Images and text by Silvia Bergomi
Silvia Bergomi: Briefly describe your career.
Gloria Maria Cappelletti: I have been really lucky, working in the fashion industry with great designers like Stephen Sprouse, great photographers like Steven Klein and great stylists like Patti Wilson, but my heart has always been in contemporary art and I finally opened a gallery in Milan [Gloria Maria Gallery], which is where I am now.
Silvia: Your gallery is among the most interesting in Milan. Is your work in any way influenced by your past experiences in fashion? Don’t you think that the fashion and the art crowds today are in some way similar to those of the ’60s?
Gloria: I think that the gallery is perceived as interesting because Milan is quite a small town and I am very specific in terms of selecting the artists I work with. In the past, I have been able to work with leaders in the fashion field and I guess this helped me develop an avant-garde aesthetic. Fashion and art are often in conversation nowadays, as in the past. They both attempt to mirror society. Andy Warhol was correct in predicting that everybody would be famous for 15 minutes. It’s a lot about marketing and branding, but I am a romantic and love to discover artists that don’t fit into this category.
Silvia: You are one of the few gallerists in Italy who work with web art. Help us understand the rules behind this media and how they relate to the art world, especially the art market.
Gloria: My daily question is: What is Internet art? Do we really still need to embrace Duchampian definitions of art? I feel that we are living on the edge of a crisis and should be questioning what art is in the age of the Internet. We shouldn’t apply an old paradigm to a new phenomenon. The Internet is about relationships, so art reflects this as well. Aesthetic values should now be about relationships, rather then forms and lines. A lot of Internet art deals with blogs, personal diaries, etc., the so-called Web 2.0. revolution, where one can see a significant re-introduction of community participation. Internet art is an avant-garde movement, like the modern art movements were avant-garde at a certain point. Internet artwork is, in fact, uncontained work that [the artists] deliberately spread across a network. It’s not based on rarity, but accessibility; the more accessible, the better. [These artists] are proposing opposite paradigms.
Silvia: What are you looking for? What motivates you to collaborate with an artist?
Gloria: I am always looking for a sort of “love at first sight” with an artist’s work, which is very rare, but when it happens….
Silvia: What’s your opinion about the current creative environment in Milan?
Gloria: I would say it is still running backwards.
Silvia: You spent many years in the USA. What do you miss the most?
Gloria: While in the USA, I lived most of the time in New York, which is great, but I don’t miss it that much. I’m happy to go back once in a while, but I wouldn’t live there again. Nevertheless, I think what’s great about New York is that things happen for real and you meet challenging people on a daily basis, which is very New York and doesn’t apply to the USA in general.
Silvia: Touching on motherhood, is it difficult dealing with the gallery and taking on the mum role? Is your daughter [Pann] already interested in the art world? Should we expect to see her as the new Vanessa Beecroft?
Gloria: Pann is a real neen artist. She loves to play on the iPad with the Random Pollock by Miltos Manetas and she loves to draw on every flat surface she finds, so I guess she definitely has some artistic attitude. She might be a new 2.0 version of Mariko Mori, actually she will probably be a 3.0 version…
Silvia: Do you like the idea of your baby growing up in such a creative and dynamic surroundings?
Gloria: Freedom of thought should be always encouraged. At the same time a three-year-old should have some strict rules, so I guess I like the idea of a creative environment, but I try to keep a very stable surrounding.
Silvia: Name three important contemporary artists…
Gloria: Off the top of my head, I could name Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois and Maya Deren… Mah, I have so many to name…
Silvia: And three emerging artists…
Gloria: All my neen stars!
Silvia: What do you think about the blogging phenomenon? Why is it so big in the fashion world but so tiny in the art field?
Gloria: I find blogs really interesting. As a matter of fact, I just co-founded—with Nadia Rebeccato—an art-buying agency called The Nanalog, which creates teams for online projects, so we deal a lot with bloggers and web directors. Art needs to embrace a wider sharing of information, so I hope there will soon be a stronger recognition and following of their work.
Silvia: Tell me something that nobody would expect to hear from you…
Gloria: What I love most about working in the gallery is drilling concrete walls and driving the truck.
Silvia: What is a restaurant in Milan that you would recommend?
Gloria: Oliviero Leti’s La Casa dei Demoni.
Silvia: Do you cook? What is your best recipe?
Gloria: I am such a bad cook. My best recipe is to order delivery!