Founder Files: How Marine Tanguy created the world’s first artist agency at age 25

Marine Tanguy, founder of MTArt Agency

Founder Files is Creative Entrepreneurs’ flagship event series, where we talk in-depth to some of the most inspiring creative founders around to glean insights into their entrepreneurial journeys.

Past Founder File events include interviews with Roksanda, Matthew Slotover and Charlotte Tilbury, to name just a few.

In our most recent Founder File, Carolyn Dailey interviewed Marine Tanguy, the founder and CEO of MTArt Agency. Marine’s business was born out of the revolutionary idea that artists should have agents – just like actors – to support the artist, help them build their brand, and connect them with collectors, brands and projects.

Here’s a snippet of the conversation:


“I studied philosophy and history of art. I was very lucky that I was spotted very early to be leading the gallery of Steve Lazarides with his cover of Banksy and JR when I was 21.”

“When I was running the gallery for Steve Lazarides, I was approached by an investor [Steph Sebbag] who had an advertising agency in Los Angeles. And he just felt that the way I was communicating about art and driving new audiences to it, and running the gallery, was quite different to what he had witnessed before. And therefore, asked me whether I’d be willing, if he invested in me, to build my own gallery in Beverly Hills.”

“I thought my passion was a gallery, but the more I was lucky to meet him [Michael Ovitz], the more I was like, I just don’t think my passion is in that, I think my passion is actually in building up talent, connecting the dots around them, making amazing projects and ideas happen.” 

“We’ve never consumed so many visuals in our lives. All types of advertising, campaigns, anything, requires visuals. And also, we are completely in need of a new type of role model, someone that really encapsulates the visual world we live in but also the value world that we’re striving to get to. And therefore, I think that visual artists are the next kind of talent category that has been overlooked drastically.”

“I wanted investors because I was still a 25-year-old kid. I was in a position where I felt I needed good brains to help me get there. And those brains would help me both in reinforcing our credibility but also in advising and introducing us to a network that we were slowly building as well. I think I was more after brains than I was after money.” 


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