Andreas Siegfried is the man that anyone who’s anyone in the art world needs to know. One of London’s most sought-after art advisors, he started his career at Christie’s before moving on to launch Christian Louboutin’s first London store. After six successful years in the fashion world, he decided to go back to his real passion and joined some of the world’s best-know galleries, including White Cube and Max Wigram Gallery. As well as being the UK VIP ambassador for Art Basel, he has also founded Siegfried Contemporary, a London-based art consultancy and advisory service for private and corporate clients. Specialising in modern and contemporary art, particularly from Europe and North America, he spends time maintaining close relationships with galleries, foundations, artists and auction houses. As part of the service, he also analyses trends and up-and-coming artists to advise clients wishing to create and develop a collection. Siegfried Contemporary launched its private showroom in spring 2012, aiming to showcase modern and contemporary art in a domestic context.
We caught up with Andreas to discuss his latest project, the Weight and Measure exhibition…
So, Andreas, tell us a little about the process of putting together the Weight and Measure exhibition.
I came up with the idea for the show through an artwork I own, by Richard Serra, called Weight & Measure. Its title has always intrigued me and it became the focal point for my collection.
How did you meet Lee Cavaliere, and what inspired you to put on the exhibition together?
Lee works for an art gallery I used to work for. We met during my first show, which featured works by the British painter James White.
Where does the initial concept for an exhibition come from?
The concept is to turn my house into an occasional private exhibition space. The works or designs shown should always have a dialogue with what I am already living with, as well as create a story linked to my life or to the environment of my living structure.
Do you have a favourite piece in the exhibition?
I like all the works I’ve chosen for it, whether it’s the quirkiness of Martin Creed, the sublime refinement of Jeff Wall or the subtle but powerful sculptures by Jose Davila.
How do you source artists to feature?
It varies very much. In this case, it has been a more sophisticated approach; the featured works are by branded names, so to say. My next exhibition will showcase a young designer. I like the diversity of these projects, which range from very young and not established artists to established names.
What’s your favourite part of putting on a show?
I like sourcing the artworks. Whether it means going to a degree show at one of the art colleges in the UK or elsewhere, or working with collectors and galleries to gather an interesting collection, I find it very exciting.
Are there any up-and-coming artists you’re particularly excited about?
I always find someone new and exciting through my travels or gallery visits.
Did anything particularly catch your eye at Frieze this year?
At Frieze, there was Amanda Ross-Ho at The Approach gallery, as well as Michael Dean at Supportico Lopez.
Are you planning any new projects for the New Year?
I will be showcasing the designer Anton Alvarez together with Gallery Libby Sellers (he is one of her artists) in March. That will be an exciting project.
What do you love most about Notting Hill?
I love the fact that I don’t have to travel far to get what I need. Notting Hill for me offers nearly everything, from great shopping and gastronomy to leisure, and I feel as if I’m in the countryside when sitting in my garden. I say ‘nearly everything’, as there are not many good galleries in the area, or not yet…
What inspired you to move here?
I have always lived in Notting Hill, ever since I first moved to London, living in an apartment on Colville Mews.
What’s your favourite local hang-out?
I love the dining room at The Cow, and Pizza East.
Do you have any holidays planned? Where do you like to visit?
I love travelling. I’m going to Miami Beach next, where I’ll be working in my role as a VIP ambassador for Art Basel. I also love deserts, for example the Siwa Desert in Egypt.
How did you get involved with Art Basel?
A friend of mine at White Cube was approached by the head of Art Basel, who asked whether she knew anyone who could represent the fair in the UK. They wanted someone who had a connection to Switzerland, so of course she thought of me. Art Basel contacted me, and within a very short time I became their ambassador in the UK. I represent the fair on the highest level; I’m in touch with all the top collectors, curators, advisers and institutions. My job as an art adviser and my job with Art Basel are two different jobs, but they do overlap sometimes.
What book are you reading?
Proof of Heaven, by Dr Eben Alexander. It’s about after-death experiences, very interesting.
Describe yourself in three words.
I see myself as enthusiastic, curious and visual.
Weight and Measure - 15 October 2013 - 15 December 2013 (by appointment only)
Siegfried Contemporary, 16 Bassett Road, London W10; siegfriedcontemporary.com