Designed to connect creators to the appreciators, apArt is a private space where, through scheduled appointments, guests can appreciate, purchase, or rent fine art as well as meet and engage in conversation with exhibiting emerging artists and designers.
Founded in São Paulo by Thais Marin and her husband, Leo Macias, apArt is inspired by German collector Christian Boros’ initiative to transform a Berlin bunker into an art gallery, on top of which he now lives. In apArt, Marin and Macias have created a minimized version of Boros’ bunker. What sets apArt apart is its ability to enable art and its creator to come into direct contact with those who appreciate it.
With the focus on facilitating and trendsetting, apArt Private Gallery hosts artists from all over the world to live in a creative environment and be inspired to develop their work, which will be displayed in an exhibition at the gallery. Additionally, apArt works with art lovers who aren’t yet collectors, educating them on how they can buy art and become collectors.
Marin sat down with Art Business News to talk about the apArt origin story, the gallery’s successes and challenges, and why it’s opening a third location in New York City.
Tell us about apArt Private Gallery in Brazil. When and why did it open?
apArt started because my husband is an artist and creative from the advertising industry [Leo Macias, chief creative officer of DDB Colombia]. I felt it necessary to have a space to share his artwork. I had been an account and interactivity professional in both advertising and marketing, handling brands such as Walt Disney Co., McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Avon, among others on a global, regional, and local level, and I wanted to do something creative. We decided to buy a bigger apartment so we could build an art studio inside it.
When we traveled to Berlin and discovered the way Christian Boros receives people in his own home to see his art pieces, we got insight into how to approach apArt. We decided to not only have an art studio but also build an art gallery inside the apartment and invite people to view the art exhibitions. Through this creative economy concept, we can be in closer contact with creative professionals, whom we believe we may be able to help inspire in some way.
What are some of apArt’s greatest successes and challenges?
Our first success was when people felt excited to be invited to a private residence to see art and were amazed by the breathtaking art gallery. Our other main success is due to the amazing artists who have taken part. They feel honored to have this opportunity presented to them and enjoy every bit of the gallery. Even those who are very famous in the advertising market. Taking part in a unique art exhibition is one of their biggest dreams.
Another service that we brought to Brazil was the chance to rent art. We hadn’t even realized we were the first gallery to bring this concept to Brazil. Many people enjoy renting art as opposed to buying.
The main challenge is to create new buyers and increase the number of art collectors. It is also difficult to block enough time out of our busy schedules to give the artists the attention they deserve and expose their artwork to the world.
Why is apArt sought after?
We believe the reason why it is sought-after is because we’re doing business with generosity. We’re giving people a chance to view art and experience it in an unconventional way. We’re giving the viewer an opportunity to buy their first piece and the artist an opportunity to sell their first piece.
Why open another gallery? Why New York?
This is our third gallery. We opened the second one in Bogotá, Colombia. Because the concept is to give opportunities to new artists, especially from the advertising market, we decided to open our next gallery in New York, where there are a plethora of opportunities in the art and advertising world. New York is a culturally diverse, open-minded city where many artists can thrive.
What are the goals for the New York gallery?
Our main goal is to be recognized as a gallery that prepares artists for conventional galleries and gives them the confidence to continue their work. Another important goal is to increase the number of art collectors as well as people who are simply interested in artwork.
How many artists will be present, and what type of art will be shown?
For our first New York City event, we are showcasing one person and his amazing work: Brazilian artist and media mogul Marcello Serpa. We don’t personally represent any artist. Instead, we take the initiative to show different artists to the world, invite them to take part in our gallery, and present them to potential buyers. The artists who we have worked alongside have created a wide range of art. We like to be very open-minded toward anything these artists may have in store.
Who will run the New York gallery?
Maria Ines Moraes, a Brazilian philanthropist and entrepreneur, has been pursuing her passion for art and acquiring experience in the field throughout the past 30 years living in New York City. She has always loved to collect art and recently turned her apartment into a gallery, which made her the perfect partner in our expansion to New York.
Moraes has already hosted several art events in her apartment, during which she served as the curator and obtained the approval of several collectors. As the executive director of apArt Private Gallery NY, she will help transcend the brand and the unconventional concept of appreciating, buying, or renting art, as well as open doors for artists, collectors, and appreciators of art in the region.