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A Professional Portrait by Mattia Pozzoni

Sales Director

MutualArt

Published: 24th July 2017

What inspired you to pursue a career in the arts?

I guess my Mum! She has a great passion for art and always brought me with her to see exhibitions from since I was very little. The first encounter with art that I can remember of was when I first saw a Taglio by Lucio Fontana. I wasn’t particularly touched by it, quite the opposite. My first reaction was instead to prove to my mum that I want responsible for cutting the canvas and damaging it! I was a little clumsy back then and was breaking lots of things… The fact that i ended up working with  those “damaged” paintings makes me smile right now..

Can you tell us a little about your role?

I am Sales Director at MutualArt so I am responsible for the smooth running of all the sales activities for MutualArt and Artist Pension Trust. Through MutualArt we are trying to use our data for generating sales leads in the secondary market, while with APT we offer works from the primary market, so it’s a very interesting blend of the two worlds. APT offers both long-term financial security and international exposure to select artists around the world based on a unique tailor-made financial model. The artworks in the trust are gradually sold over the course of 20 years for the benefit of the APT artists, providing them with future financial security. The funds from the net proceeds of each artwork sold are distributed to the artists, as if it were a cooperative. It’s something that immediately clicked to me when I first came to know of the company and I am greatly supportive of this venture which allows to support artists careers. We are a little bit like Easel! 

What does your average day entail?

Emails, phone, meetings, the usual. My team is made of people based in different parts of the world, so a very important aspect for us is to keep ourselves up to date as to new projects or works. The best part for me will always be my time spent out from the office though, visiting shows, meeting artists and collectors because it allows me to be have a finger on the pulse of the art world and its market. We also do a lot of research, making sure that the works that we offer are presented in the best possible way and at the right price. That is a key element of what we stand for. 

How did you get your job?

I was dividing my time between private art consultancy and teaching an MA in Contemporary Art Markets before joining MutualArt. I was very happy where I was to be honest, as I had the ability to juggle between academia and the commercial world, but the institute that I was working for closed their premises in London due to tightened measures about immigration. I would have been happy to keep on working in academia, even partially, but then this opportunity came and I have been very happy to have the chance to take it. 

What is the best part of your job?

I love the social part of my job, meeting new and interesting people, seeing lots of art, travelling... 

What is the hardest part of your job?

The office part!

What has been the highlight of your career?

Giving a lecture to my students has always been pretty rewarding. I never thought about doing it and, finding myself into it, especially not in my mother tongue, has been a great challenge and something I am very proud of. 

What is your favourite Artwork?

Choosing only one is tricky! I would go for Bathers at Asnières by Georges Seurat. His technique shows a painstaking attention to detail which has always amazed me.

Which artist would you have liked or would like to meet?

Leonardo. A fantastic artist, a polymath, surely an incredibly interesting person to meet. 

What advice would you give to people trying to enter the art industry?

Remind yourself that you do it because you love art. As much as I don't want to scare anyone, it’s important to note that the competition in the industry is tough, interesting roles are very few and the salary is not great if compared to other markets. Your love for art needs to be stronger than all this hurdles, if that is the case you will be in the right career, just push yourself and results will come. A lot of very qualified roles are paid very little, especially at the beginning, for this reason what Easel is doing is dramatically important. 

If you weren’t in the art industry, what would you be doing?

If I had the skills (and the height) I would be an NBA player. Pursuing a diplomatic career was something that could have equally been fun; at the end of the day there’s a big part of it in what do today, especially when I need to convince a client to purchase a painting!