Curator and adviser Angeliki Kim Perfetti paints a compelling picture of today’s art world – from a new exhibition in London this month to discovering fresh talent and appreciating art in unexpected places
“Art demands change,” says independent curator and adviser Angeliki Kim Perfetti. Over the past few years that change has extended not only to how and where we appreciate art, but also to those creating it and who their work reaches.
“With the global pandemic, the art world had to adapt,” says Perfetti. “All the major players from galleries to auction houses and art fairs reinvented themselves by creating a digital alternative.” That, in turn, opened the door to new, and often younger, collectors who tend to be natural online users.
Even before Covid the art world was changing. Smaller destinations have been emerging as artistic hubs for some time, an evolution that Perfetti welcomes. “There are so many interesting, contemporary galleries and some that are really in the forefront [of the art world] are in places such as Brussels (Stems Gallery), Stockholm (Loyal Gallery) and Capri (Plan X Gallery). And along with the major art fairs – from Frieze London to Art Basel in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Miami and, from 2022, Paris – there are also now wonderful fairs in Lagos, Copenhagen, Ibiza… smaller venues, but with a powerful global reach.”
Perfetti is well placed to comment on shifts in the art world because it’s one she occupies in so many dimensions. Swedish by birth and now living in London (via Italy and Switzerland), she has a double degree in art history and visual culture and travels globally to nurture her variety of roles – from independent art curator and adviser to art historian, writer, public speaker and podcast presenter.
Her company, Dynamisk, was established in 2018 and takes its name from the Swedish translation of the word ‘dynamic’ – something “characterised by constant change, energy and new ideas that stimulates progress”. One of her latest projects, Once upon a time in Mayfair, perfectly captures this sentiment.
As curator of this forthcoming art exhibition, Perfetti is bringing together 24 artists representing diverse nationalities – from Ghana to Iceland, Argentina, Spain, Korea, the US and beyond.
“Once upon a time… is probably the most universal story opener,” she says. “Independent of what part of the world you’re from, it’s culturally embedded within us. We get excited because it’s an indication that a story is about to be told.”
The exhibition – which takes place from mid-October at Phillips: the state-of-the-art auction house and gallery space in Mayfair’s Berkeley Square – explores life from all its possible angles via a diversity of aesthetics, techniques and styles. It features paintings and sculptures from some of the most intriguing young artists working in, and very much also shaping, contemporary art. “Ultimately the exhibition offers a thrilling invitation to think about and explore the complexity and interconnection of contemporary life,” Perfetti says.
Art goes glocal
This passion for interconnection and inclusion extends from her role supporting emerging artists to the way she works with clients, advising on and curating their collections, as well as championing art to a new and ever-wider audience.
“We have to push art to places that may be outside the box to bring it closer to its audience and to open it up for a new audience. By doing that, not only do we welcome new enthusiasts, but we also challenge art, which drives it to develop a new narrative.”
A place she highlights as particularly inspired in its artistic and cultural approach is the Swiss resort of St Moritz. It’s a place close to her heart as she met her husband there 15 years ago and still visits multiple times a year.
She describes it as ‘glocal’ – a local hub with a global reach. Exhibitions there extend beyond traditional gallery and museum venues – of which there are more than 60 – and spill on to the lake or inside St Moritz church, for example – offering artists and enthusiasts extraordinary settings in which to interact with art. There are also dinners and events, and residency programmes inviting artists from across the world to work amid the inspired terrain of the Engadin valley.
It’s an environment Perfetti recommends art fans should experience, believing that in contrast to the bustle of capital cities, such as London and New York, smaller hubs allow one the time and space to interact and learn, to develop relationships and really nurture a wider appreciation of art.
A sketch of the future
When asked what’s next for the art world, Perfetti suggests it will be a hybrid offering. Tech will play a big part. “It’s been introduced to the art world in two ways – as a channel for communication during the pandemic, when we learnt to attend art fairs virtually, and through artists working with tech as a medium, particularly with the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).”
Perfetti also believes there will be exciting collaborations across industries, citing art and fashion as one example, and that emerging art will become more representative. “Art mirrors society. After the #MeToo movement we saw a rise in women artists coming to the fore. The same with Black Lives Matter – finally we’re seeing greater representation from people of colour. I truly hope and believe that the art world will continue to demand change.”
Hero Image: Helen Frankenthaler, Beach Scene, 1961, Artwork ©️ 2022 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York