Newly published, SHARE The Scandinavian Edition is the much anticipated follow up to the original SHARE- the coffee table book meant for sharing. This unique volume is a co-edited effort with JUNIQE. We spoke with Lea Lange, Co-Founder of JUNIQE, about the collaboration and what makes SHARE such a perfect fit with the German online affordable art boutique.
How did the collaboration get started?
Oda from New Heroes & Pioneers approached us with the invitation to collaborate.
We fell in love with the concept immediately, as it embodies everything we stand for. We have made bringing art into people’s everyday lives our prerogative with the vision: Art. Everywhere.
Oda sent us a copy of the first edition and when it arrived in our office, we opened the box and just knew this was a match made in interior heaven. Some JUNIQE artists were already featured in the first SHARE book and having the opportunity to curate an even bigger selection of our favourite designs for people’s homes is just the beginning of something beautiful. We are confident that our work together will enable the second edition to be an even bigger success and can’t wait to share it with the world.
What do you hope to achieve with SHARE for the artists, yourselves and the public?
This is an amazing opportunity to celebrate our artists in a whole new way and give their work more exposure. The concept of a beautifully bound book, with pages ready to go right up on the wall the minute you open the cover, is completely in line with what we are working towards everyday at JUNIQE. We curate exciting designs by authentic artists and inspire people to make art present in their everyday lives: owning art becomes a reality for everyone. For us, the sky has no limit and we are always looking for new and exciting ways to reach out to our audience and create inspiring content.
SHARE brings art into people’s homes in a whole new way. Not only do people have an eye catcher for their coffee table that they always turn to for inspiration and visual stimulation, but their walls are given a whole new dynamic as they put up prints, and then simply switch them out a couple of months later, when they want something new to look at. It caters perfectly to the idea that your home is a reflection of how you grow and evolve. SHARE is also a great opportunity to cater to people who come to JUNIQE looking for gifts to give to their family and friends. They can give their loved-ones something beautiful, without worrying about whether or not they chose the one ‘perfect print’ for that person’s taste.
How do you view the relationship between art and sharing? Since your launch have you noticed a difference and / or growth in the way people share art? How do people share themselves through art?
We are dedicated to making art accessible to the masses, while always catering to the individual. We want to revolutionise how the world looks at art and make people understand that art isn’t just something expensive that hangs in museums and galleries, but that you are empowered to make it a part of your everyday life. The SHARE book does exactly that. And then it even takes it to the next level and literally allows you to share art with your loved ones. The book as an entity makes for a great gift but think of all the people you can give prints to while still having your favourites from inside the cover hanging in your home.
Since we launched back in 2014 it has been astounding to see how much people love sharing pictures of JUNIQE products in their homes. People today express themselves and their personality online. When they shop they want to engage with products as they yearn to have an emotional connection to what they are buying. It is interesting how our relationships to things we own is integrated in our relationships with other people these days. This is why it is so crucial that we tell the stories behind our artists and their designs.
To enable people to share their personality and express themselves, it is essential that you provide them with the appropriate framework. This is why we, on the one hand offer such a vast range of designs to choose from, and on the other hand have such a strong curatorial voice. Every person will find a piece that speaks to them. Because it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming when you have beautiful art left right and centre, we curate collections to help people find what they are looking for.
All of this always leads back to the idea that JUNIQE makes owning art a reality for everyone. Affordable, but never generic. That is what people today want and that is exactly what we provide.
What is Juniqe’s relationship with Scandinavian inspired art and artists?
Scandinavian inspired art and artists play a significant role in JUNIQE’s aesthetic. There is something timeless and state-of-the-art about the clean, minimalist and bold characteristics rooted in Scandinavian design – we love it!
Scandinavians have always been at the forefront of furniture, product, graphic and interior design. They take tradition and are always reinventing it, often two steps ahead of everyone else.
A little side note: we only just recently launched localised stores in Denmark (juniqe.dk) and Sweden (juniqe.se) as we want to start focussing more on reaching out to our Scandinavian audience.
What kind of aesthetics and themes do you see in the different featured works that are particular to Scandinavia?
The selection we are making for SHARE is really a wide range of different types of designs. In general however, there are definitely trends and visual themes that are particularly characteristic to Scandinavian design: it’s clean, both clutter and kitsch-free, quite minimalist and often even monochrome. Simple but smart, it always has something very distinctive or even powerful to it.
How is the curation process happening in selecting the art and artists for SHARE?
NHAP and JUNIQE are working together closely throughout this whole process. We have the same standards when it comes to quality and authenticity and share a passion for the same topics, the love for Scandinavian aesthetic. While we each bring our own angle to the table, it is really our work together that is the driver for the curatorial process and thus the final product.
You’re passionate about emerging artists – what fuels this drive? What was the turning point that got you started on this path?
From day one we went looking for artists who were doing something different, something that wasn’t generic, something that was the antidote to the tiresome skylines of New York and fruit and vegetable illustrations that are a sure find with big poster or furniture companies. We wanted something personal, something that not everyone has. It wasn’t hard to find. There is so much great stuff out there. If you look in the right places you will discover an art world far more extensive than you can ever imagine. There are amazing talents hidden in the most unsuspecting of places. Their stories deserve to be told and we wanted to create this platform of empowerment.
We are driven by our belief that art does not have to be something out of reach, something elitist. In this same way, talent isn’t just something that people who are already successful or famous have. On the contrary. We love unconventional stories and we are always especially intrigued by the winding, chaotic or even unexpected journeys a lot of our artists have taken to become who they are today. This is what we want to share with our audience. Beyond the designer descriptions we write, we offer deeper insights into the lives and universes of our artists with interviews, videos and more. We also pride ourselves in the personal relationships we build with them over the years, wherever in the world they are from or based.
You know that feeling of looking at something and immediately finding a reflection of yourself in it? Whether it’s a photograph, a quote or an illustration – you immediately connect with the concept it transmits. We believe that this goes even further as individuals seek out a connection to the person who created it. This is especially important for art that people display in their homes. They want to know who is behind it and share that information with others. Our artists are the ones who connect with people through their work. We support them by telling their story.
What do you see in store for future editions of SHARE?
JUNIQE: The options are endless. It could be anything from photography to typography to a book in line with a certain theme (shapes, nature etc.). But that is just pulling ideas out of a Mary Poppins bag. We are focussed on creating this edition with all of the attention and love it deserves. Thus working in the here and in the now. What the future has in store for us and for SHARE – that is written in the stars.