Meet Diddy’s Art Adviser

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Diddy.
Photo: © 2014 Patrick McMullan Company, Inc.

Maria Brito turned Diddy onto art. Before meeting the Venezuelan-born, Harvard-educated art adviser, the rapper and music mogul didn’t own any art—at least nothing beyond the bobbles that came with his various houses. Now, with her help, he has built an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art that includes works by Ai Weiwei, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Tracey Emin, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

“I don’t want to take credit for bringing him into the art world,” Brito says modestly in a new profile on the Daily Beast, “but before me he didn’t really have any art…He never had a chance for someone to explain things to him in a way that would engage his mind, like how to look at contemporary and conceptual art.”

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Maria Brito.
Photo: © 2014 Patrick McMullan Company, Inc.

Brito and Diddy—real name Sean Combs—first met in 2010. Since then she has made him a regular fixture at Art Basel in Miami Beach, and helped him acquire some 30 works for his collection. “Working with Sean is fun and intense,” Brito wrote in a blog post for Elle, “he’s fast-paced and makes decisions on the fly.”

Her other celebrity clients include Tracy Anderson, the fitness expert, and Gwyneth Paltrow. “She’s always hands on and really knows what she wants,” Brito says of working with Paltrow. “She’s always very open to learning and knowing new things, which I appreciated about her.”

“I feel that when a client puts that amount of trust in me,” she told the Daily Beast, “I am at a higher level of responsibility to deliver something very special.”

Her own holdings aren’t too shabby either. She owns works by Vik Muniz, Os Gêmeos, Mickalene Thomas, and more.


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