The creative director of Maddox Gallery reveals his luxury predictions, favourite destinations and the importance of making connections wherever he goes
What got you into working in the luxury sector, and the art world in particular?
I have always had a passion for the luxury sector, whether it be watches, cars or fashion and I embraced the opportunity to become involved in the art world. I began collecting when I was 21 and have grown increasingly engrossed in the art world the older I have become. I wanted to change the fact that art galleries often felt unapproachable and elitest. Maddox is absolutely a luxury brand, but accessible and inviting at the same time.
What does the term ‘modern luxury’ mean to you?
Modern luxury to me is still all about craftmanship, detail and quality. A lot of current commentary focuses on the idea of ‘quiet luxury’, a concept that has recently been given a name but one that has always resonated strongly with me and guides many of my own purchases. The brands that I appreciate the most are aligned with quiet luxury: beautiful materials, timeless cuts, subtle details and very little branding.
How have the experiences you host at your galleries changed over the years?
At Maddox we host a range of events and experiences that align with our aim to bring something new and disruptive to the traditional gallery model. Since the pandemic we have focused further on designing unique, multi-faceted events, where each private view or gallery moment features several interesting elements, from a culinary experience to an artist interaction.
What makes a luxury experience?
A true luxury experience features various elements to elicit a memory that is not easily replicated. The phrase ‘money can’t buy’ is often used to describe this and it’s something we strive to achieve with our events at Maddox. The result is that clients not only feel privileged to be invited but also connected and loyal to the brand.
Any luxury predictions for the rest of the year?
From NFTs to AI, the luxury world will continue to witness innovations as a result of rapid technological advancement. We have a responsibility to protect authenticity and creativity whilst embracing change. In the art world I predict that, after an early interest in digital art, artists will continue to return to canvases and paint as a preferred medium and authentic representation of their craft.
What are your key requirements when choosing where to stay?
If I am travelling with my family, then it’s important that a destination caters well for my two daughters. In terms of hotels, we often to return to the same places; we have become friends with the owners and managers of various establishments and it makes all the difference being welcomed by a familiar face who knows us and our preferences.
Where are you off to next?
We will be spending most of the summer in Gstaad. Everyone should try the Swiss mountains in the summertime; the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. I feel immediately relaxed and at home when I arrive in Gstaad. There is a slower pace of life which suits me perfectly.
What are your pet peeves when it comes to travelling?
Wherever I am in the world, I usually set up a remote office. I take a full desktop computer with me everywhere I travel as I hate using a laptop. Ensuring I have good connections and a desk in the room is therefore essential and not always guaranteed.
Do you have any go-to processes to calm the mind when travelling?
I make sure that I focus on my family during the day and if my attention to work is needed then I work late at night. This allows me to enjoy each moment of the day without feeling compromised. It helps that I am a night owl by nature!
Are there any destinations still on your bucket list?
Yes, many, though having young children does make some of them slightly more challenging. I still haven’t made it to Australia, despite my younger brother living in Sydney. The Galapagos Islands and French Polynesia are both on my list and I’d also love to explore more of South America – I have only ticked off Brazil so far.
What are your top travelling tips?
Build strong relationships with whoever helps you with your travel plans. Then when you are ready to explore your next destination, it will be a much simpler process. I also always try and make sure I make genuine connections with the people who work in the hotels that I stay in. Then when we revisit, it’s always nice to see a friendly face that remembers you.
Dead or alive, who would your ideal travel companion be?
Eli Broad, the legendary art collector, philanthropist and founder of the wonderful Broad museum in Los Angeles, probably my favourite museum in the world. I’d love to chew the fat with him about where his interest in art first came from and what inspired his collecting journey. He saw the arts as a way to strive to build a better world for everyone, and he will long be remembered for his passion for sharing art.