’89 domande a Maria Brito – Art Advisor and Curator

Name? Maria Brito (@mariabrito_ny)

What’s your job?  I’m an art advisor, a curator and a writer. 

What did you study at university?I went to Law School.  

When did you start your job?  I opened my art advisory company in 2009. 

Can you give us a definition of art? Art is everything.

Your favorite style icon? Sophia Loren. 

If you could live in one historical era, which one would you choose? The Renaissance.  

If you could spend a day with an historical figure who would you choose? Jesus of Nazareth.  

Who are the people that inspired you the most?Great entrepreneurs with vision . 

What do you think about influencers?  Not sure. I mean an influencer for the sake of posting nice pics of living rooms and hotels and kitchens and nice outfits that is empty to me. If there’s more than that then instead of “influencer” the word should be social media leaders or something else.  

Do you think exist an objective aesthetic value or you think aesthetic value is just subjective? It’s all subjective  

What is the night you spent the most money to have fun?  I’m not sure but probably a night in Paris where there was a 3-Star Michelin dinner followed by bottles of champagne at a club.  

What do you do for fun? I have so much fun doing my job and hanging out with artists and other creative people, I feel that my job is fun. I also have a lot of fun with my clients. Pre-pandemic I used to go to the movies and to a great restaurant with my husband once a week. I love the movies. We still go to restaurants in New York but the vibe is differentand the movie theatres are closed.

What people don’t know about your job?  That it is really hard work! I work all the time. I’m always doing something and I’m always selling a lot of art and that is the center of my business and sales take focus and determination. 

Where have you been on vacation when you were young? I was fortunate to grow up in a family that valued traveling and embracing getting to know different places and cultures. I have traveled everywhere since I was really young. 

Where are you going on vacation now? I Iove my summers in Mykonos. 

What’s the topic you are most expert in? Contemporary art and creativity.   

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Have you ever been in love?  Many times.

Where do you live?  I live in NYC.

Where are you from?  I’m from Caracas, Venezuela.

Other cities where you’ve been living and how long?  I lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts when I went to law school. 

How social media changed the world of art in your opinion? It changed everything and gave artists a bigger platform and reach, boosted their sales and that of galleries as well as those of art fairs and basically made their business  grow tenfold.

If a person made a stunning work of art would you consider him an artist or just someone who made a nice/beautiful thing?  It depends but if it’s stunning I would probably consider it art. 

When, in your opinion, can you define a person as an artist? We all are artists but as we get older we stop creating and experimenting. I don’t really like to put boundaries around people.  

Do you think that a person that doesn’t stand out in the art market is just because he is not worthy? Not really. It could be that the person hasn’t had a chance or hasn’t planned their career carefully. The market is complete arbitrary.   

Do you think that the relationship between art and drugs is just a cliché? Oh yes, and what a stupid cliche.

Do you think that only the art market define what can be considered art and what cannot? No. But unfortunately the market dictates what stays and what goes. 

What artist would you recommend to buy for a good investment? Too many, not possible to do it here. Things change constantly. 

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What do you think about Banksy’s experiment to sell his works on the streets for cheap? Do you think that the value of a work, in the eye of an observer, is given from the context in which it was seen? Banksy is pretty smart and as a provocateur and prankster, he has made all the right moves to keep his work relevant. He doesn’t take the whole thing seriously at all, and he has strong political views which makes him and his work all the more interesting.   

Which languages do you speak? English, Spanish, Portuguese and a bit of French 

Which are your favorite places in your city? I love the Met Museum, the bar of the Carlyle Hotel, Chelsea, which is my neighborhood and is full of galleries and restaurants  

Do you have any political orientation? I’m from the center. I’m tired of extremes. Extremes haven’t left anything good ever. The definition of fanaticism is to see only one side and nothing else.  

Favorite movies? The Social Network, Pawn’s Labyrinth, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and anything by Pedro Almodóvar. 

Favorite songs? Bob Marley’s “Stir It Up”.


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Favorite bands? UB40.  

Favorite books? One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Favorite authors?  Robert Greene, Malcolm Gladwell.  

What’s your favorite artist? Just impossible to answer. 

What’s the best artist right now in your opinion? See above.  

The most overrated? Too many. 

The most underestimated? Too many.

Favorite TV series? Money Heist.  

If you were an animal which one would you like to be? Either a panther or a cheeta or maybe a bird who can fly long distances.  

Do you think you are an influencer? No. I think I’m a leader and a pioneer. The most flattering thing is when everyone copies what you’ve been doing for 12 years.  

How much do you earn now? A lot. 

Have you ever cheated on your fiancée? I’m married and no, I haven’t.  

Have you ever cheated on a friend? How do you cheat on a friend? 

Do you have some regrets about things you wanted to do but you didn’t do? If so which ones? I wanted to be a singer and my mother opposed even though I had audioned and gotten selected among hundreds to be the lead singer of a very famous band back in Venezuela when I was 17.

Do you have some dreams that you are trying to realize? If so which ones? I have many great dreams. I’ll tell you when they come true! 

Maria Brito and Kenny Scharf

What time do you usually go to sleep?  11:00 pm. 

What time do you usually wake up? 7:00 am. 

What’s your favorite city in the world? New York.

Do you believe in some religions? Yes I do. I believe everyone has the right to have a religion and to practice it safely.  

Your typical day?  Wake up, black coffee, workout, meditation, business emails and phone calls, lunch, out to galleries or museums, meetings with clients, more phone calls, and emails, writing time, time with husband and my kids. 

Do you have many friends?  I have a select group of friends. 

What’s the best place in NY to party? Oh God. It’s been a while! I love Paradise Club, it’s big and the music is so good. Can’t wait to be back!

Puff Daddy and Maria Brito

What would you do first if you won the lottery? I would select a charity close to my heart and donate a percentage of the money. I believe that those random events are not random, and one must pay it forward. If I got so lucky to win the lottery then I should acknowledge my luck by helping others.   

The richest person you know? Too many to name them here  and that would not be polite. 

What’s the thing you like most? My family.  

Your favorite dish? Crispy French fries.  

Do you have some phobias?  I don’t like snakes or reptiles in general. 

What car do you own?  None.

Last book you read?  The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot.

Favorite fashion brand? Isabel Marant.  

The most precious material thing you own? My engagement ring.  

What do you usually drink at the bar? Champagne.  

What do you usually have for breakfast?  Black coffee.  

Best party you’ve been to? A couple of Art Basel  Miami Beach parties at the house of  Sean “Diddy” Combs and another one at Naomi Campbell’s. 

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What drugs have you done? Not many really 

If so which one is your favorite? None.  

And which one you use more often? None.  

What places do you usually go in NY? Galleries, restaurants, museums, movie theaters.  

What’s your best talent?  The ability to connect ideas and things that others miss.  

The way you dress more often? Fun, colorful. 

What are the clothes you can’t stand to see on a man and on a woman? Sweats.  

There are more recommended or talented artists?  Talented, thankfully.  

Do you often go to the cinema? Well, I used to every week before this thing fell upon us.  

If you were not engaged and if you can choose a famous man for a night, who would it be? Christian Bale.

What’s the item of clothing you spent the most money on? This is a hard one because I try to never spend crazy amounts in one item. Maybe it was my wedding dress? 

Your ideal holiday? Anywhere in a beautiful beach far from crowds.  

What do you think about Donald Trump? No comments.  

What you cannot stand on people? Double standards and hypocrisy.  

What’s the thing that make lose your patience the most? Anything that’s unjust. 

Pharrell Williams and Maria Brito

And what does never gets you tired of? I’m never tired of art.

Do you know someone being a real racist? Yes, unfortunately I do. 

Do you think breeds can be applied on human beings like for all other animals?  Of course not!

Is it possible today to live by art without having an economic aid? Artists these days have never been wealthier, really. The idea that artists starve is a myth. I don’t know who started that myth but is a disservice to people. Artists are no different from any other profession. If they are good and know how to play the game of relationships, they will make money. I have never seen so many artists young and old making so much money as they have in the past five years. They are inundated with requests for solo and group shows, commissions and brand collaborations.  

 What’s the most boring thing for you? People who are entitled, rigid, believe in inherited systems or in one way off doing things. 

A trip you would do but still you didn’t? I want to go to India. 

What’s the most memorable trip in your life? Too many to name. But in the summer of 2019, we spent almost a month traveling in France, Spain and Greece and it was magical. 

What’s your art work you’re most attached to? I rather not be attached to anything material because they are just things. 

What define the price of an art work? The gallery, the collectors behind, the demand, the marketing campaign around the artist, the museum acquisitions and the museum shows. 

What’s your source of inspiration in the art world? Young artists who are amazing and still humble.  

Do you believe in everlasting love? Yes, I absolutely do. 

Why is it so hard to have a lasting love today in your opinion? Do you think social networks are involved in it? Yes, I think online dating apps and sites contribute to the idea that it is all very disposable, and people erroneously think they have endless options, but the truth is that they don’t if they want to have any meaningful relationship or to form a family.

 

What’s your favorite restaurant in NY? I love Momofuku Ko and was totally in love with Momofuku Nishi which sadly closed recently.  There are too many good restaurants in New York. It’s the lifeblood of the city. 

Whats the district you go more often? Chelsea.

What’s the best area to live in NY in your opinion? I love my neighborhood as well as the Village which is the one right next.     

How did you like to spend your time? Being happy.

What jobs have you done in your life? I was a corporate attorney for too many years, almost nine. Then I followed my true passion. 

What do you think about the existence of royal rulers for birthright? I don’t believe in Monarchy. 

What do you think about marriage? It’s not for everyone but it works for some of us. 

And monogamy? It’s not for everyone but it works for some of us.  

What do you like the most about Italy? What’s not to love? I love the people, the landscape, the food, the history, the cities, the art, the beaches!

And what you don’t like? I don’t like Prosecco. 

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