The interviews of ProfessioneArte.it
Lei è Maria Chiara Valacchi, Critica d’arte, Curatrice indipendente e Art Writer.
Five questions to know in advance the great art professionals, the daily challenges to face, the choices that have determined their path in the art system and in the art market, the digital changes and the advice for those who want to start the same career in collaboration with ProfessioneARTE.it.
She is the Art Curator with the soul of Contemporary Art Restorer. She is Maria Chiara Valacchi, Art Critic, Independent Curator and Art Writer, who to carry out her profession in the art world had to “marry the transversal soul of this profession“.
His approach to the art system is dynamic, energetic, never repetitive or taken for granted for free criticism and curating, in dialogue with artists, many told and presented through words and spaces, physical and virtual.
In 2010 she created what she called a “cultural container” called Cabinet, a Milanese non-profit exhibition space mainly devoted to pictorial language.
That language, painting, which in 2014 led Maria Chiara to found the platform Paint, more than a “diary” for images on the best exhibitions dedicated to contemporary painting, chosen by the artists themselves at an international level, to create an active network of professionals in the language of painting.
In this interview Maria Chiara Valacchi recounts her beginnings in the world of art, by choice and passion since she was a child, the change towards the dynamism of criticism and curating, as well as the enthusiasm to work in a field of action with many facets and many difficulties, that only those who are moved by true and radical passion are able to overcome…
On 2010 she founded and curates the non-profit space Cabinet in Milan, which has hosted a series of internationally renowned mid-career artists such as Brian Calvin, Kaye Donachie, Sylvie Fleury, Karsten Födinger, Dagmar Heppner, Christian Jankowski, Chris Succo, Alexander Wagner, Wendy White, Ivan Seal, Pieter Vermeersch and also young emerging artists such as Adrian Buschmann, Matyas Chochola, Lindsay Lawson, Alex Mackin-Dolan, Mia Marfurt, Melike Kara, David Keating, Dan Shaw-Town, Tyra Tingleff, Henning Strassburger and Amalia Ulman.
On 2014 she founded and is editor-in-chief of Paint! an online platform exclusively dedicated to the diffusion and research of the best contemporary painting, the first to use the direct contribution of illustrious international painters.
Since 2015 he has been the international contributor of ArtForum International Magazine and since 2017 of Il Corriere della Sera and Il Fatto Quotidiano, for which he curates the thematic columns dedicated to Contemporary Art. For the 16th edition of the art fair ArtVerona, scheduled from 11 to 13 December, she has been appointed Curator of Format Talks, to deepen through the interventions of the main operators of the art system the critical issues and possibilities of the system.
1.How has your path in the contemporary art started?
I graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Contemporary Art Restoration, a passion that I had nurtured since I was a child, and I started working in the field right away; after a while I realized that the repetitive dynamics and methodologies of that profession did not match what I wanted to develop concretely in this field.
So I opted for something that could combine creativity and the study of art, approaching little by little the profession of curator.
I decided to continue my studies also taking a master’s degree in Museum Management and at the same time approaching the “system”, writing for small blogs dedicated to contemporary art and curating exhibitions of young artists especially in emerging Milanese spaces.
2.How would you describe your profession today?
I’m lucky. In these years, I have managed to build a solid professional figure that allows me to range in various fields and to collaborate with important magazines, galleries, fairs and universities.
Although I have preferences for some specific curatorial areas, I have had to embrace the transversal soul of this profession; a profession increasingly projected towards a strong hybridisation of roles.
3. How has your profession changed over the year?
Compared to my beginnings, about twenty years ago, it has changed a lot; before private galleries used to use professional figures to organize their programming and artists were strongly linked to specific curators, languages and currents of thought.
Now the roles have become rarefied and the figure of the curator (in its more specific meaning) has had to adapt to a lesser demand, embracing other professions such as journalist or art advisor, until recently marginal with respect to its range of action.
I have been able to keep my curator mode of operation steady thanks to Cabinet; a Milanese non-profit organization that I founded in 2010 (together with Antonio Di Mino), and whose program for over 10 years is focused on the exclusive creation of double shows by international mid-career artists, thanks to which I register urgent criticisms and cultural phenomena that are difficult to place elsewhere.
Brian Calvin, Wendy White, Installation view 2017, Cabinet Milan | Courtesy Artists and Cabinet Milan – Photo Filippo Armellin. Copyright 2016 © ARMELLIN F.
4. What impact is digital having on your business?
Since the emergence of the internet and social networks, the world has changed radically and so has art itself and the approach to it.
Many actors in the system have used digital to communicate their work, helping their activity to reach unthinkable parterres.
Users have responded favourably to the change, also from an economic point of view, a factor that has pushed many auction houses, art galleries and virtual platforms to specialize and channel many collectors to purchase “online”.
Now, given the current pandemic, what could appear to be a successor or superfluous, on the other hand, responds perfectly to the need to review our social dynamics… with the hope of being able to return to travel safely and enjoy the works of art live.
5. What would you suggest to someone looking to pursue your career?
I would advise a young person to choose this job only if moved by a real and radical passion, because of a very limited and difficult field of action.
I would also suggest to combine study with direct experience in the field and not to be discouraged by the first difficulties.
This interview has been realized in collaboration with ProfessioneARTE.it, the first community dedicated to training, updating and orientation towards the professions of art.
Are you an art professional?
Join t he exclusive Art Concierge