Are you a collector, as well as an art dealer?
I was a huge collector in the past. In 2005, in collaboration with American auction house Wright, I decided to disperse my collection and move on. I felt like that “conversation” was over, so I auctioned everything off – setting a few world records. Now I’m more interested in architecture and spaces revolving around objects.
What is your home like? What important pieces do you keep there?
You may not expect this, but having been raised in a museum-like home I felt the need to live in an opposite kind of space. My home is absolutely comfortable, and follows none of the principles that guide my work: it’s a way for me to mentally separate the two worlds of professional and personal life. However, I do feel the need to keep a few pieces I feel a connection to. They are just a few pieces but they very important to me: furniture, art, photography. I can’t deny I might start “playing” at home again soon.
You come from a family of art dealers. Who did you get your taste for beautiful things from?
My grandfather, whom I was very close to. He took me with him since I was a child, and I learned a lot both from him and from my father.
Can you tell us a special story about someone who came by your gallery?
One evening, when I was still at the old address in Via Solferino in Milan, I was working late on the inventory. Someone rang the doorbell. Through the front windows, I half-saw a man with a pair of round glasses. It was a man, an artist. We chatted until very late and discussed Mollino, the gallery’s archives and the history of design. It had just met Robert Wilson, with whom I opened the new gallery in Via Maroncelli in 2003, with the “The Chair – The Chairs” exhibition.
Is there a piece you’ve had in your gallery that you felt particularly connected to?
I used to pick one exceptional piece to take home every year. Then I quit. But amongst so many pieces, Carlo Mollino’s “Vertebrae” table definitely has a special place in my heart.
What is the hardest part of managing a design and modern antiques gallery?
I grew up in the family business, and the quality of service that stems from generations of experience is definitely our biggest pride. Considering our international clientele, the logistics that come with exportations are definitely complex: you really need to interact with a team that together has all the skills required.