Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim has been a busy man over the last few years. The art expert has worked nonstop to reach more people and present the works of up and coming contemporary artists from around the globe.
After opening the HG Contemporary in New York City, Hoerle-Guggenheim launched a Madrid-based gallery. The Madrid location opened up Europe and a whole new art world for Hoerle-Guggenheim and his gallery. Its success has sparked three further gallery locations. Each gallery is specifically tailored to provide visitors with an unique experience. Artlovers can explore the HG Contemporary locations and find something completely new and exciting at each one. It is a concept Hoerle-Guggenheim and his team of curators have worked diligently to create.
Despite the gallery locations providing artlovers with plenty of great works from artists around the world, Hoerle-Guggenheim is not ready to rest. The art expert has a lot of plans and he recently spoke to Totalprestige Magazine about the future of the HG Contemporary galleries.
Philippe, it has been a while since we last spoke. Can you tell us what you have been up to recently?
Yes, it has indeed. Thank you for having me again. A lot has happened for HG Contemporary in almost the last couple of years since we spoke. We have opened three more locations including Madrid and Napa Valley. We have done astounding exhibitions getting global recognition, we have implemented more tools to serve our artists and collectors better, and we have produced a large mural by Brazilian artist Kobra in the heart of Chelsea above the legendary Empire Diner on 22nd and Tenth, the most celebrated wall in this art capital. But then a lot more has happened that largely endeavor all the phenomenal exhibitions that we showcased or a TEDx talk I was part of in Mexico City.
Our mission is to “create value for collectors and artists alike” has really established itself. It has become extremely important in our opinion to create winning situations that also include built residencies for artists, be a patron in this world where there is so much talent to choose from, but where you as a gallery find your brand, and your own identity.
You have opened HG Contemporary galleries in New York City and Madrid. You now have three more HG Contemporary galleries. First off, where these new galleries are located, and secondly, how did you select the locations?
We now have a location in Madrid which opened up Europe for us and was a very important step for gaining recognition as an international and relevant art gallery. We also opened a beautiful and more experimental space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where we showcase installations, indoor murals and have a different approach altogether compared to our other locations. Giving emerging artists the chance to celebrate their work in this space is a blessing we enjoy sharing. The fourth location besides Chelsea, Madrid, and Brooklyn is Napa Valley. It is a collaboration with the beautiful Brasswood estate, which has phenomenal large scale walls and space, and we use as exhibition space with regular fine tailored events. The works of Tim Bengel and Natvar Bhavsar blend in beautifully with the natural colors of the environment. And now Ceve’s sculptures. Napa Valley is a special place.
What can gallery visitors expect at the new locations?
Every location has a very different sensibility. Madrid is certainly an outlook of avantgarde established artists with exposure to museums, which is similar to our Chelsea location, but there are some differences as we focus mostly on Spanish artists in our Madrid location. Chelsea is very much touching on all senses with relevant and exciting, curated exhibitions that have at least one installation component. We find it crucial to leave everyone that comes to see the exhibitions with a lasting impression. Napa Valley, la haute de gamme, mostly bluechip artwork, but also with living artists that do come in person and we allow for dinners with the artists present. It is experience-based where the artwork serves as a memory and the memory becomes the artwork.
Are you planning any special programs or exhibits for these new galleries? Will there be any location‐specific artwork on display?
Yes indeed, our curations are lasting across the board. They are there to connect to the soul of each location. We also work with curators that bring the exhibitions to new territories. So, each location is different in curation. We also try to connect to outside events beyond the gallery walls. Whether it is the exhibition with UK artist grandeur Alison Jackson and her “Donald Trump” photography caught in action, and a simultaneous motorcade that stopped traffic on Fifth Avenue or the very first artificial intelligence art exhibition ever showcased by AICAN or an awareness-raising exhibition about PTSD amongst veterans leaving combat we tailor things to the location of the galleries for all to see, and experience and connecting with your collectors is important to us.
What goes into choosing artists for the new galleries? How will you select the works displayed?
Largely finding unique artists that align with our curation in the individual locations. It takes our team of curators months to decide the right wave between each location and how they synergize between one another. Louis Carreon is an artist I just signed that we will be showing in New York in September this year. His work of religious iconography in a contemporary setting is groundbreaking as spirituality has expanded heavily in recent years and it is finding its way back into artists’ expressions.
How has the response been to the previously opened galleries and what have you learned from them?
We have had a really great response across the board and across all locations. The major lesson was really to create consistency in how we connect with our collectors. They certainly appreciate our approach and curation. There are many new exciting things that will be happening this year and we devote ourselves to create value with everything that we do and make it fun at the same time.
Philippe, you have spoken about adding blockchain technology to the new galleries. How do you plan to add the technology to the art gallery experience?
Blockchain can create a safer acquisition environment for collectors, artists and gallerists alike. I think it is a huge plus to incorporate tools that increase transparency and security. Some people that are in business may not agree, but in my opinion it would be a relief not just for collectors, but gallerists and artists will know that works are safeguarded and there is nothing to worry about. The work is pristine. In my opinion, this will open up the gates to a new collector base that is currently timid to enter to this point with little visibility at times.
What can blockchain technology do to enhance HG Contemporary galleries?
Create an added value for our clients, create value for the artists that can extend that security to the collectors of their works for years to come. Blockchain helps with provenance, authentication and is simply an added value which I believe will become an industry standard.
Philippe, what are some of the other exciting art projects you are a part of right now? Is it mostly just focusing on the new galleries or is there more in store?
Quite a bit. We are thinking of how to expand the concept of an art gallery beyond your gallery walls. Member events, create curational experiences with private talks with artists that are less accessible. There is a lot that will unfold this year alone.
Can you tell us about some of the rising artists working with the HG Contemporary galleries that you believe will become big names in the near future?
There are three names that come to mind. Inherently, I would like to mention, however, that I believe in all the artists I work with – I don’t “cheat” on my intentions. It has also been my philosophy to choose artists very different from others to create an exclusive ambiance.
The first I would like to mention is Mehwish Iqbal. She is originally from Pakistan and resides and works in Sydney. Her past becomes everyone’s past through her work. I have rarely met an artist who goes so deep with her method and the depth of context exposed. During her show at HG Contemporary in New York , the number of visitors that walked through and have expressed “I understand who she is” was overwhelming, and that ought to be an artist’s goal.
Louis Carreon, an artist based in Los Angeles, who after a tough past, has devoted his attention to spiritually led work in a street art context. When it comes to that theme, that movement of art, he is one of the most unique. The pattern he uses, the movement of brush strokes he does it with, and the given connections of his own past and his present, just evoke that he is set up for success. He is essentially a leader in his genre of artistic expression and is establishing his niche. Louis will have his first solo show with us in September of this year.
Then there is Tim Bengel. He is a genius contemporary expressionist who uses the medium of sand, gold and/or copper and does large scale works that are not revealed until the overflow is pushed off the canvas. These moments are captivated often times in video and spread like wildfire on social media and TV, and give the artist tremendous recognition.
Tim found a way to connect with his audience anywhere and understand the power of media and the power of social media. We are bringing his work back to HG Contemporary New York and other locations this year.