Just like any other industry, there are trends in the art world. But if we think that art should tell a one-of-a-kind story of the collectors and the artists, what matters more – trends or uniqueness?
Just like their name, Arte Original is a gallery that brings truly unique artwork to collectors. They don’t search for artists from their office in Washington, DC. Their team of experts lives on the ground in Latin America where their artists are. That way they discover talent from the ground and bring them to the collectors. Also, this allows them to create jobs in the region and contribute to the local art ecosystem. Having their team on the ground also helps mitigate their biggest risk which is the logistical challenges. Each country has its specific requirements for exporting art. Arte Original’s team guides the artists with these issues, making sure all artworks are delivered safely to the client’s doorstep.
As a mindful gallery, Arte Original believes in growing together with collectors and artists. They know what’s going on in the artists’ lives and are there to support them – even if that means helping them purchase a much-needed water tank for their home in crisis-hit Caracas or assisting them in safely packing and sending their art from Buenos Aires. This way, the collectors can trust that the artists they fell in love with are in good hands.
Founder and CEO Su Hyun Kim has a background in international development having worked for more than 13 years in that field (UNICEF, Interamerican Development Bank, and the World Bank). Most of her work was in Latin America and the Caribbean – providing business analysis and technical consultancy to small and medium-size businesses. Meanwhile, during her many business trips, she made an exciting discovery. Every time a group went on the trip, at least one person would purchase a painting from a local gallery to bring back home. “Art is different here from what I can find back home” would always be the answer. The different styles – from surrealism, magic realism, geometric, abstract expressionism, and many more – and the joy of experiencing a new culture through a painting seemed to fascinate her colleagues. So the idea arose: why couldn’t they provide this opportunity to people who don’t necessarily travel that often?
That’s how Arte Original was born in 2019. The pandemic has been a challenge and a pivoting moment for the online gallery, but they are moving forward stronger than ever. Currently, the gallery represents over 120 artists from 7 countries in Latin America. Not only do they have exhibitions in the Washington, DC area but had a successful exhibition in Seoul, South Korea in 2021 partnering with a Korean Gallery to introduce Venezuelan Artist Jorge Contreras.
What are their most treasured moments? When that deep emotional connection between the artist’s story and the collector happens. When someone passes by a painting of a woman with a dreamy face and colors exploding from within her and starts uncontrollably crying in front of the painting, a nerve deep inside that person has been touched. The connection that an artwork can create, bridging thousands and millions of miles of distance is truly a powerful thing.
As a young gallery, Arte Original aims to become the trustworthy gallery that anyone can go to for Latin American fine art. They want to continue supporting artists that don’t have the promotion their work deserves, build a community of art lovers, and create jobs. Currently, 38% of the gallery’s artists are talented women artists – they aim to increase the ratio of women artists to 50% by 2023.
Author’s bio: Su Hyun Kim is the Founder and CEO of Arte Original. If you’re in the Washington, DC area keep an eye on their website for upcoming events and exhibitions. See more on their website: www.arteoriginal.co