OH-SO-ARTY by Sarah Peguineby Guy Yanai | 18.07.13
Smart, Sharp, Driven and Beautiful, Sarah Peguine is mapping and expanding the art world of Israel.
Sarah’s idea is in fact deviously simple, in her words: ” A guide to the Israeli Contemporary Art Scene”, and sometimes its just these simple ideas which become so effective, necessary, and crucial. This kind of giving account is something that in many ways is deeply profound. Peguine’s becoming empire is multi faceted, and only growing: artist profiles, guest posts, previews, guided tours, exclusive works for sale, and so on. Whats great here, is that everything is positive, aesthetic, relevant, and clear.
Sarah is a frequent guest at the studio, we sat down, and for once, it was me asking the questions:
1. You were at Dvir Gallery, one of the best in Tel Aviv. Why give that up?
The gallery was the best school I could have asked for. It was amazing to be surrounded during almost four years by such an inspiring and dynamic environment and team and I learnt so much about the local and international art scene. I’m definitely grateful for my time at Dvir and of course it wasn’t easy to leave this second home.
I opened my blog Oh-So-Arty five years ago after I came back to Tel Aviv from 10 years in Europe, three of which I spent studying History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. When I arrived to Tel Aviv I didn’t know much about the Israeli art scene and I wanted to share my discoveries with my followers, I then opened the Facebook page Art Galleries in Tel Aviv which today has over 13,000 subscribers.
I was doing this as a hobby alongside my work at Dvir.
At some point I realized that my true dream was to connect my two life passions – Art and social media – and try to offer a unique platform that would merge both worlds and that could be very useful to my followers. When I finally had a clearer vision of what I wanted to do, I just couldn’t give that up and so I decided to follow that inner voice which tells you to take the risk and make your dream happen.
2. What your aspiration with Oh-So-Arty ? Where do you see it in five years?
My aspiration is to connect the different dots from which the Israeli contemporary art scene is made. It’s also important for me to offer services that are not only online based, such as my private art tours, and services to artists and to collectors. In the next five years, I want to be able to help shape the Contemporary Art scene in Israel by making it much more accessible to Israelis and Telavivians but most importantly to promote it to readers and visitors from all over the world.
3. You seem to thread between very established international artists and very local emerging artists, is this a conscious decision?
In my blog, and in my life in general, I am a true believer in making plans but also in following my intuitions. So I’d say it’s a mix of both conscious decisions, of planning which posts I want to publish in advance, but also of spontaneous and intuitive ones. If I see a work, visit a show or meet an artist that inspires me, I want to know more and share it with my readers, no matter the background or status behind them.
I also think that featuring both established international (and established Israeli) artists alongside very local emerging artists creates a deeper artistic conversation and helps putting the Israeli contemporary art scene in a larger global context.
4. We sat around the studio many times discussing the course of your operations, and certain strategies, what has been the most surprising development ?
It’s true that I love visiting you in your studio! Full of inspiration!
As I mentioned before, I try to connect the blog itself and its Facebook page (art galleries in Tel Aviv) with the real world. I think people’s reception of this “offline” aspect of Oh-So-Arty has surprised me to some extent. For example the way people have reacted so positively to my private art tours and advising services have been a confirmation that Oh-So-Arty is a much needed platform both in the virtual and real world.
5. Finally, when is the launch party that we’ve hearing about ?
I’m planning to make it oh-so-fabulous, with amazing music, arty guests and projects! It should be taking place at the end of the Summer in one of the hottest venues of Tel Aviv, yet to be revealed! So stay tuned!
(all photographs by Fima Shlick)