Art Dealer Confidential: An Interview with Peggy Loutou
You may recall her name from the beautiful artworks that she kindly offered to decorate our showroom space during the Seraglio collection presentation. An elaborate late 19th- century wood-carved rosette from Turkey, the ‘Shadows’ in the homonymous Nikos Kessanlis painting, or the representation of the - front- to- back painted - figure from the 19th - century Turkish shadow theatre; unique objects that underlined precisely the theme of the evening. Peggy Loutou is much more than the owner of the shop ‘Peggy Loutou - Artefacts of Value’ and a member of The Hellenic Association of Antiquarians & Art Dealers. She is a contemporary, vibrant and unapologetically authentic woman. Successfully breaking through and navigating the world of art dealing which has one too many times proved futile for numerous art lovers, but Peggy captures the art of ‘achieving dreams’ and gives it her all. We recently caught up with her to ask about the meaning behind the objects, her advice for young collectors, and how she contributes in the preservation of our cultural heritage.
Which was the first object in your collection and what was its specific feature that caught your attention?
The first object in my collection was a pair of 19th -century Ashanti Dolls by an anonymous creator from Ghana in Africa belonging to the category of Art Primitif. What caught my attention was their absolute harmonious, but in an abstract way, shape. I thus realized that the Modernism movement was definitely influenced by Art Primitif, capturing those abstract forms in many artworks of the 20th century.
Do you collect objects from different parts of the world? How do you reach out to them?
I collect objects mostly from private collections, from both Greece and abroad.
Have you noticed any differences in what your customers are asking for today compared to previous decades?
Recently, we are noticing a turn towards modern and contemporary art. However, I would recommend the integration, within each space that is created, of 18th and 19th- centuries objects, as well as authentic folk art and Art Primitif objects. Hence, we can have an outcome of unique aesthetics.
Do you find interesting objects today compared to the past?
The collections are constantly renewed. An art dealer is always able to find valuable objects because we can recognize their authenticity.
What does an object of folk-art mean to you? Does it move you more than e.g. an English- style dining table or vice versa?
I am mostly interested in the overall vibe and proper aesthetic output of an object, as well as its historic value and the message the creator wants to convey. By this reasoning, an object of folk art may have as much historic and economic value as the English table you mentioned.
Any tips and recommendations for someone starting his/her own collection?
Through the entire collection of objects and artworks that a new collector can notice upon entering my space, I would suggest they chose something which their "soul's eyes" see as different, distinctive. Thus, they embark on an eternal journey into "timeless" art.
Do you believe that you contribute to preserving and disseminating our cultural heritage? What motivates you?
I certainly believe that my field contributes to the preservation and dissemination of our cultural heritage. With our donations and sales of artworks in museums and periodic thematic exhibitions in cultural and non-cultural spaces, we meet the needs of art-lovers by presenting unique works of art.
Tell us a few words about The Hellenic Association of Antiquarians & Art Dealers that you are a member of?
The Hellenic Association of Antiquarians & Art Dealers, founded in 1930, periodically organizes exhibitions and auctions of artworks, bazaars, as well as thematic exhibitions, aiming to promote the global cultural inheritance and to meet art-lovers’ needs.
Peggy Loutou photographed by Olympia Krasagaki, and wears (styles in order of appearance), 'Elsa' dress, 'Ellie' shirt and 'Kynthia' trousers