ART

New ”invite-only” Mankovsky Gallery embraces the new digitised art wave

A fresh take on the out-dated old-fashioned art space.
Interview: KONRAD OLSSON
November 06, 2020

Jonatan Erlandsson is the founder of the invite-only art gallery Mankovsky Gallery in Stockholm. To Erlandsson and the rest of the crew behind the recently opened gallery, the need for a rejuvenated art space is well over-due; art in general, and fine art specifically, is soiled by outdated stigmas, elitism and price knowledge. We asked him about the need for the new gallery, before its launch 20.00 tonight.

Tell us about the idea behind Mankovsky Gallery. You call yourself a different kind of gallery — how’s so? 

— Traditional galleries have seen a major loss in visitor numbers for the past ten years and at the same time, their collectors are becoming older. Bridging to a new generation of clients is about rejuvenation as a whole, digitizing, online communication and embracing what the new wave of artists stand for. ”Art” as a market category has never been closer to the popular culture, like the fashion and music industry, as it is now. Street artists like Banksy, artistic director for Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh collaborating with Takashi Murakami and the amazing rise of Amoako Boafo. This movement is globally engaging so much more people and segments than just art. Somewhere in the middle, there is where we strive to be.

Ok, tell us more!

— We’ve spent the last two years curating contemporary, well-situated artists together with the up-and-coming talent to present these collaborations in limited, numbered and artist signed fine art editions to a price level where we can involve a full community. We see amazing walls in homes owned by fashion and musically aware people but these walls remain in big parts empty due to stigmas surrounding the fine art original’s art market were knowledge, price and certain elitism have been existing for too long. Our clients know exactly what they wear and why what they listen to and where they go vacationing. They are an urban movement who are extremely picky and we cater to those needs.

You sell online but also have a physical space. How do you balance those two? 

— Opening a gallery, in general, is madness. Not just due to Covid19, which put the global art market in an uproar, but decreasing consumer/collector interest to visit actual gallery spaces in general. So we did just that. We simply did it for another reason than the traditional were people window-shop and crave free champagne two Thursdays a month. Our physical gallery walls are an extension of our digital gallery communication, not the other way around. We put up-and-coming talents next to Saatchi Gallery and Maddox Gallery represented artists and create magic. Our walls are where we do our photoshoots, from the floor we set the ambience and at our desks, we do the business.

”Traditional galleries have seen a major loss in visitor numbers for the past ten years and at the same time, their collectors are becoming older.”

Where is your physical gallery located?

— It’s in Stockholm. Not open to the general public. 

You are invite-only. How do you select the people who get to buy?

— Basically, you can access us on three levels. Our brick and mortar gallery space is invite-only and consists of a group of international collectors. Then we have the members section of our online gallery, which is technically request-only. So far, we have a few hundred members who have applied, and they get early access to artist launches, exclusive access to artworks and editions, as well as invitations to events and art showings. Lastly, we have a public section of our online where we sell fine-art editions. 

Tell us about these fine-art editions.

— The curation process of artworks is made in collaboration with the artists, the editions are then set in terms of how many will be offered. There will never be additional offerings of these editions, what is offered with us at Mankovsky Gallery is what is available. We are the exclusive gallery partner globally on these specific works. When sold, each of the artworks is hand-cut, numbered accordingly, ink stamped on the back, embossed with the Mankovsky Gallery signature and accompanied with an artist signed ”Certificate of Authenticity” in our lab in Sweden. It is then packed in our black velvet artisan roll before being shipped worldwide with DHL Express. The process has more than 40 manual steps and two levels of quality assurance by our Master Printer before being approved for delivery.

How do you curate the artists?

— We have influential partners and friends, people who believe in the Mankovsky vision and together we’ve found a way to curate passionate collaborations with amazing talent. 

Tell us about some of your recent artist launches! 

— We did a solo-exhibition with London based artist Luap who previously have showcased next to Picasso, Damien Hirst, Warhol and Banksy. His iconic ”Pink Bear” series is something that I personally would want to see everywhere, all the time. Sadly with the strict edition limitations that will not be the case. Next up  was Simon Lohmeyer, an amazing photographer from Munich who focuses on fine art nude and just a few days ago we launched the Swedish photographer Pamela Hanné were we partner up with The Photo Gallery in Halmstad to present her works.

What’s your own background? 

— I’ve worked in the fashion industry for too long haha. Jokes aside, I had a fashion agency that is now run by one of my closest friends and business partner.

What’s in store for the future? What’s next? 

— Number one is to really make sure the artists we represent are happy with us as their partner. After that keep innovating, keep disrupting and keep scaling. In the near future, we will showcase two local Swedish artists as well as a recently signed, major, international artist. So stay tuned.

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