Cappellazzo is one of the art world’s true powerhouses. She left her role as head of contemporary art at Christie’s, where she was for thirteen years, to set up the private consulting firm Art Agency, Partners, only to be bought by Sotheby’s two years later for a whopping $50 million as part of a strategic move to beef up the auction house’s revenue stream.
Headquartered in New York City and operating globally since the acquisition in 2016, Cappellazzo and business partner Allan Swartzman bring their combined industry knowledge, ‘passion, strategy and access’ to a discerning international clientele of both new and established collectors. It was a smart move snapping up Cappellazzo, whose record at Christie’s, where she once directed a sale which realised over $650 million in one evening, is, to date, unparalleled.
The integration has gone well, she says absolutely matter-of-factly: ‘there’s a general feeling that we add a lot of value to the business and have allowed for an advisory function to exist within a transactional company.’
Cappellazzo continues to act as a fiduciary for numerous families, foundations and trusts, a role which she finds especially rewarding. ‘I always like it when I’m put in a position to be a trusted adviser to someone,’ she says, but a career highlight had to be the day the artist RB Kitaj left her in charge of his personal art collection via a suicide note.