However, one of the key career triggers for every young artist is to begin an exclusive collaboration with a professional contemporary art gallery. The role of such an institution is invaluable. It is the gallery that organizes exhibitions, promotes works of art at fairs, publishes catalogs, and sells artwork. There are about 40 of such fully professional contemporary art galleries in Poland. These institutions continuously invest in the artists they represent. Therefore, the moment an artist gets under the wings of a gallery also marks a jump in the prices of his or her works which usually double.
One of the most spectacular examples of such a surge in prices that I have observed in recent years is the dynamic development of Ewa Juszczykiewicz’s career. In 2013, the artist was represented by Lokal 30 art gallery and was just qualified for the final phase of the 41. Painting Biennale “Bielska Jesień”. One day before the announcement of results, I called Agnieszka Rayzacher, an art-dealer who represented Ewa. Our conversation wasn’t smooth, as Agnieszka was just on her way to Bielsko. I, on the other hand, thought to myself that if such a busy person is going to Bielsko to participate in the announcement of results, this must have meant good news for Ewa. I immediately reached out to one of the clients of Wealth Solutions, which was where I worked at that time, and whose taste I had known. I offered to hold Ewa’s painting „Straw hat” (as inspired by Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun) for him. Back then the price was PLN 12,000. Just imagine how happy we were when it turned out Ewa actually won the competition. Later, in 2014, the artist was featured in the prestigious publication “100 Painters of Tomorrow” and was invited to participate in an exhibition curated by Maurizio Cattelan in Palazzo Cavour in Turin. She was also selected to participate in the third part of the popular series “Vitamin P”. For two consecutive years, she has been ranked first in the Young Art Compass. Already in 2015, the prices of her large-format paintings reached PLN 50,000–60,000, and this was only the beginning of the career of the then 31-year old artist.
When watching young artists, I recommend taking into consideration not only our subjective aesthetic impressions but also some hard facts of their biographies: the competitions they’ve won, the exhibitions they’ve taken part in, galleries with which they collaborate, and also the albums or collections that feature their works. May this, however, never overshadow our pleasure of discovering art.