Industry Professionals

The Contemporary Art World: An Interview with Vera Bertran

Art Advisor and Founder of Contemporary Art Collectors, Vera Bertran is a master of the contemporary art world. She inspires many through her work and through her social media accounts. Find the curated collection by Vera Bertran here. Additionally, learn more about her journey in the art world and what inspires her in this interview.

Would you please introduce yourself and briefly talk about your background as an art advisor? 

I am an art advisor currently based in Barcelona. I am also a founder of Contemporary Art Collectors. CAC is an art and culture platform that focuses on contemporary art collecting. 

This year I plan to publish an art book showing a selection of 100 emerging artists that I think are worth the attention of art collectors.

I grew up surrounded by art since my parents were antique collectors. From a young age, I enjoyed going to art museums and galleries. After I finished school, I went to study Art History and Art Business in London. 

In the end, I realized that contemporary art was what I loved most. While studying at university, I first began to advise some of my parent’s friends and my contacts interested in contemporary art and looking. Later by the power of word of mouth, many collectors began contacting me. That’s how it all started.

What first interested you in collecting artworks? 

A true collector, I believe, has always collected something at some point in their lives. I always loved collecting and I had no idea why. I remember I was collecting other things, such as vintage postcards and books.

When I moved to London to study, I was surrounded by art, with many museums, galleries and exhibitions. I saw how many exciting and still not widely known artists are. I am focusing on collecting emerging art, as I love searching for new, upcoming artists.

Can you tell us a little bit about Contemporary Art Collectors and what inspired you to create it? 

In 2017 I created an Instagram page, @contemporaryartcollectors, to share the art I liked. The page started growing, and I began receiving many DMs from people writing that my page inspired them, and they discovered many new artists they haven’t seen before.

It motivated me to set up an art and culture platform that focuses on contemporary art collecting. In the beginning, I decided to set up a website that would be specifically interview-focused. 

Instead of reading articles, I felt reading the opinions of people involved in the art world would be more enjoyable.

Later on, I started to receive hundreds of emails and submissions from artists worldwide, all seeking exposure for their works.

At the end of 2020, I decided to launch the Emerging Artist Programme to discover the most exciting emergent artists worldwide and to publish an art book with a selection of 100 emerging artists.

What was the biggest challenge as founder of Contemporary Art Collectors? 

As I received an incredible number of art book submissions, the biggest challenge was checking them all. 

I carefully look at all the artworks submitted, other works of the artist, etc. It took an enormous amount of time to check them all. I was planning to announce the selected artists in June, but we will do it in August. 

How do you feel social media has impacted the art world? 

Social media has become a part of our daily life in the twenty-first century. 

Instagram allows an increasing number of people to enjoy art and discover new exhibitions and artists from all over the world, without leaving their homes.

According to recent surveys, a growing amount of people discover art primarily through social media rather than visiting museums and galleries, especially among young people. Aside from being an excellent way for artists, galleries, etc., to boost outreach and audience engagement, social media use is quickly becoming an essential marketing tool for engaging with new audiences and creating new sales channels.

Because a significant portion of the art market now exists online, it is essential for art galleries and artists to correctly represent themselves on social media to communicate with collectors successfully.

Where do you find new artists?

Mostly on social media, for me, it is a huge and never-ending gallery.

Where do you look for inspiration? 

Travelling and my life inspires me.

It’s like watching a tv show and waiting for the new episode. (laughing)

Often, in a new episode, a new character appears who can also inspire me. It could be a positive or negative inspiration (laughing). 

Sometimes life is stranger than any fiction.

Would you tell us about your favorite memory while working in the art market? 

It’s not precisely one memory, but I think it was when I started receiving personal invitations from art fairs and museums to visit their private viewings.

What is your dream project? 

I have several projects I would love to realize, including a featured film.

Do you have any tips for young creatives who are trying to get their start? 

Many art galleries and art dealers are looking for new up-coming artists with a unique style and strong message. My number one tip for anyone considering entering the art market is to be honest with themselves and ask the following questions: is my work unique compared to other artists? Is it something with a concept, or is it a repetition of what was created before?

Second tip: Research the art market and set reasonable prices. If you’re starting out and putting the cost of a new car on your artwork, don’t be surprised if you don’t sell it.

The last tip: Being an artist is not as exciting or as easy as it looks. If you decide to pursue this career it does not guarantee that you will become renowned and make a lot of money selling your artworks.

Don’t look at famous artists and think, “If he can do it, so can I.”

That’s not the case; it is not working like this. 

You need to have a strong passion for it because some artists don’t sell artworks for years and get rejections from art galleries. It can be nerve racking and disappointing. You need to be aware of that.