Pilar Corrias talks personal style: Part One

Art dealer Pilar Corrias made her name showing pieces by Keith Tyson and Anish Kapoor and has a Rem Koolhaas-designed gallery in Fitzrovia

Pilar Corrias
Pilar Corrias | Image: Michael Leckie

My personal style signifiers are six little diamond hoop earrings [pictured] that I never take off. I bought them in New York at this tiny piercing place called Venus by Maria Tash. I love the way they ping in the light when I turn my head. $420 each; 653 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 (+1212-253 0921; www.venusbymariatash.com).

Venus by Maria Tash rose-gold and diamond earrings, $420 each
Venus by Maria Tash rose-gold and diamond earrings, $420 each

The last thing I bought and loved was a pair of tasselled brown suede ankle boots by Chloé. I found them in Milan on my way to a gallery opening and bought them immediately. They are really cool because they don’t have a zip; you tie them with straps at the side. £630; www.chloe.com.


And the thing I’m eyeing next is a cast-bronze water fountain [pictured] by a young Kiwi artist called Luke Willis Thompson. It’s a replica of the public drinking fountains created for black people during the racial segregation in the US. Galerie Nagel Draxler, Weydingerstrasse 2/4, 10178 Berlin (+4930-4004 2641; www.nagel-draxler.de).

Corrias’ Diego Rivera portrait of her mother and grandmother.
Corrias’ Diego Rivera portrait of her mother and grandmother. | Image: © 2015 Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museum Trust, Mexico, DF/DACS.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is a tiny clifftop medieval town called Calcata [pictured], 50 miles north of Rome. It was abandoned in the 1930s as it was deemed unsafe, but then in the 1960s it was reinhabited by a community of artists. It’s a tiny, beautiful treasure.

Calcata, Italy. 
Calcata, Italy.  | Image: alamy

And the best souvenirs I’ve brought home were some antique postcards [pictured] from the 1950s that I found in a really old bookshop in Porto. I sent one to each of my sons at boarding school and they really liked them, so I’m going to try to do the same everywhere I visit.

Corrias’ 1950s postcards. 
Corrias’ 1950s postcards.  | Image: Michael Leckie

The last meal that truly impressed me was at the Giacomo, my favourite restaurant in Milan. It’s super-old and established and I had tartare of sea bass and langoustine and then pasta with white truffles. I actually bought some white truffles there and gave them to Philippe Parreno, one of my artists, who had an opening that night. Via Pasquale Sottocorno 6, 20129 Milan (+3902-7602 3313; www.giacomoristorante.com).

Bronze water fountain by Luke Willis Thompson
Bronze water fountain by Luke Willis Thompson | Image: axel schneider/mmk museum fur moderne kunst frankfurt am main

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a red sweater from Balenciaga. My son Giacomo persuaded me to get it from the flagship store when we were in Paris together. It’s very bright and warm and wearing it with red lipstick makes me happy. £625; 336 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris (+331-7677 3700; www.balenciaga.com).


A recent “find” is Vittorio Mango’s design gallery in Rome called Under the Influence. It’s a great off-the-beaten-track place to find classic modernist furniture by midcentury Italian, American and French designers such as Adrian Pearsall, Vladimir Kagan, Ico Parisi, Giò Ponti and Guglielmo Ulrich. Vicolo Del Polverone 3, 00186 Rome (+39329-561 6131; www.undertheinfluence.it).

An object I would never part with is a portrait of my mother and grandmother [pictured] by Diego Rivera. I think Rivera was in love with my grandmother – he painted her clothes see-through, while my mother looks very severe even though she’s only 12. It’s really important to me because it’s of the women in my family. And it’s huge.

The last music I downloaded was an album called Makes a King by The Very Best, a global band that includes a musician from Malawi and French and Swedish DJs. I have broad taste, from disco and country to reggae and classical. I was introduced to Africanmusic when I was a teenager in Angola during the civil war in the 1980s.

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Marcel Duchamp because he was about creativity and repetition, the way an artist can keep doing the same thing over and over.

My favourite websites and apps are Flight001.com, which sells everything for flying – it does the softest eye masks – and ActiveInStyle.co.uk for great exercise clothes. The 1Password app makes forgetting different passwords a thing of the past. (www.agilebits.com/onepassword).

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