Charlie Manzo, Paddle8 specialist, shares his professional history
THE ROLE OF DIRECTOR IN A MAJOR INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY GALLERY WITH INTERNATIONAL VENUES DEMANDS A VERY SPECIFIC NATURE, FOCUS AND COMMITMENT TO THE BUSINESS OF ART AS WELL AS A KNOWLEDGE AND PASSION FOR THE WORKS THEMSELVES. CHARLIE MANZO HAS AN INDEPENDENT SPIRIT, IS A DEDICATED ART MAVEN, COLLECTOR OF NEW ARTISTS, AND AN ENTERPRISING AND COMPETITIVE ENTREPRENEUR. I HAD THE PLEASURE OF WORKING WITH CHARLIE WHEN HE WAS A DIRECTOR AT GAGOSIAN GALLERY, WHICH HE JOINED AFTER QUITE A FEW YEARS AT PACE GALLERY. CHARLIE IS NOW SENIOR SPECIALIST AT PADDLE 8, A 21ST CENTURY AUCTION HOUSE. ONLINE AUCTIONS OF THE CALIBER OF PADDLE8 ARE AN EXCITING AND FAIRLY RECENT DEVELOPMENT AND INCREASINGLY SIGNIFICANT ASPECT OF THE ART BUSINESS. PADDLE8 OFFERS TWO TYPES OF AUCTIONS: MONTHLY THEMED SALES THAT ARE EXCEPTIONALLY WELL CURATED AND BENEFIT AUCTIONS IN COLLABORATION WITH NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. I LOOK FORWARD TO LEARNING A GREAT DEAL MORE ABOUT THIS PLATFORM FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS OF FINE ART.
CHARLIE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO SHARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE LRFA BLOG. I HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED OUR CONVERSATIONS AND OUR BUSINESS DEALINGS TOGETHER. WE TALK ABOUT THE PRESENT AND SPECULATE ON THE FUTURE OF ART AND ARTISTS BUT I DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND. HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN ART?
Early on I liked to collect things, as a kid it was baseball cards and toy trains, then it became sneakers and watches. Art naturally followed after taking classes in high school and college. I always liked to draw and paint but I was never great at it. I did develop a strong passion and appreciation for art and it just stuck. Combining art and collecting just ended up being quite natural, I gravitated towards the gallery world after college and never left.
DID YOU HAVE ANY AMBITIONS TO BE AN ARTIST?
While I enjoyed painting and drawing, I never wanted to be an artist myself, not as a career anyway. I was more of a people person and liked building relationships with both artists and collectors, I preferred to share and promote the talents of friends and other artists.
DID YOU HAVE A KNOWLEDGE OF ART FROM YOUR FAMILY, ARE THEY INTERESTED IN ART, AND ARE THEY COLLECTORS?
I had a knowledge of design from my mother, she was always very passionate about interior design and she loved color. I guess being around her sense of taste and style at a young age certainly rubbed off on me. She loved flowers and we would always have fresh colorful flowers inside and outside our house, I enjoyed painting them as a kid. We had a neighbor who was a local artist, she taught me how to paint with watercolors, I suppose I learned a lot about color.
IN THE NEXT BLOG, CHARLIE MANZO WILL EXPAND ON HIS PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AT THE TOP GALLERIES IN NEW YORK. CHARLIE MANZO BEGAN WORKING IN THE GALLERY WORLD AT PACE, THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS OF ART VENUES IN TERMS OF ITS HISTORY, ITS CURRENT ROSTER OF REPRESENTATION OF ESTATES AND CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS AND ITS LEGACY. AFTER QUITE A FEW YEARS, CHARLIE SOUGHT THE CHALLENGE AND GROWTH OF A NEW, COMPETITIVE EXPERIENCE AND ELECTED TO TAKE ON THE INTENSE MOMENTUM OF BEING A PART OF GAGOSIAN GALLERY– AN INTERNATIONAL TOUR DE FORCE WITH THIRTEEN LOCATIONS (PERHAPS FOURTEEN BY THE TIME THIS IS POSTED) WITH ACCESS TO EXCEPTIONAL SECONDARY MARKET WORK AND AN ALMOST UNLIMITED ROSTER OF BRILLIANT, SOUGHT AFTER AND POPULAR CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS. CHARLIE IS VERY LOW-KEY, MODEST IN NATURE, INTELLIGENT AND DRIVEN BY A GENUINE INTEREST AND PASSION FOR ART. I LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING HIS PERSPECTIVE ON THE BUSINESS OF ART, BOTH IN A GALLERY SETTING AND IN THE NEWER ONLINE AUCTION SYSTEM, IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG. MANY THANKS FOR READING!