Leigh Mozes has spent the last sixteen years working with high-profile artists, collectors, auction houses, and galleries across the globe. Carrying a deep knowledge of art history throughout her career, Leigh has combined this expertise with the distinct qualities of practical art world business savvy and hands-on collections experience. She recently launched Leigh Mozes Fine Art, which offers logistical services and collection management to
AF: Hi Leigh! We are so excited to speak with you today. To start us off, we would love to ask you our classic first question: where are you from and what is the arts community like there?
LM: I’m from Summit, New Jersey where my mother was an elementary and middle school art teacher. Our close proximity to NYC and my mother’s interest in art encouraged countless trips to the city and hours spent wandering The Met (still a favorite activity of mine!).
I was also fortunate enough to spend five years living abroad as a child. My parents loved to travel, and they took me everywhere with them. From the great museums of Europe to the temples of Ayutthaya, I was lucky enough to be exposed to a variety of cultures and art forms from a very early age.
AF: Please tell us a little more about yourself, when did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in this industry?
LM: I remember sitting in an art history 101 class freshman year of college and suddenly it just clicked. I realized people made a career out of their passion for art, I knew I had to do the same.
AF: What was your first job? What is an important lesson from it that has carried with you?
LM: I had an internship junior year of college at Mary Boone Gallery. After graduation, I was offered a permanent job at the gallery and never looked back. Reflecting on the experience, I can say that I was truly thrown into the deep end of the blue-chip art world. The gallery team was small, so right from the beginning I was given extraordinary access to our artists and collectors. Mary brought out my budding Type A personality and taught me to expect nothing but the best from myself. The skills I learned during my six years at the gallery became the foundation for almost everything that came after.
AF: You recently launched your own art logistics business, Leigh Mozes Fine Art. What made you decide to start Leigh Mozes Fine Art, and what does a normal work day look like for you?
LM: I had been considering starting my own business for years, but the pandemic and general overwhelming prospect of giving up a reliable salary and health insurance weighed on me greatly. I finally realized that in order to live the life I truly wanted I would need to take the plunge and become my own boss. I also realized there was a gap in the market for someone like myself who can offer specialized shipping, installation, and other logistical services to clients or small businesses who don’t have the need to hire a full time employee.
I usually spend the majority of my days at my laptop working on my client’s particular projects which vary from week to week. I try to intersperse my time with studio visits, openings, and art events to keep creativity flowing and to stay in the know. The art world is an industry where work and socializing are very closely intertwined, and I love that.
AF: One of your services is collection management. What is your favorite art piece in your collection?
LM: My Barbara Kruger – it is truly one of my most prized possessions. A gorgeous watercolor by John Gordon Gauld closely follows!
AF: What is some advice you can give to an emerging artist looking to build relationships and gallery representation?
LM: Make yourself as visible as possible within the community and to keep creating art no matter what.
AF: Tell us more about your bespoke art travel service!
LM: While this component of LMFA is still a work in progress, I’m aiming to create bespoke travel itineraries for culturally minded individuals. After art, travel is my greatest passion. Nothing makes me happier than getting to combine the two and share my experiences with others. I recently created a fully customized two week Italian honeymoon itinerary for a couple; after speaking with them about their art interests and “must-sees,” I was able to personalize the perfect trip.
AF: What are some personal or professional goals you have for yourself at this moment in time?
LM: My main goal right now is to grow my client base and to make Leigh Mozes Fine Art financially viable. I need to keep putting myself out into the art community and take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities that are available to arts professionals. I’m an introvert so making myself visible within the industry doesn’t always come naturally to me. I’d like to continue to push myself on this front and get out of my comfort zone a bit more.
AF: What are you most excited for this year at Leigh Mozes Fine Art or in the art world as a whole?
LM: I’m excited to find out what I’m capable of now that I am completely on my own. I’m also really really excited about Hilary Harkness’ show at P.P.O.W, which is actually up now through November 11th.
AF: As you know, Art Frankly is a community that cares about job transparency and supporting fellow art professionals. What is the best piece of advice you can give about working in the art world?
LM: It has become increasingly more and more important to speak up if you aren’t being treated appropriately in a work environment. It is not appropriate to be verbally mistreated and you fully have the right to address the issue in a professional manner. If you feel like something is wrong, speak up. People are finally starting to listen.
AF: How do you think the art world can become more transparent?
LM: I’m thrilled that jobs must now be posted with salary details. It really shines a light on the fact that many of us do an unbelievable amount of work while receiving below average compensation, especially if you aren’t in sales. I think we need to keep the dialogue going – the more we talk about these issues the harder it will be to ignore them.
AF: Leigh, thank you for participating in Frank Talks, it has been our pleasure! To finish off, we want to know: If you could own work by 5 different artists/craftspeople, who would be in your collection?
LM: I studied renaissance art in college so my absolute unattainable dream would be to own a Leonardo drawing or a Bronzino portrait. In the modern/contemporary world, I would love to own work by Lucio Fontana, Nikki Maloof, and Tschabalala Self.