Stéphanie Tosi is the founder of Carré d'Artistes. Passionate as ever about artistic creation, she mainly followed a course in Fine Arts. She always dreamed of creating an art gallery, but a different art gallery.

Since the creation of Carré d´artistes, she has experienced an extraordinary adventure: both from a creative viewpoint and from a human viewpoint, amid art and her teams.

Stéphanie does not have a style that particularly touches her but is most of all sensitive, to the message and the emotion expressed through a work at a specific moment. Over the course of her career, she has met and supported the creation of several artists, who are committed to their profession and to creation, but also devoted in terms of conveying messages and triggering emotion.

Discover her interview






Why did you create Carré d’artistes? What was the idea behind?
I have always been fascinated with art. I think I was born with this responsiveness. Art has been a part of me since I was a little girl.Therefore, I dreamed of creating an art gallery, but a different art gallery. During the 90s, Spanish artists were very dynamic and presented their works in "Supermercados del arte". They claimed accessible art. There was a shopping cart at the entrance to buy artwork, while you would shop at the supermarket.

In 1998, during a sailing trip, I had to disembark in Menorca to protect myself from the wind. My friends and I had visited Ciutadella. During the visit, I had this big flash: a church had been turned into an exhibition space and was hosting artists' works in bins. These were works created on paper and at genuinely affordable prices. I wanted to buy everything!This idea of accessible art was taken up by Dominic Campillo, founder of Bazart through the Travelling caravans. He had innovative ideas to democratize contemporary art.

Three years down the road, Carré d'artistes mulled over all these ideas and created the first accessible art gallery in France, with square formats at small prices. And I thank all the artists and referents who helped us conceptualize this simple idea but so innovative, at the time. 

What is your favorite part of your work? Where does this passion for art come from?
As I am passionate about artistic creation, I always attended evening classes at the Fine Arts School. I stopped painting when I created Carré d'artistes certainly because today, I live amid art, I nourish through this and it makes me feel fulfilled.

Since the creation of Carré d'artistes, I have been living an extraordinary adventure. Both from a creative viewpoint and from a human viewpoint. I have met several artists, who are committed to their profession but also to creation. It’s very important to them to convey messages, trigger emotion and be recognized. There are so many touching people, that I would have loved having more time to share their art... As the company has developed over the years, the teams have grown, and many collaborators have joined us. Once again, I experience a genuine and human adventure among these teams. They are committed, creative, fun, and definitely professional. I never left the office, even during the first lockdown, because the collaborators are essential when it comes to this adventure. I need to be close to them. I take this opportunity to thank them once again... but also the franchisees who trust us.

Last but not least, customers are able to discover us, support us and take real pleasure in buying art. As it is also very important to them...They often thank us and speak very highly about our artistic line and selection. They take pleasure in discovering the different galleries, through the insightful selections

What were your first steps in the contemporary art world?
I began drawing at a very young age. I loved doing manual work with my mother. Followed by evening classes at the Fine arts school, then a genuinely personal path. I have always been very sensitive to creation. Moreover, if you go with the flow of your heart: contemporary art is very simple!


Do you have an anecdote to share with us? With an artist/ a client/ a collaborator? Something you will never forget? 
September 11, 2001. The opening of the first Carré d'artistes gallery while New York was going through an apocalyptic day. Two entirely different scenarios. I think a lot about that day, as it was filled with hope for me while others were going through horror.

Which style mostly touches you and why? What does it trigger within you?
I don't really have a particular style that moves me. I can like a particular work or an artist. I am mostly touched by the message and the emotion which is passed on at a precise moment.

Which artist’s work at Carré d’artistes do you really like?
Gérard Clisson was the first artist whose work was sold on the opening day on September 11, 2001. He trusted me while I didn't have a place to exhibit yet and he came to drop off his works at home to imagine an exhibition at we know where... Today, the adventure still continues with Gérard and his art remains responsive and intense.

If you were to describe Carré d’artistes in three words, what would they be? Why? 
It's all in the name: "artists"! Our mission is to find talents and promote them. This is what we strive to do on a daily basis, and this is what makes our daily life, meaningful.
The second word would be "Carré" (Square): because the works are square-shaped. This is the main principle of the concept. And the last word which is "art gallery". We discover young talents and also exhibit renowned artists... in a network of more than 30 galleries in France and overseas.

Do you prefer small or large formats? Why?
Art is most of all an emotion, regardless of the format. 
I love small formats that bring pleasure and simplicity right from the first glance. And I also love large formats that impose a presence and trigger emotions.

Why is art important according to you?
Art is essential to life. Today, we live in a society which leans on productivity and efficiency. When we talk about well-being at work, we talk about it to explain the productivity that it generates among employees. We all live in a world which is based on analysis and monitoring, through reports that are published every day. The COVID crisis is a concrete example of this, due to the charts that are published on a daily basis. Is this what life is all about?

Certainly, it is important, but it is equally important to let go, to breathe and simply live. To stop consuming life. Art offers us these moments. Admiring a work of art is like taking a break and this generates emotions. These emotions: are our inner self which includes feelings and dreams. It is the connection between the outer world and our inner world. The more you appreciate the works, the more you are open to the world, and the more you will have empathy on the outside and will be curious to constantly discover. It is a driving force.


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