augmented reality is the future of urban art?

Augmented reality is a great medium and tool for artists, allowing them to reach a wider audience. Augmented reality and urban art share similar qualities, both benefit from accessibility and by nature are meant to be public. The rapid development of new technologies allows us to experience multiple layers of reality at the same time. Augmented reality is an extremely flexible medium, which can become a powerful extension of a physical piece or an artwork in itself.

4. Digital art, video art and augmented reality are gaining incredible momentum in the art world, even though they are still little known by the public. How do you manage to attract and concern a novice audience to an event such as the Digital Art Month?

The last year has been a game changer for the digital art industry. With CADAF we focus on supporting and exhibiting a curated selection of diverse digital mediums. Our ongoing programming includes art fairs, educational programs, public festivals and more. We are also very excited to announce we will be launching the CADAF Marketplace very soon. A marketplace for curators, that creates a sustainable ecosystem through revenue shares and commission splits.

Meet Andrea Steuer & Elena Zavelev - illustration 1
Meet Andrea Steuer & Elena Zavelev - illustration 1

On the left: "Le Seul Triomphe" by Ger Killeen and on the right: "LS500 Love Machine" by Laura Shepherd

5. Finally, are you collectors yourselves? Of digital art in particular? What would be your advice to a collector who would like to start acquiring digital art of any kind?

Andrea: I come from a family of collectors and have been passionate about art since a very early age. I began collecting pieces by emerging street artists like Whisbe, Salmos and Mr. Doodle very early. Soon after became fascinated by the history of digital art, and began acquiring works by early digital artists such as Harold Cohen, Vera Molnar and Jennifer Steinkamp. For a long time digital art was very accessible, giving me the opportunity to collect works from amazing digital artists exhibiting at CADAF. It has been incredible to witness street artists exploring digital mediums and pioneers receiving long overdue recognition.

My advice for collectors is to learn about the diversity in digital art and follow curators. If buying a purely digital piece feels too foreign, I would suggest looking at artists whose work is physical or has a physical component. My rule of thumb is buying artworks that you will enjoy, regardless if the price goes up or down.

Elena: My advice to collectors is to become friends and supporters with the artists you love and believe in. This way you will always have access to the best and most unique pieces and also have an emotional attachment to the art you own. I have a strong personal relationship with most of the art that I own. My favorite recent pieces in my digital art collection are by Lorin Roser, Nina Kuo and Ivona Tau.

To check out the virtual reality artworks and the different ones at Digital Art Month, explore the interactive map or follow Artsper's Instagram account!


Their favourite artworks

Shepard Fairey (Obey), Deception Disorder, Print

Shepard Fairey (Obey)

Deception Disorder, 2017
24 x 18.1 inch
Print

Sold

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Induction du Jaune Tepuy 2, Print

Carlos Cruz-Diez

Induction du Jaune Tepuy 2, 2018
23.6 x 23.6 inch
Print

$7,258

Vik Muniz, Sick Bacchus, after Caravaggio (Pictures of Magazine 2), Photography

Vik Muniz

Sick Bacchus, after Caravaggio (Pictures of Magazine 2), 2011
52 x 40 inch
Photography

$37,000

Our recommendations Felipe Pantone, Subtractive Variability P4, Print

Felipe Pantone

Subtractive Variability P4, 2020
39.4 x 27.6 inch
Print

$2,592

JR, THE BALLERINA IN CONTAINERS, HOLDING TIGHT, LE HAVRE, 2021, Print

JR

THE BALLERINA IN CONTAINERS, HOLDING TIGHT, LE HAVRE, 2021, 2022
27.6 x 39.4 inch
Print

Price upon request

Our recommendations Julio Le Parc, Larga marcha, 4 bifurcaciones 1, Print

Julio Le Parc

Larga marcha, 4 bifurcaciones 1, 2021
26.8 x 26.8 x 0.4 inch
Print

$4,148

Hebru Brantley, Space Is The Place, Print

Hebru Brantley

Space Is The Place, 2021
26.8 x 26.8 inch
Print

$3,629

Invader, Versailles (Blue), Print

Invader

Versailles (Blue), 2018
20.9 x 18.9 inch
Print

$17,108

M.Chat, Chats volants à Paris, Print

M.Chat

Chats volants à Paris, 2017
27.6 x 19.7 inch
Print

Sold

Our recommendations Josef Albers, The 10th New York Film Festival, Print

Josef Albers

The 10th New York Film Festival, 1972
50 x 26 inch
Print

$2,500

Alex Katz, William Dunas Dance, Pamela-American Dance Festival, Print

Alex Katz

William Dunas Dance, Pamela-American Dance Festival, 1979
29.5 x 20 inch
Print

$1,200