ARTAM Global Art & Design Winter 2017
By Dilek Ozturk for ARTAM Global Art & Design / ISTANBUL, NOV-DEC 2017
1. Dear Antoine, first of all I would like to ask you the motivation behind your limited edition works? How did you start the collectible furniture business and OAK Studio?
I’ve worked during 12 years for one of the most creative french editor of decorative arts after my studies of ingeneering, Art history and design. I travelled a lot for this job and met quantities of fascinating artefacts in the best museums worldwide. I’ve continued to learn about the power of the symbols and how former civilisations should bring a kind of Soul in their usual or ritual objects. That was the beginning of my design quest and the first sketches of my collection were born. I opened my Studio in 2013 and had my first show in Paris, Galerie Patrick Fourtin, few months later with seven prototypes and the trust of one of the best french specialists of Decorative Arts.
2. Today, as we access information very easy and fast, thanks to the internet, collectible design business started to take part not only in the physical spaces like galleries, but also in the online mediums. Like 1stDibs. How do yo see the future of this business? Do you think that the galleries and action houses will fade away?
The social medias, Instagram, and the online platforms are a wonderful gift for young artists to promote their work to potential clients worldwide without filters… and costs.
Unfortunately promoting is not yet enough to sell easily art or design works online because clients need to see, touch, be recommended by specialised press or art advisors before to own an original design piece from a brand-new artist. That’s why the galleries are still necessary but they need to move, physically with Art&Design fairs and exhibit online too. Auction houses have already adapt their model for few years, they still create the market value of an artist but now they catch more and more clients and collectors with high-end curated shows and first market items from the most famous signatures wich never been exhibited in a gallery before. And of course you can bid online. However, I can see more and more off-events organised by freelance designers during the main fairs, sometimes sharing the space with Art galleries on their booth, sometimes renting shops or apartments to show their work in the fair district… And artist’s creativity is limitless, even to find new clients!
3. What is the story behind your manufacturing? What kind of artisans and craftsmen you are working with?
My OΔK Studio is dedicated to precious and few private masterpieces only. As a modern alchemist, I always try to follow a link between the story of the piece, its proportions and the materials I use. Sacred Arts play with the light to reveal the soul wich could be hidden in the shape and I use photography and renderings to try to catch this. I’ve a huge selection of master craftsmen I work with, and I’ve a preference for the natural and traditional skills. When I look archeological artefacts, their beauty comes also from the rich patina of the time. But when they were made, the craftsman did all is best to create the most perfect shape. That’s the way I follow, and I love the idea than my pieces, contrary to synthetic and industrial items, will cross the ages increasing their beauty with the warm patina of the time.
4. Can you tell that the collecting art and design is pretty much encouraged in France as we can see the first examples of vintage shops as well as contemporary design galleries as Kreo, Carpenters, Patrick Seguin….
France has one of the greatest culture of decorative arts and we have awesome private collections throughout the country. Today some of the most iconic Art&Design galleries are based in Paris and they propose a wide selection of the most bankable and famous signatures of the market. Nevertheless, I’m not sure that the majority of their clients are french… or live in France. That’s why newcomers and young foreign galleries seems more dynamic and ambitious, looking for fresh talents with more and more success!
5. How do yo consider design scene in general?
I don’t think to really be part of the mainstream design scene wich is first of all an aesthetic data for an industrial equation. This is very important to brighten our daily landscape and I love when utility goes hand in hand with beauty and elegance. Nevertheless, I think Collectible Designs, or Art, need to add something different, intrinsically human, a timeless meaning or a strong emotion wich is not only brought by a technological performance, or an abstruse speech for happy few… Maybe a twist of magic!
6. As you are also a collectible design advisor and working in the art scene, what trends and which names do you recommend as rising in the sector?
I read a lot and I learn everyday. Not only Art, decoration and design but also scientific, philosophic or archeologic books. That helps a lot to understand the meaning behind a trendy shape or a nice color. I always search for a kind of timeless code of beauty, what I felt when I’ve stopped in front of a wonderful 5 000 years old artefact at the Louvre Museum, thinking « That should be an amazing contemporary jewel or a wonderful handle on a chest! ». I never recommend a name as I never recommend a brand as a reference. Only the work itself can keep and increase its value with time.
7. Whose works you follow and appreciate?
I really loved the Sea Anemone mirror from Pia Maria Raeder seen at NOMAD Monaco, and on a broader level the mysterious jewels from Elie Top or the stunning furniture from Roberto Giulio Rida.
8. The format of the design fairs are also changing as we recently experienced with NOMAD Monaco, curated by Nicolas Lecompte. What do yo think of the design fairs? and if you were given a chance to organise a design exhibition or fair, in which way you would like to curate?
Design fairs are still, for me, the best way to source new clients and collectors and I love how some fair booths becomes as attractive and refined as collector’s home should be. How different with the coldness of the contemporary art fairs where priceless artworks are basically aligned without direction… NOMAD is a new luxury opus for Collectible Design fairs including a highly desirable location, a sharp selection of galleries and a VIP program dedicated first of all to the collectors. The combination with a contemporary art fair is also clever cause potentially the clients are the same. Personally, I’d like to break the virtual border between Contemporary Art and Design, with common fairs. Today we can see more and more artworks made by designers in design fairs and furniture made by artists in contemporary art fairs but the evolution of mentalities takes time! I would love to see a fair where artists, craftsmen and designers could compete to bring the best of their skills!
9. What do yo have on your table, any future plans?
Several private projects for commissioned masterpieces wich are my core business. Moreover, I’ll continue to develop my collection and my 1stDibs Gallery adding new talented international designers, craftmens and artists I like to mix and match with my own works. So why not a common booth with all of them in a near future for a new Art&Design fair!