We had the good fortune of connecting with Danielle Villicana D’Annibale and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danielle, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
To start off, thank you for inviting me to be a part of your interviews on Shoutout LA! Running my art gallery and artists agency with my husband Maurizio D’Annibale makes me extremely happy! We absolutely love working with contemporary artists. We have been actively promoting contemporary art and culture since 2010 in Arezzo in Tuscany, Italy organizing exhibits and cultural events of Italian and American art. In 2016 we expanded, moved our headquarters to Pasadena, California, and have been offering artist agency services in Los Angeles as well.
Something that makes us super happy is that this year is a special year for us as we are CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF CONTEMPORARY ART. Our gallery started as a dream and quickly became a reality. Overnight it was a popular meeting place for local and international artists, art collectors, art lovers, art historians, art critics, journalists, musicians and even poets. Our gallery also attracted within the first few months the interest of the local television and newspapers, who have been following our exhibits ever since.
What makes me happiest of all is working closely with our artists and helping them achieve happiness and success. Finding homes for their creations in private and public collections is our largest priority. I love our art collectors. They make us very happy! We are very grateful to them for sharing our passion for contemporary art and for investing in our artists. The art world is a luxury, and he who takes part in it enjoys an infinitely creative and rewarding experience.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
VILLICANA D’ANNIBALE is an international contemporary art gallery and artist agency with locations in Los Angeles and Tuscany. We are really excited to be celebrating 10 years of contemporary art this month. I know I mentioned it before, but I just can’t believe it! We opened our doors in Tuscany on December 11, 2010, in the beautiful city of Arezzo in Tuscany, Italy. Our company has grown over the years and we now have our headquarters in Los Angeles in Pasadena where we incorporated in 2016. We are always available by appointment.
What sets us apart from others is certainly our interesting selection of exceptional international contemporary artists! The artwork we exhibit ranges from emerging to established artists. We are proud of our program over the years. We do our absolute best to create exciting and varied events. We are excited for our future.
Since our opening in 2010 we have produced close to one-hundred fifteen exhibitions and over fifty catalogues. We have organized countless events, including both solo and group exhibitions, artists talks and hosted excellent art historians, art critics, top journalists, amazing musicians and poets. We’ve had the loving support of local television and media from the very beginning. It has all seemed like a dream. I was also extremely proud to receive an award for my work in promotion of contemporary art in 2015 by noted Florentine journalist Fabrizio Borghini. The award was given to me, but in all reality the merit goes to Maurizio as well, because we are equally committed on this project and collaborate on everything. I think of it as our recognition for the work we do, with endless passion, promoting contemporary art and artists and providing exquisite creations to our interested collectors.
Opening a gallery was not easy by any means, especially in a foreign country. I am American, was born in SF and raised in Pasadena and Laguna Beach, California, while my husband is Italian from Ladispoli, Rome. We were prepared and knew for the most part what to look forward to. Above all Maurizio and I wanted to have fun and provide a professional well-lit space for artists to exhibit unedited work. We love exhibiting the cutting edge of contemporary art. We enjoy thoroughly working with the artists, presenting them, creating their catalogues and selling their work.
The lessons we have learned along the way are many. The best thing I could share is to collect more art! To artists I’d say make more art! To everybody I’d say visit the galleries and the fairs! If you have never been to ART BASEL and the top fairs, definitely go! Maurizio & I started going a few years ago to Art Basel, in both Basel and Miami, and it has opened new horizons. Contemporary art is food for the soul and hope for the future. We at VILLICANA D’ANNIBALE feel so lucky to live in the eye of creativity and be a part of a business that promotes freedom of expression, optimism and pure happiness.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In Arezzo, Tuscany, we would recommend many places to eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc. The city is full of fabulous churches and museums. Here is a little list of the most noted. The Casa Vasari, Museo Nazionale d’Arte Medievale e Moderna, Basilica di San Francesco, Basilica di San Domenico, Museo Archeologico Nazionale Mecenate, Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pieve, Cattedrale dei Santi Pietro e Donato. For contemporary art, there are various exhibits usually on display. One must check the city website and our exhibitions at Via Cavour 85 and Via Cavour 113 (www.VillicanaDAnnibale.com). The food and restaurants in Arezzo are all amazing. Any place you dine is fantastic. There are many piazzas to hang out and enjoy Italian architecture and beauty and enjoy a drink or coffee. There are also numerous cantinas to enjoy wine tasting.
In Pasadena, California we would recommend: Norton Simon Museum, Huntington Gardens, Pacific Asia Museum, Descanso Gardens and the many contemporary art galleries in the city The restaurants in Old Town are wonderful. There are also many bars and nice places to drink and hang out.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d love to dedicate this Shoutout to three sensational people. Hollywood art dealer Jan Baum. Los Angeles conceptual artist Eugenia Butler and Laguna Beach art dealer Lilian Sokolov. These are all three women that I knew personally and love dearly. I am very thankful and grateful to each of them for all that they taught me and for sharing their knowledge and love for contemporary art. I cannot not mention a few of the multitudes of other great gallerists, art dealers and collectors, who are very dear to my heart and inspire me literally every day. These would include Marguerite et Aimé Maeght, Alfred Stieglitz, Leo Castelli, Peggy Guggenheim, Mary Boone, Betty Parsons, Marian Goodman, Hauser & Wirth, Norton Simon, Eli & Edythe Broad, Arne Glimcher, David Zwirner and the one and only Larry Gagosian.
Other: www.ARTwalkITALY.com https://www.pinterest.it/villicanadannibale/
Daniele Alfani, Nino Barone, Giuseppe Ciccia, Carlo Fontana, Christopher Slatoff, Danielle Villicana D’Annibale, Lorenzo Prodezza