A big breakthrough for ARTE Generali - today it has launched its new app.
With the app, ARTE Generali has taken one step ahead for its customers who require digital innovation. Jean Gazançon (ARTE Generali’s CEO) said, “The demand for digitization in the art world has been pushed further by the Covid-19 pandemics. As a trusted partner to art lovers, ARTE Generali developed a digital platform that meets this demand and aims to simplify the life of distributors and final customers. We prove that art insurance can be innovative.”
This App will benefit customers and brokers. For customers, it will simplify the administrative process and facilitate contacts between customers and the insurance provider and intermediaries. Also brokers will benefit from significant process simplification. The “remote evaluation” feature, for example, will assist art collectors by providing digital evaluation of their art pieces with no physical visit. It will be done by submitting art pieces’ photos and related information via the app. Later, art collectors will get a digital unalterable certificate associated with the art piece.
Customers will also get other privileges in the next future, for example they will be able to join an art community of art lovers and experts and they will get updated news regularly and invitations to exclusive art events.
The digital award
ARTE Generali aims to be a life-time partner and, accordingly, be always on the side of its stakeholders and the art community. Gazançon said: “The Corona crisis does not spare the art world. Because we are aware that small art galleries, museums, art dealers and young artists are experiencing serious difficulties, we decided to act with the aim of supporting them in a concrete way." To this end, ARTE Generali has established an award for the best digitization projects that allow the whole community to enjoy art even at a time of lockdown and social distancing. More detail on the ARTE Generali digital award will be provided in the next weeks.
When Mariella Casile boarded the last flight connecting Italy to New York, little did she know that she would come face to face with a very long and “solitary quarantine”, as she calls it.
“I know it sounds crazy, but whether it is consulting for my Italian clients or preparing clips for my collectors, these days I am constantly at work so I don’t mind,” she says.
Ms Casile is a Manhattan-based art dealer and also a curator of six private collections located between Europe and South America. Like everybody else in her trade, she has to navigate the uncertainties brought by the coronavirus lockdowns across the world and the pandemic’s economic fallout.
According to Ms Casile, many collectors are using this “suspended time” to strengthen their knowledge and personal taste. “Some are already gathering information for possible investments to be made in the next six to twelve months. The markets have not stopped their activity,” she says.
At the end of March, Art Basel went digital for its Hong Kong Art Fair “Art Basel Online Viewing rooms”, offering VIP previews, virtual tours and openings. Among the 235 galleries to take part in the event were Hauser and Wirth and Galleria Continua.
“Louise Bourgeois and George Condo were among our first exhibitions to go digital,” says Stefano Rabolli Pansera, Director of the Hauser and Wirth Galleries of London and St Moritz.
“Later this month we will unveil our first Virtual Reality exhibition model for the opening of the new Hauser and Wirth Center in Menorca”, he adds. “The relation with our collectors is very important to us and all these initiatives are a way to keep it alive.”
H&W donates ten percent of its profits from online exhibitions to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organisation, and just to give an idea, the George Condo drawings (sold out) were priced at $100,000 to $125,000.
“Having a gallery in Beijing we had already experienced COVID-19 in January, so when the virus hit Europe we already knew what had to be done,” explains Maurizio Rigillo, one of the three partners of the Tuscany-based Galleria Continua. “We first made sure our staff was safe, and then we began to find ways to sustain the efforts to fight COVID-19. We asked our artists to donate one of their works, and the response turned out to be very good.”
When asked about the near future, Mr Rigillo replied “Until people are not able to travel, I believe that the distribution will only be at a local level. International art fairs will probably come to a temporary stop. It will be difficult for fairs, for big art shows such as the Venice Biennale. They will in part go digital. With that in mind we are thinking about organizing temporary exhibitions. As of now we are in close contact with our collectors and with our artists.”
Galleria Continua will reopen the Beijing gallery in May.
“I don’t see a market problem. The antiques and art market is counter-cyclical, there will always be a market,” says Guido Wannenes, owner of the auction house that carries his family name.
“Auctions have only moved online, but the online was already in use before COVID-19. The real problem for us is when our lots will all be sold and our storages will be empty, what will we auction if we cannot travel to go in search of paintings, furniture, jewels? I may be able to read a painting online but jewels require to be seen in person,” he says.
Flaminia Gennari Santori, Director of the Barberini and Corsini National Galleries in Rome, hopes to be able to reopen the two museums in June.
“We have a strong online presence and four exhibitions ready for the reopening.,” she says. “At the beginning we might have less visitors but I am sure that people will return. We are ready”.
ARTE Generali and Jan Kuck: On burning questions and art as a mirror of society
Conceptual artist Jan Kuck and ARTE Generali got to the bottom of the burning questions of motivation, drive and passion with the artwork "The Burning River". At the beginning of March, the light installation on the Isar in Munich was broadcasted worldwide via livestream. In the interview, he gives insights into the creation of the installation and talks about mutual relationships between art and business. Kuck also explains why it is our job to make art accessible and to protect it for everyone. With this ambition, Generali Deutschland supports national and international art projects, exhibitions and artists with its art insurer, ARTE Generali.
“The Burning River” project emerged with the support of ARTE Generali. What is the idea behind it and what does it mean for you?
I've been thinking for a long time about how to use light in the city for art installations. Most of the time, light is projected onto houses or bridges, but I wanted to illuminate the water because the rivers are like the main arteries of cities for me. Nowadays everything changes faster, is short-lived and I asked myself what is the basis on which we make decisions? It should be what you're passionate about. With the question "What are you burning for?" we made a lot of people think about that in a playful way.
"Art is always a mirror of society" - Jan Kuck
What role does technological innovation play in art?
Art moves with time, therefore technology will play an increasingly important role in the future. However, technology should only be supportive and never take over the main part and thus cannot replace art. Nevertheless, as the example of the Arte Generali app shows, it can assist art collectors with assistance services.
ARTE Generali launched the campaign "Great artists steal" with Maurizio Cattelan and Oliviero Toscani last year. What do you associate with this sentence?
Yes, of course that's very provocative and a successful campaign. As an artist, you should always be inspired by everything and create something new from what you see. With the campaign, the two artists set an important example: the high value of art must be protected.
In 2015 your exhibition “Who Cares? Social Responsibility in Contemporary Art” dealt with social responsibility - a topic of great importance in the Generali.
Social responsibility is also very important in art. On the one hand, because art always mirrors the time and on the other hand artists now have more opportunities and freedoms to express themselves critically to society than they had in the past. They can draw attention to grievances, conflicts or resistances and thus stimulate people to reflect on their actions. In my opinion, art should be a kind of dialogue between the artist and the viewer.
To what extent is it important that companies support art and what can art and culture bring to a company in return?
I find symbioses of this kind very important. Everyone can learn from the mutual relationship, both artists and companies. Art is there for everyone and should be a kind of basic value for all people. At the same time, the change of perspective opens up new methods, non-professional approaches, aspects and gives food for thought. Artists benefit equally from a strong partnership: without Arte Generali, for example, it would not have been possible to implement a project like “The Burning River”.
"For me, art is philosophy that starts where words alone are no longer sufficient to ask the really disruptive, burning and important questions" - Jan Kuck
Jan Kuck is currently advocating "Art Thinking". In this concept art is combined with science and business and serves as a creative engine and accelerator of innovation. Progress and clever ideas succeed much faster if you work together in an interdisciplinary manner. In this way, Generali also keeps getting new thought-provoking impulses through partnerships like these and remains open to creative ways.
By Dr. Sonja Lechner, art historian and Managing Director of Kunstkonnex Artconsulting (www.kunstkonnex.com).
Hardly any other picture illustrates the paradigm shift the art market has undergone within a few weeks more significantly: Just over a month ago, the Ifema exhibition center in Madrid was filled with both protagonists and recipients of the international art scene – on the occasion of the „Arco" art fair, around 95,000 visitors gathered there from February 29 to March 1. Today, instead of contemporary art, the rooms house hospital beds from the emergency room that was hastily built there. The Tefaf in Maastricht, which in the first week of March opened its doors to 280 exhibitors from 22 countries and thousands of visitors before it closed early again due to the appearance of corona infections, will probably be the last fair for a long time to be accessible in the literal sense of the word, enabling visitors to view art directly: Following the cancellation of Frieze in New York and the postponement of Art Cologne to the same date as Cologne Fine Art and Design in November, this week Art Basel also announced that its fair will now take place in September in lieu of June. Art Basel Hong Kong had already reacted in good time and shifted the fair completely into virtual worlds: instead of showing art in Hong Kong's Convention Center, the collectors were now invited to viewing rooms. In line with the actual schedule, VIP card holders were given access to those rooms first, joined later by the rest of the art collectors. There, art was projected onto a photo of the wall of a fictitious booth, whose bench suggested that one could sit down and contemplate each work.
This format was more or less the starting signal for a new orientation of the art market: the shutdown in almost all countries currently makes neither exhibition openings nor gallery visits or museum tours possible, and is hitting hard the entire international cultural sector. In addition to the emergency aid measures for artists, freelancers and entrepreneurs, there are further calls for help such as the reintroduction of the reduced VAT rate on art in Germany. Additional financial protection will be necessary to prevent numerous insolvencies in the art market, protective umbrellas such as the approval of purchasing budgets for museums specifically dedicated to acquisitions from galleries, or support programs for art fairs, art weeks, gallery weekends and similar formats.
The Roman poet Ovid had already noted that "talent is often awakened by necessity," and indeed, the art market is taking new paths, all of which lead to the Internet. An unprecedented density of digitalization has gripped the actors of the genre. Not only galleries and artists are virtualizing their offerings, museums are also expanding what Google Arts & Culture published even before the pandemic: digital tours through the most important collections worldwide. The spectrum of offers ranges from filming closed exhibitions and recording opening speeches to artist interviews, archive highlights or studio insights. This type of presentation has its advantages: Not only are many images accompanied by information on the artist, work, or price, which lowers the inhibition threshold of those who never dare to ask, but filming close to the surface also enables access that many alarm systems or gallery owner otherwise prevent – immersion in details. Tripping color seems to flow towards the viewer, the eye can perceive painted formations or sculptural microcosms at close range.
"The idea of progress can be founded in the idea of a catastrophe": The citation of this quote by Walter Benjamin in the midst of the global crisis must not be misunderstood cynically in view of the tens of thousands of deaths caused by the pandemic. It must be understood as an appeal, as a call to reposition oneself, to enter new grounds, to initiate progress that implies a progression from familiar paths. While attempts to efficiently set up marketplaces that function independently only on the Internet, such as the "VIP Art Fair," have so far not been crowned with success, the art market will no longer be able to survive without virtual instruments in a future post Corona. It is to be hoped that all the virtual variants of making art experienceable will allow to bridge this state of emergency, and that all these efforts will be preserved in some form of additional offer afterwards, as a supplement to what will nevertheless remain indispensable: To be able to see art in the flesh, to experience and feel it with one's own eyes in situ. From an art historian's point of view, it would be desirable that the worldwide standstill will increase the longing of all art lovers to be able to view originals again, and that this longing will imply a different kind of appreciation. One able to initiate a paradigm shift whereby art is no longer predominantly valued as an object of investment and speculation, but rather as what it actually is – a constant expansion of our perception. "Art does not reproduce visibility, it makes visible", Paul Klee once apostrophized – right now, art is questioning our viewing habits, and is showing us new ways of seeing.
Following its global launch in November 2019, supported by the eye-catching, subversive advertising campaign created by the thought-provoking photographer Oliviero Toscani and the art genius Maurizio Cattelan, Arte Generali decided to endorse unique projects to position as a life-time partner to art collectors, able to offer unique, innovative and personalized solutions and services.
“Additionally, the project that we decided to support share with Arte Generali the purpose of fostering the sharing of art and creativity as values for society” commented Ezio Fantuzzi, Head of Communications, and Leonie Mellinghoff, Head of Community Management. “We want to place Arte Generali as something never seen before in the traditionally conservative art insurance market, while preserving our heritage rooted in the almost two centuries of history of the Generali Group, a patron to arts and culture with no equals.”
The projects supported by Arte Generali in 2020 include the initiative "Experience in Action - DesignBuild in architectural education". The DesignBuild teaching method will be shown in an exhibition in the Pinakothek der Moderne. Also, students at the Technical University of Munich will build a temporary pavilion next to the museum, which will remain there for several years starting from 2020. This structure will be an experimental space for art and architecture and will house workshops for children, students and adults, discussion groups, exhibitions and other events.
“Our project combines the importance of learning and the societal role” said prof. Dr. Andres Lepik, curator of the exhibition and director of the Architecture Museum at the Technical University of Munich. “DesignBuild offers students the opportunity to plan concrete projects and build them up in an interdisciplinary manner, acting not only as architects, but also as project developers and social activists. I believe that the mission of DesignBuild is the same as that of Arte Generali as they both try to create positive social impacts through art in any of its forms.”
Additionally, Arte Generali has teamed up with The Art Gorgeous, one of the freshest and most successful emerging art news outlets in the world, for the project “Treasures”. “Treasures” is an initiative never seen before, whereby five inspiring ladies in the world of art offer their exclusive views as artists, gallerists, critics and experts in a series of video-interviews.
“Burning River” was an open-space interactive art installation which took place from March 7 to 15 in Munich. The installation, supported by Arte Generali, was created by the German artist Jan Kuck. High-tech lasers immersed the water surface of the Isar – Munich’s river – in red and yellow lights, creating the impression of a burning water surface. Short sentences were projected by lasers, consisting of answers to the question: “What are you burning for?”. Citizens, Generali colleagues and art lovers submitted their passions through a dedicated website.
Last but not least, “Couleurs de la Vie” is an art school for children and teenagers in Saarbrücken, Germany, run by Dima Alrefai and supported by Arte Generali. Dima is a Syrian refugee and an artist with a passion for teaching. Thanks to the support of The Human Safety Net – Generali Group’s community support program – she acquired the business management skills and became a small entrepreneur.
1. You bring with yourself an extensive international experience developed in Europe, Japan and LatAm in the fields of art, art insurance and asset management. On the basis of your professional experience, what remarkable sign can Arte Generali leave in its business segment?
In my previous experiences in the field of art insurance I was struck by how heavy the administrative processes were, to the point that sometimes they could even depress the motivation of art specialists and jeopardize the relation with art collectors. Arte Generali allowed me to develop a new operating model, enhanced by a digital platform and fueled by a corporate culture focused on innovation and on the “Life-Time Partnership” concept. The result is something very innovative for this market segment, because it offers art collectors solutions that reduce bureaucracy and enable them to live their passion freely. To the Arte Generali clients, we provide much more than an insurance product: Concierge service and digital tools are essential components of our proposition.
2. Generali invests in this new project also with its technological know-how, betting on innovation and new technologies. Is the future key to safeguard the past?
Of course. Let me explain you how our digital platform works. We will integrate in a single web app remote evaluation service for art pieces, a private virtual gallery where our clients can “store” their collections and share them with friends and family, and 24/7 assistance. Often people ask me how we can prevent frauds by adopting a digital evaluation system. The answer is that our system is better than traditional ones in detecting counterfeits, as today the majority of art insurance policies are issued on the back of self-declarations made by clients. Arte Generali provides remote evaluations performed by a network of selected experts: Clients are requested to submit photos of the art piece as well as additional information such as the certificate of origin, if existing. If any doubt about the authenticity arises or for very pricey items, Arte Generali activates an expert for a physical check. The premium is defined amongst many parameters also by the preservation status and the origin certificates. Last, I’d like to emphasize that our digital platform adopts the most advanced data protection standards in coherence with our approach.
3. How does the protection offered by an insurer contribute to – in addition to the preservation – the development and the sharing of art?
I’d like to start answering your question by mentioning Arte Generali’s purpose, i.e. its long-term mission. Our purpose is to promote the sharing of art and creativity as values for society by taking care of the protection of any form of art and of its transmission from one generation to the next. We are convinced that owning an art piece requires that the owner pays a particular care so that the piece is safe, well preserved and restored when needed. I believe that the preservation of an art piece’s integrity is the duty of any art lover, who is a humble custodian for next generations to enjoy. With this philosophy in mind, Arte Generali aims not only to guarantee the compensation in case of claim – thus enabling the restoration when needed – but also to accompany the art collector through different phases of her or his life, advising her or him about the best preservation techniques and therefore preventing potential damages. Arte Generali is not only protection, but also and more importantly prevention, assistance and partnership. Moreover, an insured collector is more prone to lend her or his art piece for the community to enjoy it, for instance to a temporary exhibition. Last, I’d like to underline that choosing Arte Generali means joining an art community with other art lovers who share the same passion for an artist, a style or a period. This community is animated by our staff of experts, for instance through high-standing events and private exhibition tours.
4. Which are the keywords that will accompany Arte Generali’s journey?
They are our differentiating factors: passion, engagement, expertise, service, care, concierge, prevention, partnership, innovation, digitization, simplicity.
5. For Arte Generali’s launch campaign, you chose Oliviero Toscani as the ‘director’ and Maurizio Cattelan as the ‘model’. What do these two ambassadors tell?
Oliviero and Maurizio created an ironic, debunking and destabilizing campaign. This is exactly what we were looking for to generate a strong visual impact while communicating a sense of change in the art insurance business, traditionally quite conservative. Such a change is reflected by the disruption that we believe Arte Generali will bring about in the sector thanks to its unique and unprecedented features, which I have described previously. Personally, I recognize the campaign’s ironic side, as Maurizio pretends to be stealing two of his most famous artworks, including “America” which was actually stolen from a museum in England in September 2019. Cattelan himself said: “Arte Generali’s brand campaign juxtaposes the risk run by art collectors of their art pieces being stolen with the metaphorical act of stealing that every artist commits. My whole career has been based on the non-existence of originality – in other words, the ability to invent by adding to something that has been invented already, or the ability to elicit unexpected emotions by triggering emotions that one felt already before.”