HARRIET MATHIAS, YOUNG FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR BASED IN LONDON, TELLS HOW HER LOVE FOR ART IS TRANSFORMED INTO HER JOB AND REVEALS TO RED MILK HER FUTURE PLANS. READY TO DISCOVER HARRIET’S WORLD AND HER MODERN MUSE?
What is art for you?
Art for me is an emotional extension of my being, it can be familiar, peaceful, stimulating and challenging – all things I look for in life. Thomas Merton defines it perfectly – “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
When you decided to become an “art collector”?
I walked into the Met Museum in New York during the Spring of 2007, after I had completed an assignment designing a fashion collection influenced by Edgar Degas and I used the Little Dancer Aged Fourteen as my reference point. It was here that I walked into the gallery and for the first time, saw this beautiful ballet student in the flesh, only a few years younger than I was at the time, and I was so moved by her honesty, vision and realism that my eyes filled with tears. From this moment in 2007 art became part of my livelihood; I started collecting art, travelled through Italy learning about the foundations of Art History, took a degree in History of Art at Manchester University and throughout followed the industry, building my collection and contacts over the decade and eventually working at companies which I believed held art within their core values, such as Prada and Cartier. I then decided to make the jump to become and Art Consultant & Collector as many people were asking me for advice and interested in my ever-growing collection. It was in October 2018 that I decided I could share my knowledge and passion full time, to encourage others to see that we are living in a golden age of Art and Artists.
What does it mean for you be a female entrepreneur?
It means a lot that I am on this venture. There are many existing and budding female role models and entrepreneurs in the world who are making their mark in history, and I hope that one day I can make a mark, be part of the ever-growing powerful female community and inspire others, not only through my ambitions but through the art and content I provide.
What are your favourite artists?
I do not have a favourite artist but I’m sure you can see my love for the human figure in general. I have collected Kim McCarty’s work for many years now – Kim takes on the classical motif of the nude or still life and brings it into a modern context. Her works are strong in personality, they offer a fixed gaze, but there is a sense of mystery, which results in a strong connection between artwork and viewer. Someone who is in complete contrast in texture and style to Kim McCarty is Vanessa Prager, who i adore. Vanessa Prager’s work is jarring, thick in impasto and hash in colour. However, like Kim, Vanessa draws reference from classical forms and figures, depicting the female form in various degrees of abstraction. Another artist which I think is incredibly interesting is Italian artist Marco Rea. Marco bends the image of desire and material consumerism from a magazine, by removing the product through spray paint and providing the viewer with a figure who is lost in their thoughts, dreams, and mental space, bringing the artwork into a Surrealist realm. His work is not only beautiful but thought provoking.
What you look for in an emerging artist?
Personality and passion from the artist and subject matter.
What inspires you?
Humans are my MUSE.
Three tips for who decides to start collecting art.
Side tip: Buy 100 Secrets of the Art World – This guide to contemporary art contains exclusive anecdotes, advice and personal stories from artists, museum directors, gallerists, auction house insiders, collectors and contains thoughtful and sometimes critical entries make this informative publication an entertaining read for anyone interested in contemporary art. My favourite quote is by Simon de Pury, Auctioneer, former co-founder of Phillips de Pury.
“Having an EYE, (preferably a good one) and knowing how to keep a secret. There is a certain justice in the art market that those who buy with their EARS eventually fall flat on their nose while those who buy with their EYES eventually get rewarded. In the art world that thrives on gossip, being able to keep secret clearly sets you apart.”
What will be the future of figurative art for you?
Figures have been the subject of art and storytelling since prehistoric times and will forever be a partnership – it’s it like human nature, it’s a subject matter that will always evolve throughout the future.
What are your future projects?
I am currently setting up an informative online platform representing and selling emerging contemporary artists and artworks, with an emphasis on figurative art, for under £10,000, called Modern Muse Art. Modern Muse Art provides a simple solution to purchasing affordable art, with supporting qualitative content to inform and inspire the buyer. The visitor will receive reliable advice from key opinion leaders, market analysis and exhibitions from around the world and more. Modern Muse Art hand picks 9 emerging artists, titled as a Modern Muse, throughout the year, where their profile will be at the forefront on the platform. By offering a space for artists to sell their work, share their happening and prospects, insights to the art industry enables next generation collectors and art enthusiasts to learn more about the artist, building a stronger relationship between artist and buyer. Modern Muse Art is a bi-functional platform which provides visibility for emerging artists and educates the collector before purchasing.
Photos courtesy of the artist