LAUNCHED ON APRIL 26, 2023
WITH A VIRTUAL SOLO EXHIBITION OF
Testudo is delighted to officially launch its platform with a virtual solo exhibition featuring 11 meticulously sculpted and psychologically charged ceramic wall works by Providence-based artist Judd Schiffman, accompanied by an original essay by New York-based art critic Annabel Keenan.
Testudo is a platform for the discovery of innovative contemporary art, providing a new generation of budding collectors the opportunity to access and acquire unique works from a marketplace grounded in inclusivity, security, and transparency. Testudo is defined by its daring program offering diverse works from the studios of practicing artists; its highly informative and accessible content; and its transparent business model.
The company harnesses the immediacy and agility of its digital presence to connect more people with art of our moment and build enduring collections over time.
Driven by the objective to nurture new talents, Testudo partners with nearly 30 practicing studio artists who use unexpected materials or techniques to evoke multifaceted historical or personal narratives. Often tactile and dynamic, the works on Testudo—which range widely from sculpture and assemblage to mixed-media painting and installation art—are aesthetically impactful and conceptually layered. The team continues to expand its roster of artists in line with its curatorial vision and Testudo’s DNA.
In selecting practitioners for the platform, Testudo analyzes the authenticity of their engagement with and commitment to their practices; their technical study of art and knowledge of art history; and the trajectory of their careers to date. In close collaboration and conversation with the artists, the most exemplary works from their outputs are selected.
By providing access to each artist’s intention and practice through documentary videos and images, original editorials, and online exhibitions, Testudo opens up the exclusive art market.
With a keen focus on educating and informing their community, Testudo developed a thorough editorial section featuring artist interviews, essays, and in-depth market analysis. By including articles written by team members as well as emerging and established art writers, Testudo firmly believes that a well-informed audience is better equipped to participate in the art world and, therefore, to collect contemporary art.
Additionally, the team of expert curators organizes temporary online exhibitions showcasing thought-provoking, innovative, and visually captivating pieces. The online exhibitions are dynamic, offering fresh and exciting content to viewers.
TRANSPARENT BUSINESS MODEL
Artists on Testudo receive a higher profit from each sale than from the traditional gallery model, which ensures that more of each collector’s investment goes to the artists they support. Seeking to create a more equitable art market ecosystem, Testudo also provides a secure avenue for reselling works purchased through its platform while allocating a portion of that secondary sale to the artist through a royalty. The interests of the artists and collectors are therefore aligned.
“As emerging art collectors ourselves, we saw firsthand that the art market can be inefficient, opaque, and inaccessible. We strongly believe that these challenges not only harm artists economically, but also exclude many would-be collectors. We started Testudo to invite more people in and share our own collecting experience.” Kirby Voigtman, co-founder of Testudo.
ABOUT THE TESTUDO TEAM
Co-founders and collectors, Kirby & John met at the University of Michigan in 2013 and married in 2021.
Co-Founder: Kirby Voigtman. Kirby formerly worked at RBC Capital Markets as a corporate bond trader and credit strategist, where he covered both high yield and investment grade industrials. Over his nearly seven years there, he witnessed the electronification of the credit market. These systems and platforms introduced greater liquidity and transparency to an opaque market. Margins were reduced for dealers, but this benefited their clients and issuers. This informed his belief that he could establish an ecosystem where artists benefited from lower fees and collectors were empowered with increased information. Kirby received a BBA in Finance from the University of Michigan.
Co-Founder: John Dennehy. John started his entrepreneurial journey at Farmhouse Pottery in 2016 as head of business development. Despite its location in pastoral Vermont, Farmhouse fostered a fast-paced atmosphere as online demand accelerated for their handmade stoneware goods. After leaving Farmhouse, he started as a buyer at Bespoke Post, a men’s subscription box startup. During his four years, he expanded his role to head up the shop overseeing a team of buyers. John brings his talent for creating a high-quality shopping experience in the digital realm. John holds a BBA in Marketing from the University of Michigan.
Curation: Connor McNicholas. Connor is an artist and independent curator. Their recent solo exhibitions include Since Each of Us Was Several (2022), Super Dakota, Brussels, Belgium and Where Remote Futures Meet Remote Pasts (2020), M 2 3, New York, NY. Their work has been presented internationally, including in exhibitions at Andersen’s in Copenhagen, Denmark; Berthold Pott, Cologne, Germany; Sharp Projects, Copenhagen, Denmark; Tobias Nearing, Leipzig, Germany; and the International Center of Photography, New York. Connor holds an MFA from ICP-Bard.
Content: Kate Parvenski. Kate is a multimedia producer with a passion for art and storytelling. Her work focuses on documenting and showcasing artists working across a variety of mediums. She has been a co-producer for the Make/Time interview podcast with craft artisans, a video producer highlighting artist programs at Textile Arts Center, and project manager supporting creative teams at Parsons School of Design and StoryCorps. Kate holds a BA in Art from Vassar College and an MA in Media Studies from The New School.
Business Development: Julie Reiter Greene. Julie is a curator, writer, and postwar & contemporary art historian who has worked across the public and private art sectors for the past decade. She previously served as Director of Research at Eric Firestone Gallery; Director of Exhibitions Research at LGDR; and Head of Research at Dayan Rohatyn Art Services. She has also held positions at Luxembourg & Dayan, the Jewish Museum, and the Sally & Wynn Kramarsky Collection, and has organized exhibitions for institutions including Salon 94, the Williams College Museum of Art, and The Clark Art Institute. Julie received an MA in Art History from the Williams College Graduate Program and a BA in English from Yale University.
ABOUT THE JUDD SCHIFFMAN VIRTUAL EXHIBITION
Judd Schiffman (b. 1982, Providence, RI) creates porcelain and stoneware tableaus that contain lively figures, fauna, and flora mounted on the wall as respective parts of a whole installation. The artist invites rearrangement of these forms within the frame that encircles each scene, which shifts the mythical yet also ordinary human narratives that each composition tells. Schiffman culls motifs from children’s stories, modern art books, YouTube cartoons, medieval manuscripts, and other sources that he encounters as a husband, father, and professor. Schiffman, who was shortlisted for the Hopper Prize (2021), received an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Colorado and serves as
Visiting Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Providence College.
+32 493 47 62 38 (whatsapp calls are more than welcome)