What does an artistic director do? How do they curate and plan a multifaceted event like an art fair? I had the pleasure to sit down with renowned artistic director, Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt. In our conversation, Christia opened up about how she got started organizing art fairs, what the whole planning process looks like, what artists can expect when they get featured in an art fair, how digital images are impacting the art scene, and so much more. I can’t wait for you to get to know Christina and see things from her unique perspective as an artistic director!
How it all started.
Can you imagine getting the offer of a lifetime? It doesn’t happen to everyone! Christina had been enamored with art since she was a child growing up in Cologne. As an adult, she found herself working in an art gallery when she was approached by the organizers of the Moscow Art Fair, Art Moscow. They presented her with a challenging and unique opportunity to join them as the artistic director of the fair. From that point on, Christina has been honing her skills and putting in the time curating and crafting unique experiences for the public to enjoy the beauty and creativity of various art installations.
A patient and long view approach.
How do art fairs work? What is the process like for artistic directors like Christina? It turns out that artistic directors have to be incredibly patient and able to plan for a long-term approach to their events. It’s not just six months ahead of time or even a year, it takes several years to properly plan and execute a successful art fair! Beyond the long-term logistics, Christina also helps to facilitate an atmosphere of collaboration and networking between artists, collectors, galleries and the public. I couldn’t imagine having that enormous perspective and patience but I am thankful for dedicated and passionate directors like Christina.
What artists should expect from an art fair.
As an artist, what should you expect if you get to be featured at an art fair? According to Christina, one of the most important things an artist can do is to show up and be available with their artwork if possible. Not only is an art fair an opportunity to expose your art to the public, but it’s also a selling opportunity! If you get featured at a fair, do what you can to support the gallery that features you there, collectors will notice. Have you been fortunate enough to participate in an art fair during the course of your career? What tips or perspectives do you have to add?
The impact of digital images on the art scene.
As many of my regular followers know, I am always interested in hearing from my guests about their take on the relationship between art and the internet. While there are many helpful aspects of viewing art online, there are also many drawbacks and challenges. I was thrilled to hear Christina’s helpful and fascinating perspective on this topic. Christina takes a hopeful view of the future between art and the internet, she believes that exposure online will lead people to go and view the art they are moved by in person. I loved Christina’s view on this topic and I’m certain many of you will too!
Outline of This Episode
- [3:20] I introduce my guest, Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt.
- [4:50] How did Christina get involved with organizing art fairs?
- [6:30] Art fairs work in cycles.
- [11:00] What does Christina look for in artists featured in her art fairs?
- [15:30] How Christina makes her fairs financially viable.
- [19:15] Unexpected circumstances at art fairs.
- [25:00] The logistical challenges of running an art fair.
- [28:40] How artists can make the most of getting featured at an art fair.
- [33:10] Do art collectors typically want to meet an artist?
- [36:00] What is the general state of art fairs?
- [39:00] How the availability of art images online impacts art fairs and art in general.
- [50:15] Christina talks about her upcoming art fair.