Published July 29, 2022
Contemporary art is within reach.
Start your collecting journey with Testudo.
Testudo is the gateway to acquiring unique contemporary art made by studio artists. These practitioners use unexpected materials or techniques to evoke multifaceted historical or personal narratives. Often tactile and dynamic, the works on Testudo are aesthetically impactful and conceptually layered.
We harness the immediacy and agility of Testudo’s digital presence to help more people connect with 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 opens up the exclusive art market.
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)—John & Kirby 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.
Business Development: Julie Reiter Greene. Julie is a curator, writer, and art historian who has worked across the public and private art sectors for the past decade. She has held programmatic & marketing positions at organizations such as Eric Firestone Gallery, Luxembourg & Dayan, the Jewish Museum, and the Sally & Wynn Kramarsky Collection. Julie received an MA in Art History from the Williams College Graduate Program and a BA in English from Yale University.