If you’ve ever felt too intimidated to enter the regal hush of an art gallery, you’re not alone. People all over the world feel that way – which is why French entrepreneur Stephanie Tosi set up Carre D’Artistes in 2001, an art gallery that’s welcoming and accessible to everyone.
Now that it’s come to Singapore, you can experience this concept, too. Its new store in Paragon is one of the latest in their lineup of international locations and the first ever in Southeast Asia. Bright and welcoming, the gallery is a far cry from its more austere and traditional cousins, resembling instead a vinyl record store where one can peruse the goods up close and personal.
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In fact, that’s the very idea the gallery wants to encourage. “We want people to interact with the artwork,” shares Sebastien Chen, the owner of the Singapore gallery. “It’s very different from traditional galleries which usually have signs saying ‘Do Not Touch the Artwork’.” Here, you’re encouraged to pick up the piece for a closer look instead of merely admiring it on a wall or pedestal.
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Each section in the store is dedicated to a different artist from around the world – French, Cuban, Canadian – and features unique pieces in different sizes. Here’s another aspect that differs from the usual art gallery: the artworks here are priced according to size, starting from $190 for the smallest measuring 13cm by 13cm. There are four different sizes to choose from, and larger canvases as well. “There’s something for everyone,” says Sebastien.
Indeed there is, as the styles vary from soothing watercolour landscapes to brightly-coloured pop art. There are 17 to 18 artists’ work on display at any given time, and the stocks are replenished every three months, with plans to do so monthly from November onwards. With these constant updates, customers can look forward to seeing fresh pieces by different artists that are brought in from other Carre D’Artistes galleries.
The gallery also provides framing services, so you can walk out of there with your new art purchase ready to be hung up as soon as you get home. For larger pieces and multiple purchases, they also offer a delivery service.
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By removing the mystique, Carre D’Artistes makes an ideal first foray into the world of art collecting. Sebastien himself can attest to this fact — he had been strolling through the streets of Paris one day when a painting in a nearby Carre D’Artistes gallery had caught his eye. He walked in, and in his own words, “fell in love”. Although he had never owned a single piece of art before that, the Carre D’Artistes concept made it an easy transition from newbie to art lover. “And now, we want to bring this to other people in Singapore,” he says.
Carre D’Artistes is located at Paragon Shopping Centre, 290 Orchard Road, #04-08. For more information, please visit www.carredartistes.com/en-sg.
This article originally appeared in Home & Decor