The Skyrocketing Career of Artist Flora Yukhnovich

The Skyrocketing Career of Artist Flora Yukhnovich
Written by Publishing Team

While studying in London, Flora Joknovich was a regular in the Wallace Collection, the Manchester Square Museum which houses masterpieces such as Fragonard’s hammock. On her way to the museum, she often makes another impressive stop: at the nearby Disney Store.

“The similarities and overlaps between the color pink in the Disney Store and in the Wallace Collection kind of surprised me,” the illustrator said recently. This combination of influences made her one of the most commercially successful emerging artists of her generation.

Born in 1990, Joknovitch has seen her career explode in the past year, as her paintings have been sold at galleries (in 2021 she signed with Victoria Miro in London) and hit record prices at auction houses. in June, very little thing, a painting from its first solo exhibition of 2019, sold at Philips for $1.2 million, 20 times its estimate, with 41 exhibitors from around the world. Next? Solo show at Miro in March and exhibition 2023 with fellow rookie Daniel Cruz Chubb at Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum.

A preview of Sotheby's contemporary art before the grand auction during Frieze Week

the artist I’ll take what it’s her (Above) It was sold in October at Sotheby’s London for $3.1 million, nearly 30 times its top estimate.

Tristan ViewingsGetty Images

Why all the fuss? Yuknovich’s work is sensual and lush, suggesting a human form amidst flashes of brush strokes in violet, dark blue, and dark green, as well as pink. Its references come from high and low culture; Eighteenth-century masters such as Watteau, Fragonard, Boucher and Tiepolo are as clear as cartoons or I mean girls.

“My work often revolves around the relationship between rococo and imagery in consumer and pop culture,” the artist said in a 2019 interview. “I always look for images that seem to stem from Rococo, especially in everyday messages surrounding women and girls. Sometimes this is just the starting point for an idea, other times I’ll upload entire clips or color schemes and use them directly in my paintings.”

Yuknovich’s rise is due to rising demand from Asia, where wealthy collectors are pushing prices to unprecedented levels. “It’s fashion, it’s new, it’s eye candy,” says Michaela Neumeister de Bury, an art consultant in Monaco who has shown Yuknovic’s paintings to three Asian clients and has more to wait. “They find it exciting.”

“It’s fashion, it’s new, it’s eye candy,”

There is also a strong speculative element to Yuknovic’s rise. In 2019, in her first solo appearance at the Paraffin Gallery in London, the paintings were priced at $40 thousand, and three paintings from this show have already been auctioned. During Frieze Week in October, Sotheby’s showcased I’ll take what it’s her $40,000 to $110,000; It sold for $3.1 million. The next day Joknovic round It went for $728,000 at Phillips, and an untitled canvas fetched $1.2 million at Christie’s the next day. in november her It is better to fall where the weather is more humid He appeared at Sotheby’s and was chased by at least eight clients before going for $1.8 million. At Art Basel Miami Beach, Victoria Miro had sold all of the artist’s work by the time the gallery opened.

There is still a question: Is this kind of path sustainable? “We’ve seen a lot of young artists go up and down at the same speed,” Neumeister de Puri says. “I hope this is only the first part of a great job.”

This story appeared in the February 2022 issue of Town and Country. subscribe now

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