One of the first recorded references of an art fair was France in 1863. The story goes that around that time, artists were begging to exhibit their work in the prestigious and renowned Salon of the French Academy in Paris, known for honouring Classical and Renaissance inspired art. But not everyone was producing Classical art. Over 2,000 artwork submissions (two thirds of the work submitted) were rejected, including works by artists such as Edouard Manet and Gustave Courbet. This quickly prompted the opening of the Salon des Refusés by the Emporer Napoleon, who wished that the public be the judge of these Rejects. The Salon des Refusés was a place “where artists at war with authority could be seen and where the public could go either to jeer or to enlarge their ideas of what a work of art could be.” Isn’t that what art is all about?
Over the past 20 years Art Fairs have become more mainstream. This has created a need for a more exclusive event for serious collectors.
NomadMonaco (NM), is an art fair which debuted in April this year. When founders Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte and Giorgio Pace came together, they knew they didn’t want to host just ‘another’ art fair. “There is one happening somewhere almost every day, so we thought it would be boring just to add another one”, says Pace.
What really sets NM apart from other art fairs, is that the objects are not presented in a big airy tent, “you are seeing them in a beautiful house in daylight”, the Villa La Vigie – a former home of Karl Lagerfeld’s.
With NM, we wanted to organize something smaller, by invitation, that targets the right people. Numbers are restricted but it works, as collectors who really want to buy art and design don’t want to be surrounded by millions of visitors.
Another dream of Bellavance-Lecompte and Pace is to demonstrate NM’s nomadic concept by hosting the fair in locations like Palm Springs, Marrakech and Beirut. “We don’t ever want to go to predictable locations. We’ll never do it in London, New York or Paris, for example”.
Gallerie BSL – JinShi Console
Guistini/Stagetti Galleria O. Roma – Gallerie BSL – Cle de Sol Wall Light