If you were to give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Don’t worry what people think - dive in.
In Latin America, we have a saying called “el que dirán.” Roughly, it translates to “what they say”. It is basically defining that herd or tribe mentality, those voices in your head, that stop you from taking risks because of a fear of what others would think. It is so detrimental to creativity, to innovation and to changing the world.
Interestingly, that Latin American saying could be applied to the art world as much as to the society of Santo Domingo I grew up in. This is ironic because the art world should be all about embracing creativity, innovation and changing the world.
At the end of the day - who cares what they think today? Everyone will forget what you did in 5 years’ time - you might as well take the risk and cause a seismic shift in the process.
What are you excited about right now?
I’m actually quite excited that the art world is starting to embrace technology - slowly. I’ve been trying to talk about the benefits of technology since 2011, before cloud computing was widespread and when people were still apprehensive to sell art online. The only online resource that was widespread was artnet for searching through auction records. Nowadays, almost every art dealer has an online shop front, alongside their physical space, and some of them even only focus on online rather than having a physical shop front!
My company, Vastari, even co-hosted an event about blockchain for the art world at Christie’s in July - and it was so well received. Some founders and tech enthusiasts came up to me afterwards overjoyed that this had actually happened. It was beyond their dreams that one of the major auction houses would open their arms to the debate, engage in the conversation about something so new and fresh. I am so inspired that this is possible right now.
Looking more at the specific space I’m in, I’m excited that technology could change the way exhibitions are curated. Prior to technology, it was up to a friend-of-a-friend referral to engage with lenders or partners for exhibitions. We’re changing that at Vastari, and as a result the type of exhibitions that are being put together are changing.
Which 3 qualities do you think one must have to succeed?
Who knows! Success is so relative - and it’s such an oxymoron, really. Success is about striving for something greater - and satisfying that hunger that keeps you going. Bending with the wind, taking the punches, getting back up, and pushing forward. But it is also about being able to step back at some point and admit you have achieved success - otherwise you’ll always be kept wanting.
So I guess I’d say that the three things would be: