Pablo Gil Martinez is the founder of the recently launched art sales platform, Suarte. Fine Art Shippers spoke with him about the platform’s mission and key features, their approach to working with galleries and artists, and, of course, their growth plans.
Suarte: Interview with the Founder of an Art Sales Platform
To start, what inspired you to create Suarte? How did the idea for the platform emerge?
Pablo Gil Martinez: I’m now 25 years old. At the age of 18, I began my studies in Miami, where I obtained both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees thanks to a soccer scholarship. My specialization was in international business and finance. However, due to a series of events, experiences, and visits to art hubs like Wynwood, I discovered a deep passion for art. This led me to think about how I could transform this passion into a business venture.
Consequently, four years ago, I founded a company named Suarte in Miami. Facing certain challenges, I returned to Spain, but I remained committed to developing the art sales platform with integrated social features that I had originally imagined. We officially launched it on June 28, 2023. Leading up to that, we secured representation in 42 countries and collaborated with over 100 galleries.
What does “Suarte” mean?
“Suarte” is a play on the Spanish phrase “su arte,” which means “their art.” During my time in Miami, I reflected on the values that were significant to me. I believed that if I were to create an ecosystem for both artists and galleries, it should center around their creations. I wanted to emphasize: “Suarte” isn’t about us; it’s about artists and their art.
What is the process for galleries and artists to join the platform?
Suarte accommodates only physical galleries for sales, necessitating that they have a brick-and-mortar location. To become a part of the platform, galleries must complete a preliminary registration process at join.suarte.art. They need to provide details such as their capability for international shipping, high-resolution images of artworks, and information about their location and team. All submissions undergo a review. Before being displayed, each piece of art is vetted to confirm the accuracy of its imagery and to verify the authenticity of the artist, ensuring the highest standards are met before the artwork goes live on the platform.
If a gallery uploads a work that an artist currently owns, the artist can claim it in their profile. However, all transactions are managed by galleries. Using the platform is free; our revenue comes from commissions on sales.
How many galleries and artists do you have right now?
To be featured on Suarte, a gallery needs to display a minimum of three artworks. At present, we have around 65 galleries that have met the minimum artwork requirement. In total, we’ve registered over a hundred galleries. As for artists, approximately 80 are registered, and they will be granted access to the platform soon.
How is Suarte different from other art selling platforms?
We are free for galleries. This financial model enables us to be both innovative and disruptive. For example, every artwork uploaded must have a public price, which is rarely the case with other platforms. Additionally, Suarte also acts as a social media platform. Users can share their thoughts on artworks; we have implemented a rating system that evaluates the artwork’s style, the emotions it evokes, and the ability to withstand the test of time.
This interactive approach serves a dual purpose: it helps us generate more content but also motivates galleries to engage more actively in the platform. Users can display their purchased artworks on their profiles. And since all of our associated galleries have physical locations, Suarte can efficiently increase foot traffic. If a user is interested in an artwork, they can also purchase them in-store and have it displayed in their profile. In the future, buyers will have the opportunity to access a secondary market.
Furthermore, we’re excited about our Limited Editions. Galleries can request Suarte to produce high-quality prints of the artworks, with a cap of 250 prints for each piece, available in up to three different sizes.
Could you elaborate on the “limited editions” option?
The idea behind “limited editions” is to enable people to buy art based on their appreciation and love for it, rather than solely based on their budget. We recognize that newcomers to the art world may hesitate to begin with expensive artworks. Instead, they can select a limited edition that speaks to them, which also retains value and contributes to raising the visibility of the artist.
Galleries have the choice of whether to offer limited editions for their artworks; it’s a completely optional feature. However, for those who decide to use it, it can serve as a source of additional revenue for them and their artists.
Since you just launched, what are your plans for the year ahead?
At the moment, our main priority is to keep improving the platform, selling, and attracting investors, especially those with deep knowledge of the art industry. We’ve lined up pivotal meetings with representatives from some of the top art galleries globally. Additionally, we intend to participate in major art fairs to broaden our network. On the user growth front, our immediate target is to amass 100,000 users by the year’s end.
Above all, our overarching aim is to pioneer a fresh approach to art sales — one that’s brave, transparent, opens doors for artists, and proves beneficial for everyone involved.
Interview by Inna Logunova
Photo courtesy of suarte.art