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Art Paris - Interview with Caroline Clough-Lacoste

Caroline Clough-Lacoste

AfN : Hello Ms. Clough-Lacoste. How did you come to the art world?

Clough-Lacoste: A bit by chance. About fifteen years ago, there were some changes in my personal life. I had to work, and I was so lucky to meet a friend who is now one of my associates at Art Paris. Back then - in the 90s - he offered to introduce me into the organisation of fairs and salons; and then I was taking part in the organisation of FIAC and the Salon Découvertes here in Paris.

AfN : Could you give us a first impression of Art Paris?

Clough-Lacoste: Of this year's Art Paris? - I have a very good impression; the salon is more contemporary and the place is still very exceptional, so I have a very nice impression of the first day. There were already some high-quality collectors and art lovers. Yesterday during the professional day, a lot of sales have already been concluded. I hope that this will continue.

AfN : What is your target audience?

Clough-Lacoste: An audience of art lovers, collectors and interested people who are sensitive to today's art.

AfN : In this 9th edition of Art Paris, you are turning towards more contemporary galleries. These days, there are more than one hundred similar salons and fairs. What is so special about Art Paris?

Clough-Lacoste: The fact that we continue to defend painting. In the market, there is a strong penetration of the medium "photography", but for us, painting remains a privileged support for the fair.

AfN : Why did you choose one man shows, sculptures and photo galleries as central points? Are these fixed points on the programme of this fair?

Clough-Lacoste: No, these are elements that could change in the years to come. The sculpture section came from our wish to maximise our use of the large spaces below the mezzanine in the great palace. We could not convert these spaces into stands, so we came up with the idea of using these for hosting sculptures. First of all, to help people discover new sculptors, but also to "dress up" these spaces. So this could stay for a couple more years. Or not! We could use these spaces for something else, it's all subject to change, and nothing is set in stone.

AfN : There are only 30% of foreign exhibitors in relation to the number of French galleries. What kind of signal are you trying to send with this?

Clough-Lacoste: Art Paris wants to make the point that it is an international fair, but that it wants to defend the French art scene and the French traders.

AfN : Art Paris Abu Dhabi is taking place from November 26 to November 29, 2007. What are you expecting from this fair?

Clough-Lacoste: First of all, we are hoping to settle a region where the art market is currently developing. We wanted to be among the first ones to go there and to further the exchanges. We want to open up to this part of the world with up-and-coming artists and collectors. And we also would like to export our brand, our fair, our know-how and the spirit of Art Paris to Abu Dhabi; especially because the demand for culture and art in this emirate is very strong. So we had the chance to meet them and sign this deal.

AfN : One last question: how do you recognise "good art"? What are your personal criteria?

Clough-Lacoste: There is no "good" and "bad" art. I think that what matters is what one likes. One should buy according to their sensibility; one should not buy according to fashions and trends. So, nobody could say that there is a "good art" or a "bad art". There is a taste for art, and then various tastes within art.

AfN : Caroline, thanks for this interview.

Interview: Sabine Rieck

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