Q & A - Iraklis Gatenadze (Symbolico)
How do you think the art industry can improve, adapt or grow during these times?
In the modern era of technological and cultural innovations, the art industry was left behind. Since the time of Leonardo Da Vinci and the Mona Lisa phenomenon, the art industry has seen little change in the way its operations are conducted.
Such business models are a hindrance to what makes the industry special: the discovery of unique artists. The industry needs a new perspective which will put artistic capability above personal connections and encourage unique talents to rise up to the top of the industry. How can this be achieved? By opening the doors and liberalising market conditions to suit the abilities of all artists trying to sell their work. As a result, the industry would witness a surge in a more diverse range of artists who excel in their practice – they are able to dedicate their time fully to creating masterpieces, instead of spending time networking and building connections from scratch.
This is exactly what Symbolico hopes to achieve – providing guidance to emerging artists, improving their professional reputation and simplifying the process of gaining recognition. We aim to make the industry more approachable to artists by challenging outdated conventions and breaking down pre-existing barriers which have long dictated the art world.
What inspired the creation of Symbolico?
Since starting out in the art world, we have witnessed exceptional talents unable to navigate the hierarchical world of art business due to its overly complicated nature. An artist can lose their creativity when putting their effort into a monotonous job of data gathering and finding industry connections. They can also feel discouraged by constant refusal of their paintings by art galleries – not because their paintings are not exceptional but because of the complex nature of the industry. We are therefore here to update market conditions and eventually change this.
The idea was born when emerging artists started to approach our sister company, Gammas Art Gallery, which specializes in Tibetan art (and does not work with modern contemporary artists). Nevertheless, the artists were hoping we could help them find the right industry connections due to our reputation in the industry.
As a result, we realized the need to encourage hundreds of emerging artists to express themselves and lend them a helping hand to reach a vast audience of collectors, corporate clients and industry experts.
Thus, was born – Symbolico Art Agency & Consultancy. Since then, Symbolico has become a global player in the art industry, overseeing international operations from the capital of art business in Berkeley Square, London.
How do you support up and coming artists to reach their goals?
We offer our services to artists through the choice of three different packages, tailored towards their previous experience and the current aspirations.
The simplest package, and which is the most value-formoney, offers exclusive services aimed at liberalising the art industry and opening the doors to increased sales. We match each artist’s requirements with specific selection criteria of our global art network consisting of thousands of art gallery owners, museum curators and interior designers.
Our second package has all the benefits of its simpler counterpart, plus the added advantage of a chance to be introduced to the most soughtafter private collectors and art dealers. In addition, we commit to sourcing government grants and art competitions for our artists to enter into. On top of this, we assist artists get published in local and international magazines to help increase their professional acclaim.
The third package consists of everything from the first two and much more. We help artists to organize their strategy planning to maximize the effectiveness of the efforts we put in. We also attend art exhibits and events in the capital of art business – London, on behalf of an artist to promote their works and international reputation.
Please describe the diverse sides of your network and how they can contribute to support Symbolico artists in different ways.
We have spent thousands of hours gathering data and liaising with industry contacts so that our artists do not need to waste time scrupulously searching through online databases and networking platforms. Moreover, industry experts, such as art collectors, dealers and galleries, do not typically encourage a direct approach. This creates a vicious cycle in which even the most experienced artists are unable to find a way into the industry due to its overly complex nature. Symbolico intends to break this unjust cycle and simplify the process of discovering artistic talent through our art agency division. Combined with our expert knowledge of the art industry as a whole, and our understanding of what makes an artist’s portfolio stand out, we are able to fast-track our artist’s careers and expand their potential.
Similarly, we provide expertise in the modern art market to trade clients from around the world through our art consultancy branch. Opening up this branch offers us a chance to directly promote artists under our management to various buyers globally. The combination of agency and consultancy branches creates a powerful force in the art industry, and ultimately helps us to fulfil our main goal – to liberalize market conditions and prioritize talent before connections.
Personally, do you have any advice or thoughts to share for professional or amateur artists who are facing challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic?
Entering the art industry was no easy task even before the pandemic, and it has certainly become even more complex now. The art market has long been built on a very elitist and traditional model, one that is difficult to access and even harder to endure. Consequentialy, the industry will have a hard time coping with the challenges brought forward by the pandemic, such as being unable to exhibit artist’s works in the galleries and meet potential buyers while attending art events.
It is thus of paramount importance that artists effectively use the tools they have at hand to find their way through the art industry. One way of doing this is to find enthusiastic people who are willing to support you and help you realize your dream career-goals.
At Symbolico we care about nurturing promising artists from various backgrounds, and encourage individuals to flourish throughout their journey with us. We believe art is and should be for all, hence we are changing the foundations of the art industry and adapting to the fast-changing new realities of doing business. We give promising artists a chance to get noticed and become established internationally, and hope to change the lives of these talented individuals for the better.
Based at Berkeley Square, London, Symbolico helps emerging artists widen their networks and solidify their reputation. Having shared some vibrant pieces by artist Loredana Lupu here, Symbolico looks to continue to support artists to professionally flourish. The founder, Iraklis, believes that the art industry has not changed enough in modern times to allow new talent to thrive. Modern business models may stunt the creativity of artists or discourage them.
This is why Iraklis founded Symbolico - to support emerging artists with building their portfolios and reputation. Being deeply experienced as a collector of fine Tibetan art at Gammas Art Gallery, Iraklis started Symbolico to support artists to navigate the complex world of the art industry and broaden their connections to art gallery owners, dealers and wide audiences.