"Art finds you" In an interview: the gallery owner Sina Stockebrand

"Die Kunst findet zu Dir" Im Interview: die Galeristin Sina Stockebrand

As promised, I'm leaving you with some older articles on the subject of art that I wrote on the blog of my old website. Above all, the wonderful interview with Sina Stockebrand today. You can still find the entire old blog in the archive.

I'm finally getting back to you with a new post and a very special one at that. A few weeks ago I had the great opportunity to host a virtual exhibition of very exclusive art on my Instagram feed. It gave me so much joy and I would like to take you with me again today because I talked to Sina after the exhibition. The result is a great interview, which I am publishing here in its entirety and from which you can learn so much. I recommend it to everyone who wants to deal with the topic of life with art.

After the interview you will find the most beautiful pictures of this great day. Have fun and a big thank you to you, Sina, for designing this special experiment with me!

Dear Sina,

A few weeks ago we started a very special experiment together here in the Torhaus in Warnau: a virtual exhibition with works of art from your collection. It was great to see how they work in our rooms and it was even better to get a very deep insight into the subject of art and the art trade. First of all, thank you for that. I promised my followers on Instagram that I would grill you again and do a little interview with you:

Sina, I got to know you as a woman for whom her job is a true calling. Where does the love of art come from? And how was your path to your current job?

Yes, that's right: I love my job more than anything and definitely don't want to do anything other than live and work with art every day. You can really say that I have grown into my current role. The deeper you delve into the subject of “art”, the more interesting and exciting it becomes. My grandmother has already collected everything: pictures, sculptures, porcelain and antique furniture. She had a special sense of the “beautiful” in life, probably due to the terrible experiences of the war generation. My mother also has this sense and has also implemented it professionally. She ran a small gallery and frame shop in our former hometown of Detmold for 20 years. So I've always been surrounded by works of art on the one hand and entrepreneurial thinking on the other. Nevertheless, after graduating from high school, I felt an urge to differentiate myself from the family art world and wanted to do something of my own. After training as an industrial clerk, I left the small town to study art history in Münster and Munich. After graduating, I worked in the art trade for several years, as an expert and customer advisor in Germany's leading auction house for modern and contemporary art. From there, my path led me to self-employment via an international art trading company in 2012. If you want to be successful there, you have to really “burn” for what you do.

You told me your work has a lot to do with personal relationships. Would you mind telling us what these look like?

For me, art generally has a lot to do with individuality and personality. Above all, abstract art, in which I specialize, is an expression of the personal and intellectual freedom of the artist and the recipient.

Kandinsky said: “Every picture interacts with the viewer and what he makes of it is not in the artist’s hands.” An important art collector put it this way: “Art is its own universe that exists parallel to reality . What’s interesting is the connection between this universe and life, the energy that jumps over.” So art gives you a wonderful opportunity to find and realize yourself.

Buying and selling art is also a very personal matter that involves aspects such as trust, empathy and sympathy. I like contact with my customers and the personal exchange of ideas. I try to appear professional and expert, but also open and friendly. The story like us. Finding each other is a great example: A friend recommends your Instagram account to me as pure interior inspiration. I admire your style and of course your works of art and somehow it happened by chance that you suddenly stood at my trade fair stand with your husband and we started talking. A little art, the meeting of people, a lot of sympathy... and something totally exciting emerges.

Personal contacts are also very important for the success of my work. A good and functioning network of auction houses, gallery owners, experts, frame makers, museums, curators and insurance brokers enables me to provide my customers with qualified advice and support in all areas on a daily basis.

How do I find the right work of art for me? How do I train my eyes? And how do you see your role in this process?

Interestingly, the works of art that are right for you usually find their way to you on their own if you are open to it. Training your eyes is the be-all and end-all. That's why my recommendation is: look, look, look. Learn, read, watch and then of course start buying at some point. Go to museums and exhibitions, visit the numerous galleries and art fairs. The offer is large. Look what art does to you. If an artist or style appeals to you, deepen your knowledge of it in the literature, with internet research and discussions with relevant experts. It is a lifelong learning process, unfortunately time-consuming but enormously rewarding. I spend probably 50% of my daily working time on research, screening the market and acquiring my works of art. I select because the market is relatively large and confusing. I sort through and look for the truffles, so to speak. As a result, I present my customers with a small but qualitatively assured selection of works of art. I advise and lend buyers my eye, my specialist knowledge and my experience.

We've talked a lot about the fact that many people are a little afraid to go to a gallery or contact an art dealer. You are so personable that you make this really easy. What do you think causes these threshold fears?

The presentation of art in museums often conveys something distant, sacred, otherworldly. The spacious, often sober exhibition rooms have an impact on the art. This creates a feeling of distance and awe.

In addition, the press usually only reports on major museum exhibitions and auction successes, where one record result in the millions follows the next. And then there are the important art fairs where high society and the who's who gather to show off invitations to the VIP preview in order to be the first to buy the hottest it-piece from the new exceptional artist or, even worse, themselves to be put on the waiting list. However, this image of the art market created by the media is not representative. You shouldn't let that put you off.

There are definitely very good works of art for everyone interested and for every budget.

The fact is: living with art at home is anything but sober and distant.

Under no circumstances should you approach the matter with fear; rather, curiosity, self-confidence and fun with the subject matter are the better advisors here. Ultimately, you bring art into your own four walls. You develop a relationship with the works that strengthens and develops over time. Just like in human relationships. This is extremely exciting.

What advice do you give to people who want to get involved with the subject of art and purchase a work of art? What should I pay attention to?

If you have been thinking about art for a while, you can set off on your own and go on a tour of discovery. As already mentioned, if you are a “beginner”, do not miss any opportunity to experience art personally and look at everything that comes your way. Start reading and researching the art that appeals to you. See what you like and find out more about it. Consult the relevant experts and gallery owners. Unfortunately, the art market is also full of dangers and the issue of art counterfeiting, for example, has grown into an immense problem in recent years. So check carefully who you seek advice from.

What determines the price of a work of art?

Haha, if I could give you a general answer to this question, I would probably be a millionaire ;-)

Pictures are created from a stretcher frame and a canvas, from paper and paints, the added value of which is virtually fictitious. Art becomes capital, which is why the well-known collector Hermann Bode summed up in the 1920s: “All art is magic”.

However, there are actually some factors that need to be taken into account when evaluating art realistically, for example:

  • The artist and his biography
  • The artist's position within art history
  • The meaning of the image within the oeuvre
  • The quality of the image itself
  • The condition of the picture
  • The time the picture was created
  • The provenance
  • The exhibition history
  • The rarity
  • Which gallery(s) represents the artist?
  • And finally, of course, the demand situation on the market

And what do you think are ways to find great art on a budget?

Depending on what demands you want from your collection, there are different options. If you want to design your home beautifully and individually with original art, the market for contemporary artists has plenty to offer. You can look on social media, at trade fairs and in galleries. Everywhere you will meet good artists who are perhaps at the beginning of a career and whose works are quite affordable. For example, you can also go to the presentations and final tours of well-known art academies and look there. In order to act successfully here, you should have trained your eye to distinguish a good work from a mediocre one.

If you also want to take the “value aspect” into account when collecting art or feel overwhelmed by the evaluation of contemporary art, then I clearly recommend focusing on established names and artists with exhibition histories and perhaps instead of high-priced unique pieces, initially with limited, to start signed editions. This is also a focus of my offer.

Is art still a good investment? And what should be the focus? The investment or the love for the object?

In any case, I think art is a good investment. It is an enormous enrichment for your life. In this respect, love and joy for the object should always come first. But since you may also spend a lot of money on art, it is of course legitimate to consider the idea of ​​value retention and increase in value when collecting art. As I said, “classic objects” by renowned artists that are traded stably on the national and international market are best suited for this purpose. On the other hand, I take a critical view of the hype surrounding contemporary art and, in general, art as a short-term, speculative investment with enormous potential for price increases.

What does your personal life with art look like?

The pictures are part of our everyday life, our house is full of them and something is constantly moving from one place to another, being swapped or added to. This is a very dynamic and creative process. But there are also images that stay in certain positions because there is simply a “perfect match” of image and environment. I want to have art very close to me; that motivates and inspires me in my work. Fortunately, my husband shares the interest and we exchange a lot of information about it. Fortunately, he is still a bit more rational in matters and, if necessary, brings me back from some dreams of unrealistic investments. For the two children (4 and 7 years old), art on the walls is a given: “mommy and her pictures” belong together for them. Surprisingly, they are very aware of this, even if we do not try in any way to educate them into little art experts with information. I am happy when they often look over my shoulder and express their own opinion on various works.

The most important question at the end: Will we repeat the great exhibition? And how else can people meet you?

I had a lot of fun and your great rooms are a perfect stage for my pictures. I admire the great photos you took. This definitely makes you want more!

If anyone is now curious about art: you can find a selection of my offerings on my website www.sinastockebrand.de or on my Instagram account. You can browse there at any time and get inspired. If you would like further information, please feel free to contact me personally.

This year, unfortunately, almost all of the events and trade fairs that I normally attend were canceled due to Corona. I really hope that I can resume my trade fair activities next year. If you want, you can also sign up for my newsletter by email and/or register to receive catalogs. I would be happy about that!

Many thanks to you, dear Sina, for this exciting conversation!

You can find more information about the individual works on Sina's website. The video of the exhibition is available on IGTV on my Instagram feed. Take a look.