Curatorial+Co is essentially an online art gallery that sources paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture and ceramic works, along with multimedia and textile art pieces, from around the globe. Designbx and Curatorial+Co were both conceived from the same philosophy – allowing design and art to be available to everyone, no matter how time rich or poor, and no matter their budget.
As well as making art affordable, Curatorial+Co aims to increase the profile of emerging and existing artists in a cultural exchange between Australia and the rest of the world. Their carefully curated offering is vast, and customers are buying from a collection that is exclusive to Curatorial+Co. While predominantly an online service, Curatorial+Co also hold pop-up exhibitions to allow customers to experience art in person and to meet the artists.
Sophie Vander is the founder and director of Curatorial+Co. Sophie is a UNSW College of Fine Arts graduate with a relentless passion for art and design. After 10 years working overseas gaining experience in curating, interior design and journalism, Sophie now lives in Sydney where she brings her insight and enthusiasm to Curatorial+Co. Sophie consults with clients on art commissions, hosts pop-up exhibitions and fosters creative talent.
Designbx recently chatted to Sophie Vander about the Curatorial+Co concept:
What gave you the idea to start Curatorial+Co?
I saw a shift in the way people viewed art but not a way in which people could buy art. There was a big gap between places to buy ubiquitous art prints and the high-end white-box art galleries. Curatorial+Co. came from a desire to show that original artworks by emerging artists from all over the world are a great way to move on from the art print and develop your knowledge about art and your own personal taste.
What makes Curatorial+Co unique?
Before us, there wasn’t really somewhere in between for the person ready to start an original art collection to view and buy accessible, curated works. The majority of our buyers come back again and again because they trust our aesthetic and art quality. They also generally don’t have the time to do the research that is sometimes required, so Curatorial+Co make it very easy to find beautiful pieces at accessible prices, all in one place online.
Tell us about the artists you represent:
We are still a young gallery so currently have 18 artists in our online stable. Every day I go in search of new artists who are creating innovative and interesting work to add to our online collection. We would love to double that number, but it’s more about quality than quantity, so we’ll see how that goes!
We also have a multitude of artists who produce commissioned works for our art consultancy clients, depending on a client’s budget and preference for a particular space. These artists range from emerging, all the way up to established – we have a huge talent pool to draw from.
Do your artists have anything in common with each other?
Generally our artists are emerging or mid-career so we can keep the price of works online accessible. Emerging doesn’t always mean young either! Many of our artists are creators who have started later in life and found their ‘thing’. The work they produce is some of my favourite as there is confidence, surety and a true sense of self that very young artists don’t always have.
What do you look for in an artist?
I like to work with artists who a take a traditional medium and turn it on its head. There must be a level of innovation or individuality; they should have their own style. You should know their work the minute you see it, but you should also see them developing and pushing and moving forward in their practice, but really it comes down to the work itself.
How do you find new artists you would like to partner with?
Initially it’s a gut instinct when I come across their work – it generally grabs me instantly and takes my breath away for a moment (I love it when our buyers have the same reaction!). Instagram is my best friend when it comes to discovering new talent as it’s a wonderful tool to find new artists who are not yet on anyone’s radar.
How did you come to partner with Designbx, and what excites you about this relationship?
I read a newspaper article about what Kerena, Emily and Kylie were doing to turn the interior design world around and make it more accessible. It really gelled with what I am trying to do with the art world so it was a natural fit. Everyone is so time-poor these days, yet we still want our environments to be gorgeous, meaningful and personal. We crave beauty and calm in our spaces to offset the stresses that surround us, and we need ways to make this happen without adding more stress to the equation.
I am so excited about how Designbx and Curatorial+Co can work together to help make that happen for everyone who craves more art and design in their lives.
We are super excited to offer our customers the first Curatorial+Co artist – Australian photographer Anita Beaney. In her current works Anita focuses on the mesmerising power of the sea and the sky.
Our professional interior design team can help you to select and incorporate a beautiful art piece that complements your room, design style and looks fabulous! Either select an online interior design package or get in touch for more information.