A TALK WITH THOMAS DANE
Photography by Francesco Squeglia
Thomas Dane grew up surrounded by his great uncle’s paintings, thus developing a deep passion for art since his childhood: a specific background that spontaneously brought him to open the first gallery in London in 2004 and, recently, to inaugurate a brand new venue in Naples, Italy. During our meeting, he told us about this new project, its unconventional yet fascinating location and aims.
How did your passion for contemporary art develop?
My great uncle was a painter, part of the Modern British movement, and I grew up surrounded by his work. I then studied history of art at University and from there became more and more interested in contemporary art.
When did you open your first gallery and which was your aim?
The gallery opened in 2004 in London. This felt like a natural move from having worked closely with artists in a more private capacity.
Do you remember the first artist exhibited?
The first artist was Steve McQueen.
You have recently inaugurated a new gallery in Casa Ruffo in Naples, an extremely fascinating yet quite niche spot. Why did you choose this city in particular? Which are its potentials, in your opinion?
We are so happy to have opened a gallery in Casa Ruffo in Naples. The choice was instinctive, but in knowing that it was a city that has always held a fascination for artists, and continues to do so.
What kind of experience do you want to provide with this new venue and its program?
I hope the experience can be mutual: for the audience of Naples to see exhibitions they would not have seen before and for our artists to experience this extraordinary city. There is a lot to share.
Are you familiar with Mutina? What strikes you the most about our company?
I haven’t had a chance to meet Massimo Orsini yet nor visit Mutina, but I am struck by this innovative and original way of spreading art and design in everyday life.