Dinners were initially the reason I wanted to work in the creative industry. I had read way too many books that narrated the eccentric dinners of the twentieth century, where you could have bumped into Salvador Dali, Matisse, Peggy Guggenheim and so many more. It wasn’t so much for the costumes, but more for the idea of meeting the great creative minds of the time.
That’s where it all started: I wanted to grow and understand my time with the up-and-coming artists of my generation. And the best way to do that was over dinner. While the cocktail party is a quick date, the dinner is the perfect setting to understand people deeply and fall for artists and their visions. Collectors know this and that’s why, ten years later, I run or host a different dinner every night or second night.
So, what is my vision for the perfect collectors’ dinner?
- Art: It sounds obvious, but you will be surprised; the number of dealers or galleries that organize dinners away from the art they care for. The dinner needs to be artistic and to become a full curation of artworks on the walls, surrounding the centre table.
- Artists: You may think that I am pointing out the obvious once again, but I have been to too many dinners that only had finance people at them. It’s a collectors’ dinner; it’s meant to be creatively inspiring. Mix people around and include creative and artists. They may not be as wealthy, but their content is meaningful and key to a great collectors’ dinner.
- Setting: A great collectors’ dinner is unique and thus requires a unique location–unique in its architecture and location. Be original to be remembered.
- Details: Make the menu is artistic. Get an artist to make an installation specifically for the dinner to inspire everyone with the details. It should breathe the art and visions of the artists you love.
- Wine: Yes. Not to get everyone drunk, but fine wine eases peoples nerves and helps them to talk with less inhibition, so that the conversations are of quality.
An example I would give from our end was the dinner we hosted last week for International Women’s Day, with a set of four women artists. The setting was incredible as we rented the clock tower apartment at King’s Cross St Pancras – an iconic building with a view on the clock and 8 meters of ceilings! We projected the video art of our artist Jennifer Abessira on a full brick wall while we hung the tapestries of our artist from the railings and metal staircases. The sculpture of our artist Leni Dothan greeted every guest with the core question of the night: Can women strive for equality?
In the center of the table we had the quantum physics sculpture of artist Jasmine Pradissitto, which helped you to observe the change of colors around this strange set of hands. Quite a presence to have while you eat!
Everyone received a poem by John Keats before they started eating and, my God, the conversations were great! I will keep them private though. That’s the beauty of a dinner: There is no recording you or judging you, so you may say absolutely everything you think or feel.
And yes… We drank a lot of wine.
An advocate for artists since a young age, Marine managed her first gallery at age 21, opened her first art gallery in Los Angeles at age 23 and finally created her current business, MTArt, to promote the artists she believed in across the globe. MTArt is the first artist agency promoting influential visual artists and specialising in talent management: building, growing and accelerating their careers.Marine is a thought leader, writer and frequent speaker on contemporary art. She is a member of The Thousand Network, the Creative Industries Federation, the Association of Women Art Dealers and a fellow of the RSA. Marine was listed on the Future of Women and is the London art ambassador of www.ohsoarty.com.