Talking with Umberto Ungaro, Gallery Director of Pisacane Arte Gallery in Milan.
You can find Pisacane Arte at Affordable Art Fair Milan 2017 at Superstudio Più from 10th to 12th of February 2017.
So tell us a bit about Pisacane Arte Gallery; when and why was the gallery founded, what’s been the most pivotal moment in the its history so far?
The gallery was founded in 2012 in Milan. All my life I’ve been a great art lover and collector, and after various different job experiences in various jobs, I decided I wanted to start a new adventure, doing something I loved, so I opened the gallery. We’ve had many special moments here in the gallery, but I think one of my favourite recent projects has to be the Milano Vola Alto exposition at the exhibition centre of Palazzo Lombardia – it was so beautiful!
How do you go about finding inspiring new artists for the gallery?
Our gallery often receives proposals from young or emerging artists. On first contact, we tend to suggest that they send us their portfolio and then we consider their work in light of the projects that we have on the agenda. It’s important that an artist is active, dedicated and passionate.
What sort of work would we typically find on the gallery walls?
We exhibit contemporary artists, with various different styles. We’re currently showing Iabo, YuX, Noba and Enrico Pambianchi. We also have some pieces from the Milano Vola Alto collection and several graphics from Salvador Dalì and Enrico Baj!
Other than representing artists work to clients, as a gallery, how else do you support your artists?
We try to support our artists through personal and collective exhibitions, the creation of catalogues and the participation to fairs and events. We also sponsor them a lot with social networks, that are a powerful means in our society.
What’s the most exciting thing about working with contemporary artists?
Definitely the collaboration! It’s amazing when you share different ideas and creative approaches, then see the finished project. Being a collector, I love having the chance to commission an artist, then having the final piece which has been inspired by my ideas! It’s a really lovely creative exchange.
What does a typical day working at an art fair involve, and how does that differ from day-to-day life in the gallery?
Participating in fairs takes a lot of planning. You have to really think about the artists you want to take and how you can set up the stand, balancing what you think your visitors would like to see and which artists hang well together. A typical fair day is demanding, but always so interesting – you’re talking to so many different people: artists, collectors, colleagues, new buyers – it’s exciting!
What do you enjoy most about working in a contemporary art gallery?
Life in the gallery is very active and that’s what I really enjoy. The work is very varied; setting up exhibitions, fairs, external projects; working with collectors and speaking to different clients. I love seeing a project through from the initial ideas to the final show/artwork – it’s a very satisfying process.
Talk us through your own collection.
I’ve been collecting for a long time now, nearly forty years! Recently I’ve starting buying the work of the contemporary artists I’ve been working with to create some of our exhibitions and events. Creating the “Milano Vola Alto” collection was such an amazing thing to do, and being able to work with such different and talented artists.
What advice would you give to aspiring art collectors before visiting an Affordable Art Fair to make sure they get the most out of their visit?
I’d suggest taking some time to do a little pre-fair prep – if you know the space you want to fill, come ready with your dimensions, or if you’re on a budget make sure you know what that budget is before you come so you concentrate on finding the pieces to suit it. Checking out the previews and exhibitor listings is useful too, as it gives you an idea of who/what you’re going to find at the fair so can help with narrowing down your search.
Art can transform, enhance and bring together the style of any interior. What are yout top tips on how to decide what works to buy and where to hang them?
We always tell our clients that art is not just a financial investment – it’s an investment in you too! Buying art is like falling in love: whenever we connect with a piece, whatever emotion it draws from us, we feel it every time we look at that particular work and that is what makes buying art so special. Our clients normally have a good idea of where they want to hang a new piece, so we make sure we work with good framers to offer a full service and make sure the piece is going to look it’s best in the home.
What was it like exhibiting at your first Affordable Art Fair, and which Affordable Art Fairs do you do now?
At the moment we’ve only taken part in the Milan edition, but we’d like to some of the international editions. Our first fair was great. It was a a good opportunity to meet new clients and give visibility to our artists.
What has been your most memorable moment at an Affordable Art Fair?
We exhibited YuX’ s artwork, “God save the punk,” which resulted in what was almost a bidding war between people who wanted to buy it – that was very funny!
We’ve got great expectations for the next edition: with the focus on Milan, we’ll exhibit our collection “Milano Vola Alto,” and we can’t wait for Affordable Art Fair visitors to see it!
Which artists are should we look out for on your stand in February?
At the next Affordable Art Fair Milan, we’ll exhibit Iabo’s artwork – an artist from Naples who focuses on the idea contamination using installation and performance. Iabo has already created a very unique performance that won’t go unnoticed at the fair.
We’ll also being showing an artist called Noba, a young street artist with great talent that we actually met at the Milan fair last year. Léonard Combier’s drawings will amaze everybody: infinite labyrinths featuring totems, figures and faces. We’ll also have more work by gallery favourites Yux and Enrico Pambianchi’s.
What do you think the future holds for the art market in our rapidly expanding digital world?
The digital world will be always be an important tool for the art world: a lot of customers turn to the web to make purchases and so necessary for galleries to keep up with that. Since its foundation, Pisacane Arte has always made room for digital technologies and customers can certainly buy work from us online.
And what is in store specifically for Pisacane Arte Gallery over the coming months?We have an amazing project underway which involves contemporary artists and a group of architects to already there are incredibly innovative ideas arising from it. We’re working with the Missione Architetto association, and MIA Pisacane has just been founded in our gallery space as a way to share and exchange ideas. We’re also planning a charity project “IllustraMI” for high school students of high schools – in our “Milano Vola Alto” exhibition, we saw the city as seen by contemporary artists, now we want to see the city through the eyes of our young. It will be fascinating to glimpse the city has constructed through the thought, ideas, and dreams of the young people who live here, as they moving towards adulthood. These projects are always alternated with exhibitions in gallery every two months – you can keep up on our Facebook page, through our website www.pisacanearte.it and our Instagram page pisacane_arte.
Works by YuX, Noba, Iabo, Léonard Combier, Enrico Pambianchi