ArtForecaster Player Profile | Maya Mikelsone

By ArtTactic

September 30, 2019

ArtForecaster Player Profile | Maya Mikelsone

Maya Mikelson

Paris, France

Joined: April 2017
Skill Level 9: Art Market Analyst
Number of forecasts: 1,185
ArtForecaster Achievements in 2019:
Seasonal Winner Expert League 2018/2019
1st Place – Mixed Auction ArtForecaster Competition May/June 2019
2nd Place – Grand Slam ArtForecaster Competition London – June 2019
3rd Place – Grand Slam ArtForecaster Competition New York – May 2019
1st Place – ArtForecaster Spring Competition 2019 – April 2019
2nd Place – Grand Slam ArtForecaster Competition London – March 2019


Some of you may not know that ArtTactic is the first art market research company to use crowd-sourcing as the main tool for collecting qualitative and quantitative data on the art market. From the outset, ArtTactic’s goal was to build a global art market intelligence network of thousands of knowledgeable, experienced, and talented individuals. The launch of ArtForecaster in 2015, has helped us surpass that goal by further expanding our crowd sourcing initiatives and growing the pool of innovative and new art market data. But, what exactly is ArtTactic Forecaster?


ArtTactic Forecaster (or colloquially, Forecaster) is a platform developed internally by ArtTactic which runs weekly predictive competitions based on lots coming up at auctions around the world. The competitions attract professionals from the auction industry, art advisors, art appraisers, dealers and collectors. The Top 100 most active players provided an aggregate of 25,000 forecasts on individual fine art objects in the last 12 months alone. One of those top players is Maya Mikelsone who is an art curator and an art advisor based in Paris. Maya holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Art from the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne as well as a certificate of curatorial training from Ecole du Magasin, Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble. Prior to her current position, she worked in several contemporary art galleries including, Foundation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux. Maya also lectures at the American University of Paris.


We recently spoke with Maya to ask her a bit more about her involvement in the art market and why she is motivated to play Forecaster. She even shared some helpful tips for anyone who wants to try it out themselves.


ArtTactic (AT): Tell us about yourself, your journey into the art market and your business.

Maya Mikelsone (MM): I was preparing myself to become an art curator but during my last semester of my Master’s in Philosophy of Art at Sorbonne I chose to do an internship at the legendary Yvon Lambert gallery where I discovered my passion for the art market. Afterwards, I continued to work as a curator in art institutions but I was certain that it’s not for me. Since then it’s already been 6 years, and now I mainly focus on private collections and actively working in art market.


AT: What are your future plans for the business?

MM: To continue my ‘haute couture’ way of working with my clients. Meaning, I prefer a very individual approach based on trust and discreetness. I have very different clients which makes what I do day-to-day vary—from research, to traveling around the world to find a particular work of art.


AT: How do you think the art market needs to adapt to the new/ next generation of collectors and artists?

MM: It needs to be more open to new collectors as it is still exclusive for only a small circle of established clients and not yet accessible for young collectors. Instagram is an impressive tool of communication and a way to display artists’ work. It’s also useful for collectors in that they can communicate internationally with ease.


AT: What role does technology play in your day-to-day work in the art market?

MM: Coming back again to Instagram, I start my day by opening my Instagram. Then, emails come after…It is almost like an online gallery.


AT: What technology do you believe could have a major/ disruptive impact on the art market?

MM: In the long term, blockchain will have an impact on the art market. It will make it more transparent and easier to operate.


AT: What do you see as the biggest opportunities for the art market over the next 10 years?

MM: A new generation of collectors and new markets. It will become more global thanks to technologies and art fairs.


AT: What do you see as the biggest challenges for the art market over the next 10 years?

MM: The art market is a very emotional market and it is influenced greatly by uncertainty, particularly political. The world in 10 years will be different, but it’s hard to predict in what way.


AT: What motivates you to play Forecaster?

MM: It’s a combination of playful spirit, knowledge of the art market and curiosity to feel the pulse of the art market in different parts of the world. I am following all major Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary auction sales results.


AT: Any forecasting tips for people who wants to try it out?

MM: Trust your intuition based on knowledge.


Quick fire:

Favourite artist of all time: I can’t choose between two so, Frank Stella and Cy Twombly.

Favourite NextGen artist (artist under 35 years old): Many! Robin F. Williams, Oli Epp, Sarah Slappey, Fabian Treiber to name just few.

Geographical art market with the most potential over the next 5 years: Asia and Southeast Asia

Top gallery exhibition this year: Artur Lescher at Almine Rech, Paris

Top museum exhibition this year: Jean-Michel Basquiat at Fondation Louis Vuitton


Feeling competitive ahead of this Autumn’s auction sales? You can play too at