Annette Silber & Ligia Coelho Martins
Influential Women Autumn 2021
“Art Investment starts with Duetto Arts”
Annette Silber & Ligia Coelho Martins, Founders, Duetto Arts
Annette is a business woman living in New York for over 20 years. Ligia is an economist with a Master in Public Affairs living in the US since 2010. Ligia moved to NYC in 2011 to work for the United Nations. Among their experiences, they supported various organisations in initiatives related to arts and culture including working with University of California, Columbia University, Facebook, Ford Foundation, the Brazilian Consulate in New York, the Brazilian Mission for the United Nations and the Andrew Freedman Home Complex (an Art complex in the Bronx).
“In 2015 we joined our business experience, and our love for art and our diverse background and network to found Duetto Arts. Duetto Arts is not only an online gallery, it is an online platform created to promote emerging artists and contemporary art through exhibitions, events, networking, sales and partnerships“.
Duetto Arts New York
Annette Silber and Ligia Coelho Martins, founders of Duetto Arts New York. They are both Brazilian business women. They grew up in an amazing environment; full of art and culture.
In Brazil they are raised in contact with nature and its colours and beauty. Everything is inspiring!
‘If the purpose of art is to elevate the human spirit, ‘Duetto Arts’ would like to think they are creating a few steps’.
Zurichsee Connections’s mission is to focus on Art Marketing and Artist Representation. Our aim is to create awareness and interest for a piece of art, that leads to a desire to buy or to engage with the artist.
Duetto Arts’ mission is to create new opportunities for artists while promoting contemporary art.
The purpose of this partnership is to join forces to boost our efforts to enhance artist’s online presence and representation leading to more sales. By joining forces, we believe our selected artists will reach a more multi-cultural community and receive the international recognition they deserve. The selected artists are Maria Marta Crespo, Henrique Belotti, Luciana Gomez, Olga Cairols and Monica Ferreras de la Maza.
Maria Marta Crespo 'Dejando Todo Atrás'
Meet Duetto Arts founders
1. Duetto Arts is a Duetto of Annette and Ligia, tell us about yourselves as gallery owners..
We have completely different backgrounds and art was not part of it. Art permeated our lives in different ways. We are art lovers and art consumers in the sense that we always appreciate art in Museums, galleries, art fairs, artists studios and we have our own modest collections. However, with time we shifted from being mere “gallery owners” to becoming more like “art connectors-networkers”, discovering new talents and connecting them globally. It was organic to start the “gallery” because art is our passion. It is not easy. We live in NYC, one of the global centres of the “art world”. It is a highly competitive environment. But when you do what you love, hard work is not so hard.
2. What is the story behind ‘Duetto Arts’
We both had business backgrounds and are art lovers. Pietrina Checcacci, an established artist with art shows all over the world, was looking for an international representative. Her artwork can be found at Christie’s auctions and at various Museums. Obviously it was a perfect match at the perfect time. We took over Checcacci’s international sales in 2015. One month later, a friend contacted us about another artist from Brazil who was looking for representation in the US. We were exploring how we would develop our passion into business, while also help promising artists. Everything was so fast. A painting by Picasso does not need a website like Duetto Arts to be sold. However, there-maybe-many Picassos out there who, at this point in time, might benefit from a little support in the right direction. Connecting these talents with the public is a great part of our job/mission.
3. In your opinion, what is the most important value for Duetto Arts as gallery owners?
There is not a single isolated value that guides us as “gallery owners”. Maybe one of the most important values is to be compassionate and honest with the artists we work with. Nowadays, we see so many vanity galleries exploiting artists. Especially in New York City. Every artist wants to have a show in NYC. We have a close relationship with the artists we work with. It is like a family, really. We want to see them succeeding in their careers. Other values are related to an ethical approach to business, a great network, transparency, sustainable business practices, and to offer affordable art for those who truly love art and also to offer a great experience to our clients.
4. Which ‘Duetto Arts’ artists best represent your gallery personality?
That’s a difficult question! It is like asking parents who is your preferred child. We receive hundreds of requests every year and we have to turn them down… almost all of them. We just select and work with artists that best represent the gallery. We do not work at scale, preferring quality and style to quantity.
5. What are the differences between your selection of artists and their artistic styles?
We work with contemporary artists only. So, we do have a very wide range of possibilities. However, part of our decision-making process, when we are evaluating a new artist, is to make sure that his/her style is different from all other artists we work with. That said, we work with abstract and figurative art, we work with all medias – paper, canvas, wood, bronze – we work with academic and street artists. So, there is really a wide range of styles in our selection.
Founded in New York in 2015, Duetto Arts develops programs, projects and exhibitions in which both of their 27 emerging and established contemporary artists together with other global art organisations are striving to promote contemporary art while expanding the boundaries of art and culture. Exhibitions take place in various conventional and unconventional art spaces throughout NYC and other global cities such as San Francisco, Miami, Paris and Rio de Janeiro. The gallery advocates for contemporary artists and help to develop their careers and legacy.
In NEW YORK.
Duetto Arts also offers access to worldwide affordable art through an e-commerce platform with very unique art pieces. The platform offers a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, design pieces, photography, and installation art. We also have exhibition spaces in New York City and Westchester County-visits are by appointment only.
6. In a world of e-commerce, what is your vision of gallery owners for the next 10 years?
The tech world is evolving very fast. We are being dragged by this evolution. Maybe all art sales will be done online in the near future. However, there are many people who like to see what they are buying in person before they buy it. Also, there are a lot of people who love to connect with the artist in person. Therefore, we believe that we will keep selling more online than through any other channel in the near future. However, we really love to keep connecting artists with art lovers, collectors, etc. in as many ways as possible. We are sure that there will be new ways – ways we do not imagine yet – to work and to connect in the future. And we propose to be part of it!
7. What magazines and websites inspire you?
There are great websites and magazines – way too many. We love to browse instagram to learn and to be inspired by new and upcoming artists. We look at all the new exhibitions, Freeze fair and Museums like MoMa, MET and Whitney Museum in New York. Juxtapoz and Art Press are great outlets to check artnews. Wired is a great magazine for technology and art.
8. And finally Annette and Ligia, what item identifies you..
Like we said, it’s hard to pick only one. However, the body shape sculptures like “Dolce Vita”, “Amor Fati”, “Aquatic Dance” from Pietrina Checcacci are very Brazilian in a way, very sensual. The delicate and bold artwork from Luciana Gomez. All her paintings are poems. Moreover, the perfect mix of figurative and abstract, the colors from the paintings by the street artist Henrique Belotti. They are all very special to us.