Stockholm based artist Pontus Djanaieff is a versatile artist, and has worked together with prolific names within the fields of art, design, interior design and entertainment for his 30-year-old career. His latest art exhibition is the ongoing ”Happy to be Here” that right now takes place at Nordiska Galleriet in Stockholm. Characters from Djanaieff’s favourite childhood comic books as well as new age symbols and contemporary lifestyle markers are depicted on wall-hung reliefs, rugs, pillows, caps, t-shirts, hoodies, and embroidered patches.
Djanieff acts like a pop-culture archaeologist, exposing multiple layers of images and impression that us humans stumble upon in our everyday life.
The exhibition is running until January 18 2021, and all fashion pieces and other textile products are available for purchase at Nordiska Galleriet.
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gallery, the need for a rejuvenated art space is well over-due; art in general, and fine art specifically, is soiled by outdated stigmas, elitism and price knowledge.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 have showcased an amazing hyper-realism painter from Valencia named Ricardo Rodriguez Cosme. His astronaut series is something we really liked when we first saw them and ended up loving after actually meeting Ricardo himself. After Ricardo, 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.
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.
Nybrogatan, one of Stockholm’s most prominent streets, has just been supplemented with a new office building on Nybrogatan 17. The new spaces, owned by property owners Humlegården, host 6000 square meters of commercial space as well as 18 new apartments, and the modern brick-laden facade contrasts the ancient neighboring buildings to create a Scandinavian mixture of old and new.
Danish architecture firm 3XN was hired to create the office building, which has a twisting and turning glass facade that faces the courtyard. The modern offices are built right next to the ancient Astoria building, a former cinema that dates back to 1874. The old theater spaces are now refurbished to host Brasseri Astoria, a new restaurant led by chef Björn Frantzén most famous for his Michelin three-star restaurant Frantzén.
— We are creating office spaces with the best conditions. It has never been more important to have a dynamic context. Nybrogatan and its surrounding blocks are some of Stockholm’s most intriguing places, stores and restaurants, says Peter Lind, property manager at Humlegården.