Interview with Giorgio Galotti, founder of the gallery Giorgio Galotti in Turin
Giorgio Galotti gave up a law career to work in the arts. After settling in Turin two years ago, Galotti opened a gallery and started a small, curated art fair called Dama, taking place from November 2nd to 5th in the historic Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana. The reason? Because Galotti believes that collaborative projects like this are the future of galleries.
What is your background and how did you decide to become a gallerist?
I graduated with a law degree with a focus in history and literature. After a master’s degree in contemporary art and a course in fundraising with Pier Luigi Sacco, I began to work at an archive of art from the 1960s in Rome. I cataloged works by Chamberlain, De Pisis, Pascali, Lo Savio, Kounellis, and many others, stored in a cellar in the historic center. When I was asked if I wanted to be payed in cash or in works of art, I chose the second option without hesitation. Soon I realized that I working as an art dealer would be my path.
How and when did your gallery open?
After that I opened a hybrid project space in Rome in 2008, that was a cross between a gallery and a non-profit, without any definitive goals except the idea of gaining experience in the field and learning a profession. Then I moved to Turin in October 2015 and opened a gallery in my name with the idea of growing along with it.
What is your program? What is the connecting line between your artists?
I am interested in the traditional means of expression, such as painting, sculpture and photography, but with a vision of my own generation, which often involves aspects of our current reality.
What type of space did you choose for your gallery?
A garage inside a courtyard with a baroque street display. I have always been attracted to garages and all the spaces I looked at always had in common a concept of formal simplicity.
However, lately, I have been interested in more complex environments, such as ancient salons or places where there is living history, which I like, because in these spaces, nothing can be taken for granted as it can in a more neutral space. So maybe sometime my gallery will be in a different space. I imagine a place that does not need artificial lights and dialogs with nature.
What do you think of the the panorama of art fairs today, and why did you decide to found DAMA in Turin?
DAMA is a reaction to a system that I don’t agree with because it compresses galleries and artists into canons that they don’t necessarily belong in. Besides, I have always been more interested in making what I want, than in waiting for someone else to present something else to me. What I don’t like in the the usual art fair is the frenzy and superficiality that take place there, so typical of our generation.
It is the most ‘pop’ way to go about it, to become known, but it is also a way to be forgotten quickly, like a summer turtle. However, an artist’s way always involves slow times, as the work develops from idea to reality. Perhaps this is why we don’t consider DAMA a fair, but an opportunity.
Is there a person, or people, who have influenced your professional point of view?
There are only two, both Italians: Fabio Sargentini and Leo Castelli. The first for his courage and vision, the second for the class he displayed in his art market dealings.
If you could represent any artist you like, even from the past, who would you choose?
There are many of them, all have in common a remarkable generosity, they derive from Lawrence Weiner’s way of working in disciplines that I’ve always been fascinated by: poetry, conceptual art, and graphics.
How do you see your gallery in ten years? And DAMA?
My gallery will go along with the development of my life, it will grow with me. If I live near the sea, it will be on a beach, if I live in the countryside, it will be in a barn, if I am in a city, who knows. I hope DAMA will be able to continue on its own with the support of all of the people who love the idea of it. I am convinced that collaborative projects like this are the future of galleries.
Giorgio Galotti takes part in the 2nd edition of DAMA in Turin from November 2nd to 5th, 2017.
From January 2020 the gallery has no permanent location.