#ListeAsks Mauro De Iorio, Collector, Trento
As you won’t be in Basel this June, what are you doing instead?
In May, in the wake of the Covid-19 emergency lockdown that stopped my activities, I started working in my medical centres again, adapting the procedures according to the new Phase 2 directives. Although this has kept me very busy, it has not prevented me from following art, which I’ve done by visiting the online viewing rooms presented by galleries and fairs.
What is something that you never thought would happen but that has now happened as a result of the lockdown?
I would never have thought that, for the common good, everyone would fully accept their loss of freedom to an extent that would have been unthinkable before now. I was also quite upset in seeing the pictures of the deserted cities, with no people, no cars—the most iconic being the picture of the pope all alone in Saint Peter’s Square.
In what ways has the current state of uncertainty and unpredictability changed your attitude towards collecting?
The inactivity and idleness we were subjected to has allowed me to meditate on our behaviours and about some of the more frenetic aspects of our pre-pandemic lifestyles. I have detachedly analysed my manner of addressing the art system and my habits, and I have come to the conclusion that in the future I will be more selective in choosing the meetings and events I will attend, prioritising the more significant situations and those in which I have felt more at ease.
What is one of the most inspiring initiatives or projects by an artist, institution or gallery you’ve come across since the outbreak of Covid-19?
During the lockdown, as the vice president of Collective, an association of collectors, I designed a virtual exhibition together with the other partners and it was curated by Denis Isaia, Curator at the Contemporary and Modern Art Museum of Trento and Rovereto. The exhibition stems from my reflection on how I am seeing the works in my collection anew, in light of the emotional states triggered by the pandemic. This self-analysis was also proposed to other collectors, who have shared their own research by sharing artworks in which they have seen these specific states of mind.
How can younger and less established galleries that are representing emerging and yet-to-be-discovered artists approach you as a collector in a time of online-only exhibitions, fairs, etc.?
I am totally open to being contacted by galleries, and I am always interested in discovering new artists. I frequently use Instagram; I believe that is the ideal platform for an emerging gallery to showcase the most interesting works by its artists.
Have you discovered any new artist during the lockdown?
I did not discover new artists, but I did look more in-depth at some of the artists I already knew and whose works I am considering buying. One of these artists is Tomoo Gokita, who, precisely in this period, had an exhibition at Massimo De Carlo, on the occasion of which I purchased a piece.
Can you tell us about the very first artwork you purchased at Liste and what it means to you?
I think the very first was an artwork by Neïl Beloufa from Galerie Balice Hertling. It was the first time I saw his work and I liked it immediately. Since then I have collected various works by Beloufa, including two large installations. I am very fond of Liste, which for me has become an indispensable event, an occasion where I know I will get up to date. One can perceive the special attention on the part of the management in offering collectors a selection of emerging galleries with original and high-quality programmes.