ArtsLife | 24 September 2022

On the evening of Thursday, September 15, an unprecedented round table was held in the heart of Milan. A meeting between professionals and amateurs of contemporary art.

The occasion was the presentation of the first catalogue of Galleria Indice, a new venture aimed at promoting photography; among the artists were Mattia Balsamini, Nicolò Cecchella, Fabrizio Bellomo, Allegra Martin, Silvia Mariotti, Jacopo Valentini, Alessandro Calabrese, Marina Caneve, Emilio Vavarella, Jacopo Rinaldi, Rachele Maistrello, Silvia Bigi, Alessandro Sambini, Giorgio Di Noto, Fabio Barile, Caterina Erica Shanta. Photography is neither independent nor subordinate to art; instead, photography is to be understood as fully integrated within the artistic practice, capable of generating the desire to collect.

Collecting was also the topic of the discussion held in the private garden of FINER Finance Explorer, with its founder Nicola Ronchetti – how does the wish to purchase art come about, what contributes to spread such desire and how can it evolve. But also, protection, what precautionary measures are to be taken and what tools can be employed in order to act as safely and efficiently as possible. This discussion gave life to the talk organized in collaboration with the law firm Pavesio e Associati with Negri-Clementi. Among the guests were a partner of the firm Annapaola Negri-Clementi, and Elena Zaccarelli, Specialist, Head of Sale, Milan | Post-War & Contemporary Art at Christie’s.

The talk was introduced by the artistic directors of Galleria Indice, Luca Zuccala and Andrea Tinterri, who described the genesis of their first catalogue, created in collaboration with Cliniq Brand Surgery.  The volume features all the artworks shown at the inaugural exhibition held in March 2022, Fotografia Italiana Contemporanea. On that occasion, Galleria Indice, supported by FINER, used the spaces of Scalo Lambrate. In fact, Galleria Indice is not based in a permanent venue, but moves freely depending on possibilities and needs. In addition, they operate online on a daily basis. In addition to the artworks by the nine artists who attended the talk, the catalogue features critical pieces written by leading Italian experts in Photography. Thus, this publication represents a starting point for Galleria Indice; at the same time, it aspires to last over time and become a point of reference for following studies.

For amateurs, of course, but also for collectors. Among the latter is Nicola Ronchetti, who discussed some of the critical issues of the art market with Annapaola Negri-Clementi and Elena Zaccarelli – the reasons behind purchases, the relationship between primary market (i.e., the galleries, like Indice) and secondary market (i.e., auction houses, like Christie’s).

For the most part, art pertains to sensitivity; however, not all collections mirror the intent of the collector. Moreover, not all collectors wish to create a coherent collection. After all, some purchase art only as an investment. Thus, the quest for the right artwork or promising artist becomes the true challenge for the purchaser. But also for auction houses, which offer guidance to clients in choosing the best addition to their collection. And, last but not least, for those offering legal assistance during the buying and selling of art, sometimes worth thousands upon thousands of euros.

Here are some tips. When it comes to making an estimate, sometimes the back of a canvas is more important than the front. That is where the signature, the date and any relevant annotation may be found; moreover, the back of the canvas may reveal critical issues or valuable information about the state of conservation of the artwork. An important market is often the result of the artist’s hard work; however, sometimes artists become influential because of the market itself. In fact, galleries usually promote non-historicized artists and urge them to enter the auction market in order for them to become known and, above all, to increase their quotation.

After all, auction houses, especially large ones, operate on long-established artists and are to calibrate the requests of the customers – who wish to sell at a higher price – and the state of the market, which may not be ready to absorb a particular artwork at such price. In order to show its identity, spontaneity and sensitivity, each collection should have at least one completely depreciated artwork and one fake. Word of Elena Zaccarelli. Speaking of which, fakes are the nightmare of dealers and buyers. For this reason, Annapaola Negri-Clementi recommends to always require complete documentation, from the certificate of authenticity to the state of conservation. Moreover, it is much wiser to stipulate a well-detailed purchase agreement. More details mean less chances for cheaters to succeed.

Matilda Sereni