Interview with Michel Culot, the Founder of Art on Paper

Artsper is a partner of the 4th edition of Art on Paper, the drawing fair that starts on Thursday in Brussels. This is an occasion for us to give you the opportunity to discover and buy works that will be shown this weekend, before, but also after the fair. Artsper has met with Michel Culot, the founder of the event, and he has answered our questions and has shared with us some of his ambitions for the future editions of the fair.


Artsper: We’re at the 4th edition of Art on Paper already, what motivated you to launch the fair four years ago?
Michel Culot: What motivated me was the passion for drawing and its creativity; as a cultural entrepreneur, I really wanted to launch an exclusive event on this theme in Brussels, the capital of Europe and an important international capital city. Moreover, the fair takes place in an unconventional space that allows viewers to relate to the artworks in a more personal and direct manner.

A: What’s new for the 2013 edition? Could you tell us a little bit about Art on Paper+1?
Michel Culot: The “+1” event allows art dealers to present the work of an artist of their choice, that goes beyond the medium – so that can be painting, sculpture, video… Art on Paper+1 honors this year the Frémok publishing collective, by dedicating them an exhibition space. Visitors will be able to discover the experimental work of these artists, and the main theme of the show is the exploration of the limit between art and comics.

A: You have also launched a call for applications because you wanted to show the work of a young artist or a student. Are you thinking of launching an “emerging artists” or a “young talents” section in the future?
Michel Culot:  Yes, that is one of our goals. At first, we’d like to give emerging artists a chance to be seen and appreciated; and maybe the chance to be seen by experienced and less experienced collectors, too.

A: What is your most important goal for the fair?
Michel Culot: I want the fair to achieve international recognition as an important platform for exhibitions, that offers artists and collectors the opportunity to meet, to discover and to promote art, but also to exchange ideas about drawing.

A: What are your favorite artists presented during the previous editions of Art On Paper?
Michel Culot: Stephane Mendelbaum, Dominique Goblet, André Stas, Max Neumann and many others; there were many extremely talented artists that were shown at the fair.

A: Are you a collector yourself?
Michel Culot: I am, yes, but a modest one. I love buying my favorite pieces and become the owner of an artwork if it touches my heart. That’s a means to enrich one’s personal universe.

A: What do you think of the Artsper project?
Michel Culot: I think it is a fantastic tool, but also a form of “dematerialization” of the original artwork, and it should be able to maintain the balance between profit and information in order for it to become a reference.