Oh-So-Arty Art Adventures
An Insider Look Into the World of Contemporary Art
“Art and artists help you see the world differently, anew. Once you’ve been marked by a piece of art, it can change you forever – and this is a metaphysical issue – once you’ve been changed, the world also changes with you….” – Sarah Peguine
Envisioned and created by Sarah Peguine, Oh-So-Arty offers an insider’s view into the world’s most exciting contemporary art scenes. With a community of international art guides and experts, Oh-So-Arty takes visitors on customized tours of galleries, museums and studios, revealing the gems and unlocking the best kept secrets of their cities.
Based out of Tel Aviv, Oh-So-Arty tours are available in London, Barcelona, Zurich, New York, Shanghai, Jerusalem, Rome, Vienna and more with plans to expand to many art aficionados around the world.
We chat with Sarah about her love of Contemporary Art and why Oh-So-Arty is oh so appealing.
What inspired you to create Oh-So-Arty?
Oh So Arty started out as a blog about the Israeli contemporary art scene in 2008, when I moved to Tel Aviv and realized that there was almost no information about this ever growing scene. I then opened a Facebook Page called Art Galleries In Tel Aviv and it attracted a large community of art lovers from around the world. In 2012 I realized it was time to meet these people in person and I started organizing art tours in the city.
About a year ago I started developing the international format of Oh So Arty – where we offer art tours with local art experts in over 16 cities.
Global interest in Contemporary Art is growing rapidly, a lot thanks to social media. I think that social media offers the feedback loop that artists need in order to keep on creating in different new formats, both offline and online.
How did it all begin? How did you go about creating this community of art guides?
I had a meeting with an inspiring woman entrepreneur in Tel Aviv. I told her about my idea and she said you should do it. And I thought to myself – yeah! Why do I sit around with this idea for months instead of just going for it and reaching out to my personal network: I have amazing friends and colleagues working in the arts in many different cities and ten years of work experience in the field.
I wrote to a selected network of people about the idea and they were extremely enthusiastic and just said yes. That’s when I really felt I was onto something fun and unique which includes everything I’m fascinated about: people, art, and communication.
How long has art been a passion for you?
Art has always been present in my life, I would paint with my grandmother Mimi as a child, I would play the piano, go to museums with my parents.
Art became a real passion when I started studying history of art at the Courtauld institute of Art in London, especially with a course I took about the artist Louise Bourgeois.
What does art mean to you?
Art and artists help you see the world differently, anew. Once you’ve been marked by a piece of art, it can change you forever- and this is a metaphysical issue- once you’ve been changed, the world also changes with you, even if very slightly.
What is your earliest memory experiencing art?
My parents would drag my brother and I to museums all over the world. We would love it (and sometime also hate it!). I remember long visits to museums, especially during our visit to Russia in the 1990s, when I was seven, and my mom was obsessed with Russian Religious icons.
What fascinates you about Contemporary Art?
I love that it’s unpredictable – always changing, evolving and reflecting our times.
What mediums of art do you cover – is this ever-expanding to different forms?
Absolutely! We cover everything from painting, photography, drawing, sculpture, performance, installations to also new medias.
I think we are about to see an explosion in new art forms and medias. For example, I am very excited about the prospects of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. What will artists create when anyone, anywhere, will be able to experience the art almost like it is experienced today offline?
Which cities have the best art?
I am obviously biased but I love the Tel Aviv art scene 🙂
It’s fresh, pretty new (the city was founded in 1909), has influences from all over the world, like the startup scene it’s constantly evolving and growing, and it’s more accessible than in other bigger cities.
The art here is greatly influenced by politics, religions, culture, issues of identity and as a result the art is constantly challenging the norm and is often more intense than in other cities.
What kind of exclusive experiences do your guests have on tour?
When I pick my guides, I make sure they are truly insiders; connected to local artists and deeply passionate about the art scene in their city. The experience guests get is unique because it lets them see the scene from the point of view of the artists, gallery owners, and curators. This creates a rounded experience that helps guests see the city in a new, different, artistic light.
What has been the most memorable or standout experience or story that happened on an Oh-So-Arty tour?
My favourite situations are when the participants meet an artist and then start a real and genuine relationship with them following the tour. This often evolves into the client purchasing and supporting the artist’s career, which is amazing as it means that my tours become a real player in the art market and cultural ecosystem of the city.
In what ways are the on-site gallery tours customized?
I’ve been organizing tours in Tel Aviv for over four years with over hundreds of participants. It’s crucial for me to customize the tours according to the client’s interest and taste – are they into emerging artists? Or perhaps established ones? Do they love sculpture? Or maybe video art? Have they been to the city they’re touring in, or is it their first time? Do they want a private driver, or they love walking? All of these are questions I ask before crafting their exclusive program.
Who are some of your favourite artists and why?
My latest artist crush is Fatma Shanan, whose solo show at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art I absolutely loved. Shanan’s paintings are exquisite, and tackle issues of cultural identity using the motif of the rug as a starting point.
Where is Oh-So-Arty heading to next?
We’re introducing more cities this Fall including Berlin, Lisbon, Milan, and Munich.