Art Advisor Maria Vogel Hosts Art-Inspired Dinner Parties, Cherishes Handwritten Notes, and Keeps an Eye Out for Overlooked Women Artists
We asked the founder of Rococo art advisory about the things she values most—in art and in life.
So much of the art world orbits around questions of value, not only in terms of appraisals and price tags, but also: What is worthy of your time in These Times, as well as your energy, your attention, and yes, your hard-earned cash?
What is the math that you do to determine something’s meaning and worth? What moves you? What enriches your life? In this new series, we’re asking individuals from the art world and beyond about the valuations that they make at a personal level.
Maria Vogel is taking the art world to dinner. The art advisor and writer recently launched Rococinco, a dinner party series that celebrates five emerging to mid-career artists through a five-course meal. These repasts are an extension of her art advisory firm Rococo, which seeks to build connections through unique modes of storytelling. These dinners are one such example—gustatory considerations of visual art. Each dish of every dinner finds inspiration in an artist’s practice, as imagined by a chef. The most recent dinner hosted in New York during Frieze week took place at former Theory designer and One Rockwell CEO Shelly Socol’s Soho loft. Crafted by sought-after chef Maryah Ananda, the meal included a dessert of mango meringue laden with strawberry and passion fruit curds that echoed the dreamy sensuality of Korean-born artist HyeGyeong Choi’s citrus-hued canvases.
Such harmonious and considered details are what Vogel cherishes in all aspects of her art-world life and when this contemporary Renaissance woman isn’t orchestrating her next event, penning an article, or connecting collectors and artists, she’s bringing equal panache to her day-to-day life. Whether she’s donning a vintage trench coat courtesy of her grandfather, scouting out the perfect Paris apartment for a trip, or celebrating the work of overlooked nonagenarian Neapolitan textile artist Isabella Ducrot, Vogel does so with grace and finesse.
Recently we chatted with Vogel about what she values in art and life—and why.
What is the last thing that you splurged on?
Booking the dreamiest Paris Airbnb for a well-earned vacation next month.
What is something that you’re saving up for?
Buying a Brooklyn apartment and art (always).
What would you buy if you found $100?
I would call up a friend and treat them to a nice lunch.
What makes you feel like a million bucks?
A perfect spring day in New York City.
What do you think is your greatest asset?
My warmth toward others.
What do you most value in a work of art?
That “how on earth did they envision and execute this” feeling that stops you dead in your tracks.
Who is an emerging artist worthy of everyone’s attention?
Who is an overlooked artist who hasn’t yet gotten their due?
What, in your estimation, is the most overrated thing in the art world?
Being on the list for “exclusive” art fair parties. Nine times out of ten, when I am invited or find my way in otherwise, I wish I would have gone home instead.
What is your most treasured possession?
My grandfather’s trench coat. He was the best-dressed man I’ve ever known.
What’s been your best investment?
Starting my advisory, Rococo, which has really been in investment in myself.
What is something small that means the world to you?
Handwritten notes. I keep notes that mean a lot to me and use them as bookmarks, so all of the books on my shelf are filled with hidden treasures.
What’s not worth the hype?
Following trends when collecting art rather than carving out a unique and dedicated focus. I don’t consider people who collect in this way collectors as much as I consider them trophy hunters.
What do you believe is a worthy cause?
Mental health awareness.
What do you aspire to?
Shaking up the pre-existing norms of the art world and living a meaningful life.
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