If you’re buying million-dollar art, here’s a list of the global experts who definitely know their Monet from a Matisse.
The global art market is booming, last year generating sales of US$63.8 billion, according to an annual survey coinciding with the TEFAF art fair in Maastricht. At the highest echelons, values are climbing ever eye-wateringly higher, a prime example being a US$82 million Rothko that Christie’s auctioned last year, or the reported US$260 million believed to have been paid by a Qatari collector for When Will You Marry? by Paul Gauguin, and the auction record of around US$150 million for Picasso’s Women of Algiers, also last year.
The headline-grabbing prices are bringing a new breed of consultants and advisors. Whereas before, advisors were often historians or academics, the art gold rush has brought a host of powerful auction house executives and dynamic young arrivistes into the fray. They are impeccably connected and wield experience and knowledge about the old world art market, as well its emerging centres. In many cases, they are also dealers, brokering acquisitions rivalling in size those being hammered out at the largest investment banks.
With the help of industry experts, Billionaire has compiled a list of top art advisors and consultants around the world.
Allan Schwartzman and Amy Cappellazzo
Art Agency, Partners, New York
Allan Schwartzman and Amy Cappellazzo are the undisputed powerhouses of the art world, advising the savviest and most demanding billionaire collectors. Along with Adam Chinn they set up Art Agency, Partners, which this year was acquired by Sotheby’s Auction House for US$85 million.
Luxembourg & Dayan, New York and London
Luxembourg is not only one of the world’s top art dealers, but also one of the most experienced advisors. Among many major collectors, she advised Ronald and Leonard Lauder and almost single-handedly procured the collection that became the Neue Galerie in New York.
Although Heller has been reportedly entangled in a legal battle between Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev and Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, he remains a key figure in the art world. As well as Rybolovlev and hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen, he has advised many of the world’s major collectors.
Simon and Michaela de Pury
de Pury de Pury
These two are — and have been for a long time — one of the most iconic power couples of the art world. They set up de Pury de Pury in 2013 as the consultancy arm of the eponymous auction house. Swiss collector Baron Simon de Pury is known as the ‘Mick Jagger’ of auctions for his exciting style of auctioneering.
Pace Gallery, London
Formerly based at the Gagosian Gallery for 10 years, Dent-Brocklehurst set up the London arm of New York’s Pace Gallery in 2010. She is also the co-owner of Sudeley Castle, where she has curated art and sculpture exhibitions. She has been an advisor to the Abramoviches and other major collectors in the world.
Steven Murphy and Wendy Battleson
Murphy and Partners, New York, London, Hong Kong
Steven Murphy, former CEO of Christie’s, set up Murphy and Partners last May. He recently brought on board Wendy Battleson (former senior vice-president and head of art lending at Christie’s) to form one of the most powerful art advisories in the world. Murphy and Partners’ team also includes Giulia Costantini, the former Global Head of Branding, Advertising and Loyalty at Sotheby’s. Giulia also was the Worldwide Head of Communications and Marketing, Phillips de Pury & Company. Art advisor, Alexandre Errera also joined Murphy and Partners earlier this year and set up the Asia operations and Hong Kong office of the consultancy. The firm advises major European and US clients, and handles some of the largest private sales in the world.
Kim Heirston Art Advisory, New York
Heirston is as famous in wealthy circles as an art advisor as a socialite. She is credited with commissioning one of Damien Hirst’s first works, a sheep in formaldehyde.
Dutch collector, art historian and advisor Marta Gnyp is a force to be reckoned with. Specialising in contemporary art, she recently published The Shift: Art and the Rise to Power of Contemporary Collectors based on her PHD research. She is one of the top references for collectors who want direct access to contemporary art.
Teriha Art Advisory
Despite being one of the youngest on the list, Yaegashi is one of the most well-respected and experienced art advisors. She previously worked as a collection manager for Takashi Murakami and art consultant to the Ace Hotel Group, and this year co-launched the New Art Advisors Alliance.
Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni
Opteres, London and Hong Kong
Cossia Castiglioni specialises in sourcing almost impossible-to-come-by Impressionist and Modern masterpieces, many of which have been off the market for many decades. His art agency trades hundreds of millions of dollars worth of masterpieces a year, and has established clients in the Middle East, Asia, the US and Europe.
Consigg, Hong Kong
The nephew of Swiss super-collector Uli Sigg, Ben is based in Hong Kong and is well versed in Asian art. He specialises in emerging, contemporary talent from the region and is well connected within Asia’s young art-collecting elite.