“I was never good with advice, I can just say: be yourself; don’t follow any model but create new ones”
AT: How did you start engaging with the art world and how/when did you decide it could become your profession?
RA: I started engaging with the art world in my early twenties; I was attracted then by an unclear seduction for contemporary art. At that time I was studying Architecture and living between Rome and Berlin. Years later after my graduation, I decided to make a change of direction, by becoming a gallerist for real.
AT: What moved you into opening your first own space in Berlin in 2013 and then in Rome three years later?
RA: At that time I was living in Berlin and Berlin was making me happy. That is why I decided that this would have been the place from where everything should start. Rome is my hometown and I am so grateful for being able to have a space in the city today, particularly in the neighborhood I was born and raised.
AT: What are the toughest and the most fulfilling aspects of your job?
RA: The first three years of the gallery were really tough and I faced may difficulties to survive financially. This could sound like a cliche’ but it is so real, and it’s a crucial aspect we must never sub-estimate. Besides that, I always had a great support from the artists and this is still the most fulfilling aspect of my job.
Galerie Rolando Anselmi, ROMA | Grand Opening (in photo: works by Vincenzo Schillaci, Guglielmo Castelli) | ph. Sebastiano Luciano.
AT: Do your galleries have a specific and coherent thread passing through the exhibitions? What are the main differences between the two programming?
RA: I don’t think there is an explict thread in terms of visual aspects; it’s more an invisible aura and I want to believe this is what defines the identity of a gallery. There are no differences between the two programmes, at the moment, but I do not exclude this will happen in the future.
AT: You have always collaborated with international artists but also with several Italians, including emerging as well as established. How do you intend the gallerist – artist relationship? What is your first step you make and how do you select the artists to work with?
RA: The gallerist-artist relationship it’s everything! Only with a deep empathy, a constant intellectual tension and a total trust the relationship can grow on a long term vision. The first step is getting to know each other and it is always with one or more studio visits.
AT: How important is ‘networking’ in your job? How do you relate with your same-field colleagues?
RA: More than networking, I think it’s important to establish strong and serious relationships. I feel lucky to meet many colleagues I truly admire, I collaborate with and I feel close to, even with different visions. I think this is what makes us growing, often by suggesting different points of view. I feel lucky to establish solid collaborations, but, not least, also beautiful relations.
Galerie Rolando Anselmi, ROMA | Grand Opening (in photo: works by Asger Dybvad Larsen, Santiago Taccetti) | ph. Sebastiano Luciano.
AT: What is your relationship with art fairs?
RA: I love art fairs! It’s where I breathe the competition the most. Art fairs are like big tournaments for galleries, that have to deal with an ever-changing audience.
AT: How would you describe the collectors of your gallery? How important are they for you?
RA: They are incredibly important! They are the supporters who trust and invest in the gallery program and in the artists. I like to be in continue dialogue with collectors from different part of the world: it’s the most challenging aspect of art dealers’ training and for the development of the gallery network.
AT: What is the role of the digital tool in what you do?
RA: A big role nowadays, not only commercially speaking but in terms of being present and being able to properly represent the artists worldwide and on different platforms.
Galerie Rolando Anselmi, ROMA | Grand Opening (in photo: work by Li Gang) | ph. Sebastiano Luciano.
Galerie Rolando Anselmi, ROMA | Grand Opening (in photo: work by Arcangelo Sassolino) | ph. Sebastiano Luciano.
AT: You have just opened a new beautiful headquarter in Rome, which hosts exhibition spaces, offices and warehouses. Could you tell us how the idea of opening a new space was born and give us some anticipations on future projects?
RA: I had the idea in 2017 when I realised the space was available and immediately my mind began to daydream. I have always wanted, for the future of the gallery, a versatile space from where directing all the activities; not only the exhibition program, but the logistics, the storage, the possibility to create a showroom for private viewings. 2017 it’s already long time ago; nobody was expecting such a 2020, but sometimes you don’t have to think twice, you just have to jump into it. Anticipations: in 2021 we will start with the solo exhibitions of the represented artists and the first one, in February, will be with the Danish talented Asger Dybvad Larsen.
AT: If you had to give some advice to a youngster who wants to open a space, what it would be?
RA: I was never good with advice, I can just say: be yourself; don’t follow any model but create new ones.
Galerie Rolando Anselmi, ROMA | Grand Opening (in photo: works by Luca Vitone, Moris) | ph. Sebastiano Luciano.
Rolando Anselmi established his gallery in Berlin in 2013. The gallery aims to promote an ambitious artistic program that supports site-specific projects realized inside the gallery. This will allow the overcoming of being only a commercial gallery, and will contribute to the creation and development of a production center for contemporary art. The activity of the gallery is carried out by supporting exhibitions, art fairs presentations, publications and outdoor projects. In 2016 Rolando Anselmi has opened a new project space in Rome, that joins the main gallery with a program focused on new international scenarios and artists residencies in relation with the territory and its specific environment. In 2020 the new headquarter opened in Rome, which hosts exhibition spaces, offices and warehouses.