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Marine Tanguy, on fine arts as business and lifestyle

The inspiring story of MTArt Agency founder, today valued at £35 million, Marine Tanguy.

Marine Tanguy, on fine arts as business and lifestyle
Marine Tanguy, owner of MTArt Agency

I discovered Marine's story through Hola Living Magazine, and my first thought was, "Wow, this is an inspiring story of a female entrepreneur!" Beyond the profound effect her entrepreneurial journey had on me, I am in utter awe of the domain in which Marine operates—the magnificent universe of the arts. 

As you may or may not be aware, I have personally promoted some amazing Romanian artists over the last nearly three years, including Diana Cojocaru, a truly talented painter.

So you can see why this interview was on my must-do list. My activity must include aesthetically pleasing content, inspiring and true stories, and useful information. And the talk with Marine has them all.

I encourage you to let her tenacity, bravery, and story inspire you. Read about how she balances the art of fine living and running the £35 million MTArt Agency.

Diana Cojocaru porcelain vase, Marine featured in Hola Living Magazine

Have you always had an eye for aesthetics?

More than an eye or a specific taste, as it is the topic of my book The Visual Detox, I was born a visual thinker. Just like 65% of us, I process the world around me through images; I see my memories in images, and I am very sensitive to my visual environment.

That’s why I wanted to write about visual literacy so that this language that the majority of us speak and for the ones who are verbal thinkers feel more accessible. I would challenge the idea of a superior eye over the lack of exposure to the arts and visual education at large by the majority of us. This book solves this.

Tell me about your beginnings in this incredible world of art.

I grew up on the Île de Ré, a tiny island off France's west coast. There was no art but beautiful scenery, and I feel lucky to have been brought up in an environment where my daily visual environment was such a joy.

I entered the art world at the age of 19. I was luckily appointed as the gallery manager of The Outsiders Gallery when I was only 21 years old, and my first boss, Steve Lazarides, was the one who discovered Bansky. An American investor approached me to open my own art gallery in Los Angeles, two years after I had been running The Outsiders Gallery.

At age 23, I moved from London to Los Angeles and built De Re Gallery on Melrose Avenue, named after the island I came from in France. The gallery opened with celebrities like Demi Moore. Since I started in this sector, I have loved working with artists and supporting them.

It’s in Los Angeles, surrounded by the top talent agencies in the world like CAA, UTA, and WME, which represent the top musicians, athletes, and actors. While being mentored by Michael Ovitz, who created CAA, I decided to build the first talent agency in the art world, MTArt Agency.

Your MTArt Agency, which promotes artists, is a fantastic concept, and I was thrilled to read about it in Hola Living Magazine. Some of my activities also include promoting artists from different areas. Please tell me more about MTArt and its core values.

MTArt Agency, worth £35 million, is the art sector's leading talent agency, representing some of the world's most talented and forward-thinking artists. The agency looks to support, promote, and enable artists to work with the broadest canvas possible, from brands to public art and fine art institutions. 

The agency works with global organisations and cities, nurturing an international community of art lovers and collectors as well as diverse brands ranging from Apple to Hyundai and even the World Cup. MTArt Agency was listed as one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK on the Sunday Times Power list in 2022 and is currently expanding to the US and Middle East markets.

I am a passionate advocate for the role of the artist in our society. I wish for art to become a part of our everyday experience, and for the past nine years, MTArt has been able to draw wider audiences and revenue streams to the art world. The agency seeks to ensure artists are rightly recognised as the spokespeople for a visual age.

I am in awe of your home. So, what is the story here? Also, which home décor items are your favourites?

Thank you very much! I have been collecting for the past 15 years with immense joy, transforming it into a space that honours the arts, friendship, and family. All these artworks feel like windows into new conversations and worlds. I love every single book, ballet pump, and artwork that we have as a family. It’s our story.

You are both a mother and an entrepreneur. In juggling these two responsibilities, how do you find the right balance?

Just like my husband does, I feel grateful to do what I love, just like he does with his tech company, and I have the flexibility to be a parent at the same time. It’s a real privilege to co-exist as these two identities. I am lucky that my children can come with me to many installations of our public art projects.

I am also curious to learn more about the book you wrote. The visual detox. How to consume media without letting it consume you. Why is this topic especially important?

Every day, we consume 10,000 visuals. That’s a huge amount of visuals, and they travel much faster to our brain than sound, and as such, they land in the most subconscious part of our brain, the amygdala. This means that we are shaped by what we see daily; these visuals create new desires and insecurities in us without us even realising it.

It’s the dream of the advertising and political realms. This book is a call for visual literacy so that we can start to train our eyes to challenge what we see daily, fight visual misinformation, and insert more art into our everyday lives.

How do ballet classes improve your personal and professional well-being?

The book Body Keeps the Score talks about dance as the highest form of therapy. For me, it's a creative expression, a way to process my emotions and the many things happening in my life (especially with the recent expansion of the firm and book launch! ), and to literally feel, not overthink.

How do you cultivate the art of fine living?

By making sure that I don’t ever belong to a single group of people and challenging my thinking and opinions on all topics. Diversity of thinking is essential for me.