5 Minutes with Vera Bertran

This month, AucArt welcomes Contemporary Art Collectors founder, Art advisor and all-round art enthusiast, Vera Bertran. The Barcelona-based entrepreneur is known for her beautifully curated Instagram page which captivates the hearts of thousands of her Instagram followers. With a contemporary collection that dates back to her early twenties, we asked Vera about growing up in Latvia, the most valuable lessons she's learnt through her career, and what art means to her.

What’s your first memory of art?

My parents were antique collectors, so I grew up surrounded by art. We had a big collection in our house. I’ve always enjoyed going to museums and looking at art books since I was a kid. That’s how my interest in the arts began.

Where did you grow up?

I was born and grew up in Riga capital of Latvia, a small country in the north of Europe, usually confused with Lithuania. 

Riga is a small city with beautiful architecture, but I never saw myself living in this city all my life. The weather was depressing, and I was bored with life there. I also did not see any perspectives for me there, so I moved to London to study after graduating from school, without any plans to return.

Which moment in your career are you most proud of?

Since I am very demanding to myself and, in a way, a perfectionist, I believe that the moment I can be really proud of has not yet arrived.

Is it important for you to meet or speak to an artist before you purchase their work? 

No, not at all.  If we talk about meeting or speaking with an artist, I believe that the artwork should speak for itself; good art, in my opinion, does not require lengthy explanations. 

I like art that I have an emotional response to, evokes some memories and imagination. I can often create my own story looking at art or see completely different things that the artist wanted to show.

Also, I don’t need to meet artists personally, such as discovering they are friendly or not, or if I like their personality. If I don’t like the person, but they create art I like – I’ll still buy it.


Art is a territory of dreams, another reality without rules or boundaries,
where everything is possible.

If you could give one piece of advice to an emerging artist what would it be?

Research the art market and set reasonable prices. If you’re starting and putting the cost of a new car on your artwork, don’t be surprised if you don’t sell it.

Tell us about the most exciting exhibition you’ve been to recently? 

I went to see “Picasso-Rodin,” a double exhibition at the Musée National Picasso and Musée Rodin in Paris, in June 2021.

Both exhibitions are in collaboration with the Musée Rodin, and both are firsts in terms of bringing the respective artists together in a museum environment. The idea of the exhibitions was to show common points between Rodin’s work and several of Picasso’s artistic periods.

Which medium do you tend to be most attracted to? 

I’m not going to try to be original here – my favourite medium is painting.

What are you currently reading?

Jorge Luis Borges ‘Labyrinths’. 

What does art mean to you? 

Art is a territory of dreams, another reality without rules or boundaries, where everything is possible.

Could you tell us a story behind a piece of work that you love? (can be from your own collection or a famous artwork) 

Henri Matisse, Goldfish, 1912.

This Goldfish belongs to a series of artworks that he created between spring and early summer 1912. Europe first saw Goldfish in the 17th century, when it was brought from East Asia. Matisse likely became fascinated with Goldfish after his trip to Tangier, Morocco, where he stayed from the end of January until April 1912. Matisse admired the Moroccans’ lifestyle, which appeared to him to be relaxed and contemplative. He painted them daydreaming or meditating while looking into goldfish bowls, fascinated by how they contemplated and enjoyed seemingly ordinary elements of life.

For Matisse, the Goldfish itself came to represent a tranquil state of mind, at the same time, became evocative of a paradise lost. Goldfish was not painted in Morocco. Henri Matisse painted it at home in Issy-les-Moulineaux. What we see in the painting are Matisse’s plants, his garden furniture, and his fish tank. The tall cylindrical design of the tank drew the artist in since it allowed him to construct a series of rounded curves with the top and bottom of the tank, the water’s surface, and the table. Goldfish was painted in Matisse’s garden conservatory, where he was surrounded by glass, just like the goldfish.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt during your career/in life so far?

In Career

If you want to do something, don’t wait; just do it; the right moment will never come.  Don’t be afraid that there are more successful people doing this than you. In this world, things change very fast.

In Life:

1.) Never think about what other people think about you; it’s meaningless. If it doesn’t affect your life and bank account statement, what is the importance?

2.) Try not to trust everything you hear. Many people are lying; some are more professional some are not so much. Lying about everything from personal life to the amount of money they win and projects they have never done. (laughing)

How do you think the global pandemic has affected the way we consume art?

Art galleries, museums, art lovers, and so on have all gone online, and you no longer need to leave your house to appreciate art. The Pandemic had a significant impact on the popularization of art.

The Pandemic forced people to rethink the look and feel of their homes. It caused an increase in more affordable art as there is a whole new wave of young collectors now. Many people now want to enhance their living environment as they continue to work from home. I see it all as positive changes.

What’s the story behind this selection of artists? Is there a theme or narrative that ties the works together?

All artists styles fit the subject of the exhibition theme ‘Multiple Realities’. When you look at their artworks, you can create your own story and give freedom to your imagination.

Favourite museum? 

I have a few to name: Miro Museum in Barcelona, Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Tate Modern in London.