In conversation with Tiziana Maggio from Maggio Art Consultancy
Our latest interview with, independent art consultant, curator, writer, and art enthusiast, Tiziana Maggio.
1. To start off, tell us a bit about yourself! Where do you come from, and what is your academic background? Where does your interest in art come from?
I am an independent art consultant, curator, writer and enthusiast for the art of all media. My passion for art comes from my family: when I was little we used to tour across Europe during the summer to visit museums, galleries and churches and discuss our impressions together, we had such fiery debates on modern art I remember!
I earned my MA in Art History from the University of Salento and gained a specialisation in Fine Art, Art Networks and Art Management from the University of Bologna.
Prior to moving to the UK, I worked for the Italian Government advising on its medieval assets in Rome and Southern Italy. Since moving to London, I have worked at a number of commercial galleries dealing in antiquities, contemporary and modern art. I am fellow of the Royal Society of Art and I am currently a contributing writer for Look Lateral in addition to writing my own blog. Finally, I am the founder and director of Maggio Art Consultancy, a boutique operation sourcing art for the real estate sector.
2. Where do you think the art market is heading, considering the more and more digitalised approach?
The art market is living an incredible era of change. Firstly, superstar artists such as Jeff Koons or Anish Kapoor are using Instagram to communicate directly with their ever-expanding audiences, creating a freshness and immediacy in the relationship with their followers and buyers. In essence, artists are becoming their own marketing experts, promoting their art with video clips and hashtags or selling art on online platforms such as Saatchi Art, Artsy, RiseArt.
Secondly, the digital art movement has been steadily and increasingly growing in popularity pushing the boundaries of traditional media: Five Stages of Maya Dance by Marina Abramović or the Digital Museum opened in NYC by the incredibly popular Japanese high-tech art collective TeamLab are just few highlights of this cutting-edge media.
Lastly, digitalisation is shaping art finance too with the proliferation of cryptocurrencies, along with fractional ownership models, and galleries and auctions accepting encrypted digital money, such as with Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs offered recently for multiple shareholdings via Blockchain-based technology by the owner art dealer Eleesa Dadiani and the online investment platform Maecenas. In a very near future out of reach art will probably be in all our diversified portfolios, answering to a long waited democratization for collecting fine art.
3. Art galleries are having a tough time everywhere. Why do you think it is happening?
We are experiencing a dichotomy of the market. From one side we have key players such as Pace Gallery, White Cube and Victoria Miro thriving with prominent exhibitions and promoting emerging artists. Alas, the art of these galleries is generally inaccessible to the wide audience of buyers.
Therefore art lovers have to steer their art expectations towards more affordable high street galleries. However these galleries are lead by competitive business models with no much room for nurturing and mentoring upcoming talents as well as first-time buyers: in fact set as commercial operations, they have high targets and profits rankings to beat the pressure of skyrocketing rents in cities such as London and NYC.
Therefore, important sectors of the public, such as millennial collectors, prefer to have wider options and a direct relationship with emerging artists, for example visiting Affordable Art Fairs or just browsing online for a quick transaction hoping to then ‘flip’ the piece shortly after.
4. In your opinion what is one of the biggest hurdles for the contemporary art industry at the moment?
Every day I meet extremely talented young artists, who have studied at the best colleges and are producing art with passion and dedication. However, the system to become noticeable and see their works sold in fairs or at exhibitions is very harsh and sometimes expensive to the point where my artists either cannot produce more works if they don’t sell or have to keep their works stored.
One way to avoid it would be to have institutions such as the Royal College of Art creating a more efficient osmotic environment where artists can meet, dialogue and learn directly from the market players, art consultants and buyers at the early stages of their careers so to be prepared to navigate in a very challenging market. Incubators or hubs for artists should be the models to look for, like what Silicon Valley is offering to young entrepreneurs and startups.
An extremely positive operation in this sense is MTArt Agency, a fast growing agency that mentors and invests in up-and-coming visual artists, accelerating the career of its artists and the value of their works and projects.
5. You work primarily with the real estate sector, having founded an art consultancy specialised in art leasing. How does it work and who are your clients?
Almost 6 years ago I realised there was a gap in the market. Almost everybody was focussed on private collectors advising them on the perfect piece for their living room but nobody was working with the real estate players. Developers, real estate agents, and interior designers were left to wander on Google images for some inspiration, leaving walls blank.
I founded my art consultancy with the idea of bringing original art by talented emerging artists into the new commercial developments and offices in London and private properties. We all agree that having art in the offices has recognised benefits in terms of productivity, mood and general well being. On the other hand, art can really enhance the economic value of the property and facilitate the sometimes strenuous long process of rental or sale.
In terms of model, we offer original art for sale or to rent. Rentals are an excellent way for companies to avoid capex and not commit immediately to a piece that might be not the right fit in a long term.
6. Is there a particular artist or artists you are following actively at the moment?
This year I have been enjoying working with two very talented female artists in particular.
Christina Mitrentse is an international multidisciplinary London-based artist and educator. She is known for constructing poetic ensembles of vintage book-sculpture, drawing, screen-printing, and productions of site-specific installations. Mitrentse confronts the viewers with an array of humorous meditations on materiality, by appropriating books from her collection: popular novels, science, and art books have been defaced, twisted, cut and stuck together, hand sanded and carved, meticulously transformed into organic sculptural series of small-scale plinths and fungi.
Renata Fernandez is a Venezuelan artist who creates charcoal and pencil drawings and paintings full of a subtle melancholy of the impossibility of ever returning to her country. In trying to keep on holding the unattainable, she ends up depicting an otherworldliness, landscapes in a static narrative devoid of human presence. Working with formats and subject-matter to a certain degree of exhaustion, her work transmits an undefined sense that something lurks beneath which is incredibly moving.
The interview is available on Feral Horses Website