Interview originally appeared in The Woven Tale Press
Arco Gallery was founded by Valentina Puccioni in 2014. Born in Florence, Italy, Valentina graduated from the University of Siena with a Masters in Modern Art History. She started Arco Gallery to create a bridge between artists and collectors, independent of trends and market pressure.
The focus of the gallery is to help accomplished artists find a wider global audience. Arco Gallery actively participates in the art fair scene, such as Art on Paper and Aqua Miami. The gallery is also working to establish a high-quality online presence where collectors from all over the world can buy art with confidence through a virtual format.
I must be strongly drawn toward the type of work they do and feel that I would be thrilled to personally own their artworks and look at them every day on my walls. I also want to see a strong commitment and continuity in their work, not a hopping between vague ideas in search of something that might catch the market’s attention. Last but not least I look for artists who are ready to collaborate throughout, not the primadonna type.
I don’t like to promote a particular specialty neither in the imagery nor the media, though abstract oil paintings definitively compose the majority of Arco’s inventory. Some of my artists are figurative. Several work in a variety of media, from monotypes to leather, from prints to egg tempera. However, I keep a focus on works where the traditional aesthetic and materials corroborate the composition and concepts involved.
For artists, it is my personal commitment to promote their work, always keeping in mind how difficult the artist’s life is. Both my husband and my father-in-law are artists—I understand well the artist’s needs and priorities. For art enthusiasts, we offer a very personal approach, as the gallery is a cozy loft space and open by appointment; collectors may request to see a particular piece privately. And if they enjoy the experience of seeing what the artistic process looks like, we will bring them straight to the artist’s studio. What most of our collectors love about Arco is that we encourage them to buy artworks that express their individuality, independent from trend and market pressure.
There is an evident sense of accomplishment in the works that I show. My artists don’t have an age limit. They could be forty, sixty, even eighty years old. Their work is clearly the result of years of creative experience, technical mastery and experimentation enhanced by personal life-long experiences. These are works that are ever-changing in the eyes of the viewer.
I don’t like to use the word emerging or established artists—I look at my artists in terms of their artistic accomplishment. As I already explained, I look for continuity and commitment. For this reason our younger artists tend to already be in their forties.
From $700 to $25,000 with an average around $8,000 and a couple of works above $70,000.
The gallery’s motto: we believe that creating art is for those who have a vision and collecting it is for anyone who feels this vision is an enrichment of their lives.