Sem título (2016), Anna Maria Maiolino (Foto: Galeria Luisa Strina)

Interview with Art Ahead

Marina Dias Teixeira
16 Jul 2020, 3:10 pm

The art market may seem a hermetic world for those who do not usually move between galleries and art collections, but there are specialists dedicated to opening doors for anyone who wants to enter this universe, in an inviting, personalized and assertive way.

To better understand the role of the art advisor, a professional specialized in the art market, we talked to the three partner firms of SP-Arte operating in this branch. Starting this series of interviews, Júlia Porchat and Felipe Melo, from Art_Ahead, give their definition of art advisory, tell us what are the objectives and developments of an art consultancy service and pick a selection of works available at SP-Arte 365.

Above: Untitled (2016), Anna Maria Maiolino (Photo: Luisa Strina Gallery)

Júlia Porchat e Felipe Melo (Foto: Arquivo pessoal)

Júlia Porchat and Felipe Melo (Photo: Personal archive)

What is art advisory and what is its role within the art market?

Júlia Porchat and Felipe Melo: art advisory is a very customized consultancy service focused on art. The main characteristic of an advisor is being able to move easily between institutions, galleries and players in general across the market, seeking knowledge and access that will be shared with their clients. The advisor connects the art market with enthusiasts and collectors.


How and why was Art_Ahead’s office born?

JP and FM: Me, Júlia, and my partner Felipe, strengthened our relationship in 2016 during an encounter in NY, when we immersed ourselves in contemporary art galleries and realized we had common interests. Art_Ahead was born in 2017 from our passion for art and the desire to establish a more serious consulting relationship in this field. We believe in the professional model that we implement in our relationship with clients and galleries, with a clear objective of creating engagement and understanding, encouraging not only collecting, but also the creation of a repertoire.

The concept is relatively new in Brazil, when compared to abroad. What is your take on this?

JP and FM: The art consulting market has become more professional abroad, especially in Europe and the USA. The difference is in the market’s perception of this type of consultancy. Our work tries to consolidate a professional vision in a field with infinite nuances and particularities, going far beyond the simple indication of artists and galleries, mirrored in the model that has been in practice abroad for many years.


How is the work carried out? Do you usually follow specific artists and galleries?

JP and FM: Clients bring different demands, but, in general, the work begins with the discussion around their interests. In many cases we have to open doors and fields of knowledge so that the client has an initial perception of what catches their attention. In this sense, we seek to exchange and increase awareness before any purchase. We not only follow artists, but we are connected with galleries, institutions and artistic movements worldwide.


What is the first piece of advice you would give an aspiring collector?

JP and FM: Before buying, understand what you want to buy. Perceive your collection, since its first acquisitions, as the formation of a legacy.

Check below the artworks of SP-Arte 365 selected especially by Art_Ahead

Gommaar Gilliams
“LAURAL”, 2023

Oil, Oil stick, Acrylic on pre-painted and stitched fabrics
Painting: 78.74 x 59.06 inches: 200 x 150 cm

© Courtesy of Nil Gallery.

About Art_Ahead

Founded by Julia Suslick Porchat and Felipe Melo, Art_Ahead is an art consultancy focused on developing strictly personalized relationships with its clients and collectors, always observing privacy and discretion. The appreciation of art and cultural and intellectual development form the main motivation of our company.

Art_Ahead’s professionals are connected with the most important art hubs in the world. We work to ensure that our clients travel consistently in the art world, including all the necessary support in the relationship with institutions and galleries.

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Marina Dias Teixeira graduated in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of the Arts London (UAL). She has worked as part of Fundação Bienal de São Paulo, Sotheby’s Brazil and SP–Arte teams. Today, she is Project Coordinator at Act., art consulting bureau based in São Paulo. In parallel, she researches decolonial theories and the production by artists of the African Diaspora in the contemporary arts circuit, with a focus on black women. Since 2020, she collaborates for Casa Vogue Brazil, with a close look on black artists and their production.

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