Learning art while having fun thanks to ART FIX – Art Nomade Milan
E-learning and art: Art Nomade Milan has found a new online art platform that will reserve you some nice surprises.
With the global health emergency, online learning opportunities have increased exponentially. Schools of all types and levels have landed in the digital world and there have also been opportunities for extra-curricular study.
Art was not far behind: art fairs have been reorganized online thanks to viewing rooms, there have been virtual auctions and 3D exhibitions. Online courses on art history, criticism and art market have also grown.
Thanks to virtual links I discovered ART FIX, a platform that is anything but traditional.
A 100% female team aims to bring even the less inclined to the world of culture, thanks to themed episodes published on a regular basis.
Appealing videos, which run quickly, in English language: which is not bad at all ? An additional opportunity to train our knowledge of foreign languages as well.
“Learning while having fun”: this is how I have defined ART FIX. But it will be its own founders, Ingrid and Yvette, to describe the platform in the next lines ⬇️⬇️
– From the fashion world (Ingrid) to the world of art (Yvette). How did you meet each other and how was ART FIX project born?
Our story began when we met 20 years ago through our mutual interest in contemporary art, a world which, unlike today, was pretty reserved for die-hard art lovers. From this shared love for art grew a special friendship, one which took us to several corners of the globe to experience art together. But of course – like most things – art is better when shared. And so grew our desire to build an online destination for contemporary art education, for our friends and for friends of friends (and friends of those friends). What we try to do is bring the art world to life and break down the fundamentals in a cool and interesting way, so our community can formulate their own opinion on artworks, artists, galleries and museums, just like we were able to do 20 years ago.
– “Making contemporary art accessible and exciting to all” is one of ART FIX mottos. How does your e-learning platform work? Is it a traditional online education system or something more?
When you join Art Fix, you become part of the Art Fix community. We provide online learning about contemporary art anywhere at any time, allowing you to enjoy every episode at any moment and place that suits your lifestyle. Because it’s 100% online, you can learn at your own pace in a safe space. Art Fix is accessible without weary art-snobbism. We’re here to democratise the way contemporary art is understood, discussed, and experienced.
Every month, a new 30-minute thematic episode is released, including interviews and artist deep-dives. We’ve currently released five exciting episodes, including those all about street art, sculpture, new media, and auctions. For those wanting a little more than just the course itself, we also offer several Stories, which invite you further into the secrets behind the art. These Stories take on various forms: they could be of the IRL kind, tip lists packed with our top must-see art destinations, from Amsterdam to LA from Dublin to Beijing. You can check out our Amsterdam list here to get a taste of these art guides. So in that sense it’s untraditional, because we offer so much than just the eLearning platform itself: the Art Fix community.
– What are ART FIX strengths compared to other e-learning artistic and cultural platforms?
We’re accessible, fun, and easy to watch. You get the benefits of a course without the burden of the classroom. No stuffy professors or strict timings, just engaging videos with lots of humour. We’re out to demystify the world of contemporary art and make it more accessible through better storytelling, which means everything is told to be remembered.
Another important distinction is that our content was created in 2020 for a contemporary viewer: we discuss relevant issues of today, think “Black Lives Matter” or feminism. We pride ourselves on always putting female artists on a pedestal.
– What does becoming an “ART FIX” member mean? Which are the benefits for art lovers and for who wants to be?
The commitment of an Art Fix annual membership makes you an “Art Fixer”, meaning you’ll be delighted with a new episode each month. Around the episode’s theme, we deliver several exclusive stories which will deep-dive to satisfy your curiosities beyond the introduction given in the episodes. As discussed, we built episodes to be remembered, leaving you with a PDF of “What we learnt this Episode”, an easy short summary of artists and artworks we discuss so you can always refer back! It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a contemporary art professional, you’ll always learn something new. That’s our Art Fix promise!
– ART FIX working team is a 100% female group. Do you think that in the art system a “gender gap” problem exists? How important is the role of women for the growth of contemporary society?
One of our missions at Art Fix is to shine a spotlight on female art – not females being portrayed in art only, but also the females behind the work. We tell the stories of the women holding the paintbrushes, the ladies sculpting the figures, and the females behind the lens. There can be a false sense of feminism in the art world due to the inclusion of women as subjects, but actually the gap exists when you look at the creator of the works. According to a recent essay published by Artsy, only two works by women have ever broken into the top 100 auction sales for paintings, despite women being the subject matter for approximately half of the top 25 (source here). This is something that we’re striving to change, even if just a little bit.
– I know it’s a hard choice: you made 6 episodes out of 12 (for the first season), which is your favourite one?
Ingrid: Episode 6 on L.O.L – appropriation and conceptual art. I love the element of laughter in art. The latest episode is always my favorite because it’s top of mind!
Yvette: Episode 2 – Some of my favourite artists like Antony Gormley and Alicja Kwade are in this episode. Not only do we discuss their work but we also let the artist talk about the ideas behind their work. I love adventure and discovering some of the works from this episode is a real challenge in itself. Think of the Ugo Rondinone’s “Seven Magic Mountains” in the Nevada desert or Gormley’s rusty iron sculpture of a man on a mountain in the Ski resort of Lech, Austria. You can’t really appreciate these works until you experience them for yourself!
– One of Yvette’s favourite artists is Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Have you ever thought about making one entire episode on contemporary African art?
Okay, you caught us! We haven’t officially announced it yet, but we’re currently working on an episode exclusively about Black female artists, which we’ll release at the end of October. Stay tuned for that!
– Your second to last episode is about social art and activism. Do you think that art activism is still important to change the art system in favor of major fairness?
Contemporary art has traditionally acted as a reflection of the time we live in, a mirror that’s a little easier to face than the grim newspaper headlines. Yet in more recent years, contemporary art has started to play a more active role in which it serves as a catalyst rather than a reactant. For example, conceptual artist Jenny Holzer produced a work in 2018, in reaction to gun violence and school shootings, in which she placed LED light screens on trucks that rode around several US cities with confrontational statements about US gun policies, think “Too Late Now” or “The President Backs Away”. This shows how art is being taken out of the traditional, more closed confines of museums or galleries and becoming a real vehicle for political change.
Or take the “Black Lives Matter” street art work, produced in May 2020, which was sanctified by the DC Governor and was extremely provocative given its physical placement in front of the White House. These examples show that while contemporary art has always played a reflective role, activist art in 2020 is a way of protesting in and of itself. And – we dare to say – perhaps an even more effective way than other forms of protest.
– COVID 19 pandemic: how has the global health situation affected ART FIX activities? Do you think that online realities could substitute the previous art market mechanisms?
Art Fix was launched right at the beginning of the global pandemic. It provided a unique opportunity for online learning, which could take place in the safety of your own home without any limitations that arose from physical offerings. So from an Art Fix perspective it was an opportunity for our viewers to invest in themselves while protecting their health. If we look at it from a more aerial perspective and consider the art market, it’s not as positive. While fairs, museums, galleries, and auction houses have done a tremendous job in pivoting to digital over the past few months, there’s still so much that cannot come alive in a digital experience. You can’t feel the real energy of the work, study the angles properly, examine the way it makes you feel.
In our fourth episode, for example, we discuss art auctions. While we do dive into the logistics of a Sotheby’s or Christie’s auction, we also film a physical auction taking place, showing the energy, the buzz, and the desire to purchase. It takes a completely different mindset to study or understand art online, let alone purchase a work. So it’s more a mindset change, rather than an operational one. And unfortunately, mindsets take much longer to shift than it does to build a viewing website or create a museum app!
– Let’s think about the future ?. Can you tell us something about ART FIX projects you are currently developing?
Creating and expanding the Art Fix community: our vision is that our members of Art Fix are not just viewers of the online course, but belong to an online and offline community of art lovers. This community will be the place to turn to for anyone looking to dip their toe into the art world or share their passion for contemporary art: the online destination to share their favourite pieces or artists, discuss upcoming gallery exhibitions, perhaps even suggest the best place to grab a coffee on the way!
We hope that this community will mirror our membership in terms of diversity: with all genders, nationalities, and races playing a role. Of course we’ll continue to shine a spotlight on female artists, as these are the talents that art history has unsurprisingly not been as kind to. We’ve only just launched a few months ago, but our community is already growing, and we want the passion for contemporary art and empowering female artists to be at the centre of that!