Today we’d like to introduce you to Mali Parkerson.
Mali, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2008 I decided to take a sabbatical from my VP position in one of the largest entertainment companies in the world. I left my home in Madrid and settled in Miami, figuring it was the ideal location to take some time off and reset. I did some consulting work for independent film producers and towards the end of 2008, I met a renown sculptor- Rafael Barrios.
When the economic crash hit in the beginning of 09, I had very little prospects of getting back into the TV industry so I started exploring options of launching my own company. I was spending time with Barrios in his studio and learning of his work, the fascinating art world when it dawned on both of us. He needed someone to manage his studio, oversee his sales and relationships with galleries and collectors and I needed to get back to work. By the spring of that year, I founded a small company that represented Rafael Barrios internationally.
Together we grew his international exposure and curated exhibitions in the US, all over Europe, China, and Singapore. In 2012 we landed Barrios one of the greatest sculptural honors- exhibiting monumental works along Park Avenue- something attributed to the most prominent artists and a platform to continue to grow an artist’s career. 2012 was a glorious year with sold out solo exhibitions in Miami, Paris, Ghent, Dubai, Geneva, Toronto, Hamburg… It was also the year I decided I wanted to start a gallery…
In 2013 I founded m+v ART with a business partner and we had a great 3-year run, establishing an exhibition space in Wynwood where we focused on contemporary artists from South America and Spain. In those years, I spearheaded a Collector’s night in the neighborhood, with the sole intention of reclaiming Art Walk and giving it back to the galleries. This initiative leads to reinstating the Miami Art Dealers Association (MADA), of which I am currently the president. The struggle for the galleries to hold on to their spaces became increasingly challenging and the work we did in MADA was aimed at gaining strength in numbers.
I quickly realized that the traditional gallery structure was on the verge of an important shift- our business model was changing and it was time to innovate. Shortly thereafter, we closed m+v ART and parted ways. I founded The Hue with a broader sense of the art world and with that very shift of the way we do our business in mind. The Hue is not a traditional gallery, although I continue to work closely with artists to curate and produce impactful exhibitions, as we did with artists Edward Granger and Roberto Fonfria, as well as curating an exhibition for Mother Denim and the very talented IO in New York, all in 2017. In the summer of that same year, we landed yet another artist on Park Avenue, this time the acclaimed Catalan painter and sculptor, Lluís Lleó.
The Hue looks beyond gallery walls for opportunities to promote the arts, working with collectors in an advising capacity and seeking synergies with other curators and galleries to create true experiences for art enthusiasts. Just last October, we worked under the curatorship of the brilliant Nico Kos in London to pull together 4 artists from different backgrounds and techniques in a smashing show titled “Drift”. Coming up at the end of February we will be unveiling one of the largest public art exhibitions in Barcelona with The Hue’s own Lleó. Our philosophy is to mold with the project at hand and bring our expertise and wide network to ensure its success.
Art has always been a huge part of my life and being able to work closely with so many extraordinary artists has been, without a doubt, the most fulfilling part of my professional career. I can’t wait to announce the very exciting projects I have slated for 2018!
Has it been a smooth road?
Deadlines, lost shipments, damaged works, natural disasters, artist temperaments, capricious collectors… have all taught me to be patient and maintain a clear head to overcome challenges.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for me was learning to run a small business after operating a multi-million dollar sales budget with a fancy corporate title and endless resources. Before I never questioned where the money came and all of a sudden every penny was a struggle to obtain! I used to manage a large team and now I was the entire team, wearing different hats to make it all work.
The impact of an important deal not going through is far greater in a small business as one usually has a lot riding on that- such as it providing the necessary funding to participate in an art fair or being able to increase your marketing efforts for that term or having the financial stability to face your rent doubling from one year to the next…
I don’t feel my struggles are unique to my business, mine merely relate to art. I do believe that no road worth traveling is ever smooth! We need the uphills to learn, grow and appreciate the journey.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Hue story. Tell us more about the business.
Perhaps my greatest achievements has been to successfully place two artists on Park Avenue in the public art program overseen by the Fund for Park Avenue and the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of New York. This exhibition is an important milestone in the career of any artists and having developed an excellent relationship over the years and gaining the trust of the art committee has meant an open door to work with them.
If I may boast a bit, I believe only Marlborough Gallery has had more than 1 artist on the Avenue. Marlborough, for those not familiar with the name, is one of the top galleries in the world, with outposts in London, Madrid, Barcelona and New York, earning it the status of mega-gallery.
So yes, when a small art advisor trying to make a name for herself in Miami lands 2 of her artists on Park Avenue, its kind of a big deal…
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The art world is already in midst of a change, as I’ve stated before. We are seeing a proliferation of art fairs around the world and an increasingly online market coming about that are shifting the relevance of the brick-and-mortar gallery. People are spending less time visiting galleries and more time online or going to art fairs. I recently worked with a collector that bought a vast majority of the collection online, sight unseen and this was first to me! We are losing the distrust of the Internet and just as we buy our groceries we can build a collection from the comfort of our homes.
Its the big institutional exhibitions, such as biennials and blockbuster museum shows, that are the true tastemakers. The big stars are the curators who search high and wide for the next artist to discover. But the true sales are still taking place at the art fairs or at least initiated there.
As in any industry, it is important to stay malleable and limber to keep up with changes and The Hue is just that!
- Website: www.thehueart.com
- Phone: 3057533423
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @thehueart
- Facebook: @thehueart