Victor Lope is quite busy these days. No sooner his booth has been demounted here at art Karlsruhe 2016, the next art fair is already waiting for him. The recent year he participated in no less than eight events around the world. Meanwhile the business at his gallery in Barcelona has to be run as well as his online presence: Besides his homepage he also takes care of a profile on art platforms like Glarify or Artsy. “I was able to sell three more works last month just by using that offer to present my artists online to a wider and international range”, reports the gallery owner. As Glarify met him on the Art Karlsruhe the businessman nevertheless took a few minutes to talk to us about the fair, his collecting ambitions and other art fairs.
GLARIFY What is the latest work you have purchased for your own pleasure?
LOPE That was in fact a great drawing of Johan Barrios (points on the wall towards him)! The artist is living in Colombia and the series we see here portrays his friends as nearly anonymous persons by hiding most of their face. I always use to buy some works of the artists I represent for my private collection.
GLARIFY So what kind of art collector are you – intuitively or rationally motivated?
LOPE A mix of both: I have an emotional part that is closely tied to the rational one. On the one hand you have to have a personal connection to the artwork, speaking of the technical realization as well as of the ideas and content behind the work. But on the other hand it is important to think about the financial aspect, too: Do you believe that the value is fair and can you afford the artwork or not?
GLARIFY Duane Hanson said about art: “It doesn’t have to be pretty, it has to be meaningful.” – What do you consider being good art?
LOPE In art it is all about emotions! Good art means to me that after seeing the piece it makes me feel different or – in a way – kind of a different person.
GLARIFY And have you already seen something you would also love to possess at the Art Karlsruhe?
LOPE First, I have to finish my work here and sell some more paintings before I spend my money on new purchases (laughs). But as I walked through the area I saw some very interesting works from Dirk Salz. He makes remarkable abstract works that are beyond the conventional measures. If I remember rightly he is a German artist.
GLARIFY Yes he is born in Bochum! You seem to have a good connection to Germany. Most of the art fairs you are participating are in German-speaking countries?
LOPE Most of my costumers outside of Spain come from that countries. Not only the economy is going well here, also the people consider art being something important for the whole society not only for the superficial. And – speaking not only of the upper class but in general – they are well-educated, too. That makes it possible to target not only a limited number of people like for example in Spain. Here in Germany, the interest and esteem on art is spread all over the society. With lots of people visiting my booths I have had inspiring conversations about my artists’ works! That communicative and receptive atmosphere as well as the vital cultural scene is why I always like to visit fairs in German-speaking countries.
GLARIFY Last year you went to Korea to participate at the Art Busan for the first time – how did it go?
LOPE (rolling his eyes) It was definitely an experience in Korea. The culture as well as the way of seeing and understanding art is very different over there. Although Koreans are open-minded to new aspects, they nevertheless are very traditional in aspects of art. Of course we are facing an emerging market but in my opinion it still needs about five to ten years to reach the standards prevailing in Europe or the United States.
GLARIFY So which art fairs are you attending this year instead?
LOPE I am going to do most certainly the Art Bodensee, Art Fair Cologne, Scope Basel and Contemporary Istanbul. Some participations are not fix yet, but possibly we will also be represented in Paris and London this year!