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September 28, 2022

Luxuria Lifestyle interviews Jean Michel of Artwide

Artwide was established in 2013 by specialists across the art, legal, banking and technology sectors, Artwide provides an alternative solution for the art world. Artwide caters to a diverse clientele, providing sellers with an extensive yet selective audience of buyers, who in turn have access to the vast range of works across the platform.

Here we interview the genious behind this great platform for art connoisseurs, Jean Michel:

 Where would you like to take the company in the future?

We want Artwide to be the alternative solution for the art world.

Since its inception in 2013, Artwide has been at the forefront of digital transactions for high value artworks. Through the Artwide app, our clients can utilise our diverse and far-reaching network to buy or sell high-end artworks through a simple, secure, and fully confidential process. Our clients have full control over every one of their transactions and most importantly, they have choices. And we continuously work to provide them with the best possible choices.

So, as we move forward, we want to hold fast to our founding principles, whilst continuing to innovate and provide an exceptional service to our clients.

What was the vision behind Artwide?

The art market provides different routes to buying or selling artworks: auction houses, galleries, private individual collectors. Artwide’s vision is to provide one platform that offers this array of options and allows the customer to decide which one to go for.
Artwide goes even further in its vision of providing premium choice: the client can decide where and to whom an artwork is targeted towards, filtering by geographical location and buyer profiles, for instance. This enables clients to narrow down potential buyers through an extremely targeted approach to find their perfect adequate buyer.

Artwide’s vision is all about giving our clients this freedom, access, and tailored approach, through a secure system that allows exchanging in complete privacy and confidentiality.

What  or who is your target market, and do you plan on expanding it?

Our target market encompasses any serious player in the art world who wants to buy or sell art – collectors, banks, galleries, family offices, auction houses, museums, etc.

We have a very serious and robust vetting process for anyone who wants to enter the Artwide experience. To gain access, Artwide vets you to ensure only serious and trustworthy players enter the app.

Initially, Artwide started with clients in 6 countries, and today we have clients in over 30+ countries. We are aiming for a real global reach of serious players.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

There are three triumphs that I think of. The first one is the fact that today, 90%+ of our customers are returning clients – whether they are buying or selling. Seeing our clients coming back for more is a real testimony to the quality of the platform.

The second one is the fact that our average transaction value keeps going up. Today, it has increased tenfold since we began Artwide’s operations. That’s a huge win for us, showing how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown. We are doing a lot more sales and this is a promising trend.

Similarly, the average value of the artworks we have on the platform has also increased drastically. Having artworks at much higher value shows that we have established ourselves amongst serious players in the art market. Being able to have works from Monet, Picasso, Soulages, Zao Wou-ki or Warhol on our platform is a huge honour for us. And of course, it is only the beginning!

What makes Artwide different from its competitors or are there any in fact?

Artwide doesn’t have any strictly direct competitors, there is no platform that provides this level of premium choice, freedom and guarantees confidentiality and security.

Something that I believe really sets Artwide apart is the fact that we consider our clients to be partners, whether they a collector, an advisor or dealer, a gallery, an estate, or anything in between. At the end of the day, our objective is the same. We are all working towards the same, mutually beneficial conclusion; thus, we are partners.

What is your strongest passion?

Outside of the arts of course, I enjoy playing sports, particularly rugby.

I find it very important to diversify my interests. Working in the art world, I am lucky to work on one of my passions, the arts. However, it’s important to have outlets to channel your energy outside this. Rugby can help with the daily frustration I can come across in business. It serves as a time to reset and can even help me with problem solving. It often happens that I come through a dead-end in business, and rugby gives me the necessary outlet for my mind to reset and surprisingly find solution to my business. I also appreciate the spirit of teamwork – individuals coming together to achieve a common goal. That really resonates with me.

Explain to our readers what ‘digital art’ is.

Digital art democratises the way we buy and sell art. I believe that digital art does not stop at NFTs, I think the transformation of the art market is even more striking through digital tools that have emerged to exchange artworks and provide more access to art, globally.

Using digital tools to access art has been a real gamechanger, and Artwide is proud to be at the forefront of this. Artwide developed modern digital technology to increase access to artworks, but also to empower clients in their decision making of buying or selling artworks, while maintaining privacy and security. For example, there are certain features on the app that allow for the ease of viewing a painting, which I am a big fan of. At the moment, we have artwork renders on walls, but in the pipeline, we are preparing a new feature with 3D augmented reality viewing. It’s all various ways to be able to view high quality artworks digitally, in entire confidentiality and safety.

This fall, we will launch another feature, our first digital auction on the app. It will be the first of an ongoing series of online auctions. Another forthcoming feature deals with mutualising the selling and buying of artworks.

I think there are many digital tools that allow a person to buy or sell art today. However, they don’t all provide this level of empowerment, confidentiality, access and quality, on a global scale.

What is the best part of managing the inner workings of Artwide?

The best part of managing the inner working of Artwide is its ever-changing landscape. Working in the tech space means that there are always new ways of doing what we do and with this comes new expectations from our clients. It’s always a new challenge and this is what I love.

You must constantly be reactive to today’s movements and always be forward-looking to anticipate what the next expectation will be.

For instance, our clients wanted us to find a way to do online auctions differently with a limited number of artworks coming directly from their walls. That was definitely a challenge for our IT team, but we have developed this feature and it will now be launching this fall. It keeps us on our toes, but it is extremely motivating.

Are you a collector yourself and what is your favourite medium?

Yes, I am, specifically I collect Modern and Contemporary art.

I would say I love every art form, but I have a real soft spot for paintings. Humans have been painting for tens of thousands of years. There’s just this timelessness about the medium; it’s constantly changing yet remains the same.
Do you accept crypto currency as payment since this is how some of your art collectors have made their money?

Artwide has the ability to accept crypto currency, yes.

We understand that, globally, there are many ways to buy and sell goods. As a technology-based company for art, we monitor what is happening in all aspects of the market and then act accordingly. We’ve taken note of the rise in cryptocurrency transactions and so of course we want to give our clients this opportunity.

Is there anything else you would like to add or want people to know?

For any passionate and dedicated art market players who would like an alternative way to buy and sell high-end art, join our digital community and download the Artwide app here.

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