What a comeback! A week in Basel for the List fair, a week in London for Frieze, and that followed in the wake of the FIAC, his very first FIAC: in recent weeks, Guillaume Sultana has hardly crossed the door of his Belleville gallery. It is ” a little crazy “ logistical question, he admits, but success is there: “We feel in collectors a greed after these months of diet, but also a sincere happiness to be able to exchange again. “
Need that he has well identified since he set up in the spring, on a whim, an Arles annex called Sultana Summer Set, in an apartment that he initially thought to reserve for his resorts: “It was a real parade of professionals all summer long, and we felt the happiness of people to meet in a friendly, informal way. “
Sultana has surveyed dozens of contemporary art fairs, as a gallery owner or as a collector, since he decided to leave the world of cultural institutions to promote artists on the market. But this FIAC 2021 is a bit special: after making an appearance there in 2010, it is the sign of an entry into the big leagues for the one who launched with a few colleagues, six years ago, the fair off international Paris. He leaves this meeting of the international hype of contemporary art with a twinge of heart, but without apprehension: “I felt like I was going round a bit, I didn’t have much to wait for: the exhibition curators I met thanks to Paris Internationale seem to be in the gallery. And then we must give way to the youngest! “ His artists also pushed him to take the plunge: “We know that we need to meet new customers, to make new contacts. “ In five years, the gallery has grown, its success has increased, its needs have changed: as proof, the Frieze Art Fair has just integrated it into its “general section”, reserved for established galleries.
To attract him in turn in his nets, Jennifer Flay rolled out the red carpet: the director of the FIAC knows how much the event she is orchestrating needs new blood. As part of her “outside the walls”, she offered him carte blanche at the Delacroix Museum for one of its artists who is on the rise, the very young painter Jean Claracq. “I felt very honored when I just arrived at FIAC. But it is true that his art works very well in dialogue with ancient art. “
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