Marine Tanguy is the founder of MTArt Agency, the world’s first talent agency for upcoming Visual Artists.
Marine managed her first art gallery in Los Angeles aged 21, and then opened her own gallery two years later. She founded MTArt Agency in 2015 and MTART Agency artists have already partnered with brands including M&C Saatchi, Aston Martin, Christie’s, and Mayor’s Fund For London. Marine’s vision is to turn MTArt Agency into the art world equivalent of the major Hollywood agencies that represent actors and celebrities, turning artists into increasingly visible societal influencers in the process.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
An advocate for artists since a young age, I managed my first gallery at age 21, opened my first art gallery in Los Angeles at age 23 and finally created my current business in 2015, MTArt Agency, breaking from the gallery model to promote better the artists I believed in across the globe. MTArt is the first artist agency promoting influential visual artists and specialising in talent management: building, growing and accelerating careers. On average, MTArt artists have seen their works grow 150% in value year-on-year while signed to the agency, while MTArt itself made a profit in 2018. MTArt artists give one piece of art to the agency’s private collection each year which is now valued at over £200k. I have plans for expansion in 2019, and want MTArt Agency to eventually rival the major Hollywood talent agencies that look after actors and celebrities. I was recently awarded Forbes 2018 30 under 30 Europe: Art & Culture. I am a writer and frequent speaker on contemporary art. My talks include two TEDx Talks on how to transform cities with art and how social media visuals affects our minds.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
Never! I went from meeting the right people to jumping on planes at the right time. I am a true opportunist and hustler. However, and now that MTArt Agency is a bigger business, we do have a long term strategy and have to hold accounts to our partners, investors and artists for this.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Many! I think the toughest was to come from no money when most of my competitors came from much wealthier backgrounds. It did become a good thing as the economics of my company are solid, it had to work since no one was backing me at the start. And that’s why I am confident about the long term.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I think building a company on values and ethos that I strongly believe in. I am so happy that I get to defend my ideals as a well-paid job.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
So many things! But first and foremost, people. I am so grateful to be supported by the most inspiring people.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I love it! It’s so nice to see younger people avoiding the mistakes I made. I hope what we do can make it easier for the next generation of artists and art professionals to strive.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?
We need these board seats and we need to invest more! A lot of my male friends think of becoming investors early on, so few women do. Diversity needs to be everywhere, at every level of society. Equally, as I am currently pregnant, my partner will take a longer paternity leave that I will do. Let’s work as better teams across gender.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Go for it my darling! And stop trying to fit in, it won’t happen. I promise, it’s going to be such an incredible ride!
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Scaling up MTArt Agency to make it THE agency of reference for the top visual artists. We will get there : ).