What inspired you to pursue a career in the arts?
I’m a failed artist. Although to be honest I never really tried. I enjoyed art at school and, although there wasn’t a formal Art History class, I took to teaching myself and writing short essays in my sketchbooks. As my passion for looking and thinking about the history of art grew my interest in making my own waned. As a result, I applied for art history at university and have never looked back.
Can you tell us a little about your role?
Officially I’m a gallery manager but this title can be misleading. We are a private dealership specialising in Impressionist and Modern Art rather than an active gallery with an exhibitions programme so I should just stick with manager. The gallery – company – also exclusively represents a prominent British artist so I am also technically his studio manager as well.
What does your average day entail?
As you can probably infer from the above it is very varied. One day I can be installing a monumental sculpture; the next, showing a client a Monet. In between all of this it is my job to organise the logistics of all of this and liaise with our clients and contractors. As such I am at my desk a lot of the day.
How did you get your job?
As everyone will tell you it’s all about contacts. However, I came into the art world with absolutely none apart from those I made at university so you don’t have to start with everything.
What is the best part of your job?
The diversity of it. Looking at great artworks. And the people that you get to talk to about those objects.
What is the hardest part of your job?
The people that you have to talk to about those objects…
What has been the highlight of your career?
I curated a huge monographic exhibition of over 100 works by the artist David Breuer-Weil (which are not small) in a found space spanning 40,000 sq ft.
There are other things but there are a lot that I can’t disclose.
What is your favourite Artwork?
This changes from day to day. Michelangelo’s Pieta is in my mind now as there is a plaster cast at the National Gallery currently. But I also just saw Walter di Maria’s Time/Timeless/No Time at Chichu Art Museum on Naoshima Island, Japan which may be the closest that I’ve come to having what I might term a ‘religious experience’ in front of an artwork.
Which artist would you have liked or would like to meet?
Gauguin. More so than Van Gogh. The reasons are complicated.
What advice would you give to people trying to enter the art industry?
Love it. And if you don’t love it, don’t do it. Or, be so dispassionate about it that you can treat it like any other job.
If you weren’t in the art industry, what would you be doing?
Selling Christmas trees. Family business.