Globalization and the spreading of information and communication technology that can no longer be termed new technologies in this era of Digital Nativeshave had a significant impact on the market of cultural products, and particularly on the music market. Digital networks around the world also influencethe works of art transactions.E-auction is soaring in a non-negligible way, and several operators reach the market of knowledge and of products.
Uprising-art.com is a new portal for Caribbean contemporary art. Its ambition is to contribute to the emergence and notoriety of the artists in the islands of this region. Uprising has one mission, and that is to bring the Caribbean islands, an emerging artistic space, to the international contemporary art scene using the power of communication of the web.
Uprising-art.com aims at creating more visibility to artists through an e-publication offering thus a new tool to commercialize their art through e-auctions.
Claire Richer, who founded Uprising-art.com has graduated in Sciences Po in Paris, has a MBA HEC degree, and is a Caribbean Art collector.
What incited you to create Uprising?
Ever since I started studying, I was an art amateur and collector, besides I was a specialist in communication and marketing, and I wanted to combine my passion for art and my professional skills. Starting from the observation of the lack of notoriety of the artists in my region, my ambition was to contribute to the development and renown of the artists born in the Caribbean, or those who have lived there for ages. Belonging to this region is considered as a link between these actors, a starting point, and not a cause of seclusion. Being at the crossroads of the Spanish-speaking, English-speaking and French-speaking worlds, the Caribbean is intrinsically international and these artists’ productions belong necessarily to the world’s production.
Uprising-art.com emphasizes this opening and contributes to these artists’ notoriety.
Our ambition is not limited to just showing the works. We aim at introducing the whole ecosystem around the artists, to support, explain and strengthen their progress. The most adequate way to do this is to create an internet portal, and we have started to work on this since November 2011 so as to collect information, structure the data, translate them into English and Spanish since the website is trilingual.
Now the Uprising-Art portal has been online since October 2012, about two-hundred and fifty artists are listed, along with approximately sixty experts. Other subdivisions focus on the works, publications, exhibitions or residence sites; the second part focuses on the online publication Uprising News. This part deals with the news about the region’s actors in or out of the Caribbean. Then a third section Uprising Gallery includes e-shopping and sales of art works online. Uprising-Art already has a storeroom where some art works from the gallery are kept.
But from the virtual to reality Uprising will also be involved in public events organizing exhibitions or as participant of art fairs according to possibilities. And what about offering the art amateurs the opportunity of a direct contact with the works?
What comes first for Uprising, sales or information?
One justifies the other. The commercial promotion of the Caribbean artists starts definitely with broadcasting extensively the information about the Caribbean artists’ production. This is vital. That being said, as you certainly know, the heart of the matter remains the capacity to organize financial support and this on the long term. Failing to reach renown or notoriety for our artists cannot be solved in a few months! The commercial section is thus crucial to the durability of the entire thing, and also satisfy the artists who are anxious to sell their works.
How does this structure work?
Our organization operates like a startup summoning skills and finances according to the present needs. There is some competition which means demanding efforts on a length of time. Quality, creativity and a rigorous management of expenses are required permanently. Our main asset must remain the capacity to adapt to the evolution of the sector, to be there at the right moment, and to have good skillsaround us.
Considering other websites in the Caribbean such as Gens de la Caraïbe or Arte-Sur, how would you position your site?
I am not trying to compare, everyone has their projects and objectives. Uprising-Art’s specificity is to assemble on the same internet platform, a portaloffering at the same time the artists’ ecosystem, not only informing the public about their evolution, but also the artists, experts and publications; a magazine that informs daily about news on the region’s actors; also an e-gallery that allows the sale of works. We implement a forward-looking marketing and communication policy and we use the vast possibilities of the web.
How are the artists selected for the e-shopping?
If this portal’s vocation is to attend to most of the artists, on the other hand the selection of artist exists only for the gallery section and also for those who are introduced on events or exhibitions. We are assisted by experts or art critics in this matter.
What percentage does Uprising-Art get on sales?
Uprising is trying hard to set more favourable terms than the usual practices on the market. We are competitive and we offer a differentiating model. So, we work for the interests of the artist whose production benefits from a large visibility.
What about the artists who sell the most? Where do they come from? Are there any regions you have not worked with yet?
We intend to work with all the Caribbean. Up to now we have already listed practically every actor in all the islands of the Caribbean. Nevertheless, we are just initiating a long process of diffusion. It is still too early to examine results.
What about unexpected difficulties today or before that?
We do not have bad surprises, if that is the question; we do know that this is a long strenuous work that will take some time and require important financial means. We are organized to explain the process, convince people and make people understand that we are on the threshold of a new era for the commercialization of art. This is an innovating move and we are shaping the key factors to our success.
Can you introduce briefly the Imagin’Air survey, the objectives, and the first results?
The objectives concerning the Imagin’Air survey was to draw a parallel first between the public’s and the professionals’ imaginary about the Caribbean art production and then on the works reality. Starting from the hypothesis that this production is not well-known, this survey aimed at getting the public’s attention. We started this in October and debated about the first visual results during a roundtable at the FIAC on October 20th. This survey is stillon. It constitutes one part of Uprising’s DNA: fighting against hackneyed ideas and the clichés that could exist, to grant its right status to the art production of the Caribbean artists. That is why we are supporting an emerging art- hence the name ‘uprising’.
Could you tell us about your main projects and you priorities for 2013?
In 2013Uprising will have as a priority to consolidate the launch results and carry on the primary objectives through an improvement of our web tools, intensify communication and also organize specific quality events with a view to promoting our artists.