Published July 29, 2022
Contemporary art is within reach.
Start your collecting journey with Testudo.
Testudo believes in an art world where everyone has the ability to participate. We created our company to support a healthy ecosystem for studio artists at a critical juncture in their career. Inspired by the passion of our own journey as art collectors, Testudo was created to allow new and experienced collectors to connect with a survey of artists working today. Through extensive content and a digital model that favors transparency and accessibility, we seek to overcome traditional barriers of exclusivity.
Testudo’s digital presence helps collectors of all levels connect with emerging, contemporary art and build enduring collections over time. By providing access to each artist’s intention and practice through documentary videos, original editorials, and transparent information, Testudo offers collectors a view into artists' studios and the opportunity to support individual artists while building a collection on their terms at any given time.
As artists on Testudo receive a higher profit from each sale than from the traditional gallery model, more of each collector’s investment goes to the artists they support. Unlike the existing art market, Testudo also provides a secure avenue for reselling works purchased through its site while allocating a portion of that secondary sale to the artist—aligning the interests of collectors and makers.
The name Testudo reflects our values. In Latin, testudo refers to the tortoise. Just as the shell is the source of a tortoise’s strength and protection, Testudo is a closed ecosystem where artists and collectors can thrive within a platform committed to inclusivity, transparency, and security. The tortoise embodies our vision as a symbol of longevity and endurance.
- Testudo’s diverse community of artists work across a range of mediums. Our platform offers approachable context and content to comprehend their respective practices.
- We are committed to creating the best possible collector experience. We also believe that buying art is not the only way to support artists and engage with their work.
- At Testudo, artists keep 90% of the list price—as compared to galleries, which traditionally offer them 40–50% of each sale—so that they have more to fuel their creativity. Whenever a work resells on Testudo, the original artist receives a 5% allocation of that sale.
- Our prices are not upon request. All pricing information is available for any collector to see.
- Ensuring art reaches its new owner safely isn’t easy. We partner with experienced art shippers to manage packing and shipping so that artists and collectors can avoid these headaches.
- Our closed ecosystem enhances security at every step. Works only enter directly from the artist. Every time an artwork resells on Testudo, it returns to our facility for inspection and verification.
Co-Founders: Kirby Voigtman & John Dennehy. Kirby & John met at the University of Michigan in 2013 and married in 2021. After moving to New York, Kirby worked on Wall Street at RBC Capital Markets as a credit trader and analyst. John honed his eye for e-commerce and merchandising as a manager at Bespoke Post, a men’s subscription box startup. Drawing on their careers in finance and e-commerce—and their experiences as devoted collectors of emerging art (especially ceramics and works by queer artists), Kirby & John founded Testudo in 2021 with the mission to establish a more equitable and accessible art market.
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.
Growth: Petra Bibeau. Petra is an entrepreneur and curator who has spent nearly two decades working in the art world in the capacity of a gallery director, gallery owner, and as the director of a New York-based art advisory. She began her career in San Francisco at Stephen Wirtz working with contemporary photography collections, thereafter she worked with Fraenkel Gallery to establish a satellite location and expand the gallery footprint, and as the director of Casemore Gallery she developed the gallery’s initial participation in Paris Photo and Frieze New York. Most recently she was the director of Anne Bruder Art in New York where she managed and expanded large-scale, multi-city corporate collections while advising on the emergent segment. She is a partner at Bibeau Krueger, a contemporary art gallery in New York City and holds a BA in Liberal Studies from the New School for Public Engagement and an Art Business and Administration Certificate from New York University.
Collector Development: Reilly Clark. Reilly is an art professional with a passion for emerging artists and next-generation collectors. He has worked as a consignment director at a major auction house, a private art advisor, an underwater archaeologist, and a founding team member at art and technology startups. Reilly holds a BA and MA in Art History from Stanford University and also studied art history at the American University of Paris and the University of Oxford.