Mr. Zott, what’s the idea behind ZOTT Artspace?
ZOTT Artspace offers a new approach to art.
And what does that look like?
Oriented toward sensory experiences and relaxation. In the Dolomites, for example, we show art in an exhibition space located high up in the mountains. This alone is enough to break with normal viewing habits, which tend to connect art with big cities, museums, white cubes etc. Our goal in Singapore was to combine art with cuisine. So at ZOTT Artspace, it’s always about directly addressing the senses.
Doesn’t art always address the senses?
That’s correct. But the question is if it really achieves this goal. I think there is a gap in the art world between museums, with their primarily classical approach to imparting knowledge, and the galleries, which mainly reach an elite group of insiders. I want to invite visitors to develop their own views of art without being under any pressure, regardless of whether they know anything about it or not.
Form an opinion without knowing anything?
To find out if a work of art touches you, you really only have to develop an awareness of your own feelings. Only then can art be inspirational. As long as we mystify art, there will not be much room for inspiration and enjoyment.
What kind of art do you exhibit at ZOTT Artspace?
Only contemporary art. Sculptures, paintings, video art, photographs …
Is there anything you focus especially on?
Definitely. I collect mainly figurative works. For example, sculptures by Lois Anvidalfarei, whose powerful existentialism really impresses me. Or the American Beth Moon, who travels all around the world to find ancient trees and, with her specialized developing technique, makes them last hundreds of years. What amazing dedication and aesthetics.
How do you find artists?
I travel a lot, look around and happen upon artworks. I met the photographer Mauro Fiorese during my hiking trip across Southern Europe. He was standing in front of his gallery and we got into a conversation. He has had a strong influence on my relationship to art over the past few years, and we have had several exhibitions together.
In „Mind Map of Love“ you exhibited your own photographs. You are a business consultant and art patron. Are you an artist as well?
I am not an artist but photography was the best medium to convey my impressions of the trip, during which I thought intensively about love and after which I wrote the book “Mind Map of Love”. Does that make me an author? Not really.What has influenced you in your life? The first few years after starting my company, but also my adventure travel trips. Hiking through the wilderness in Canada or across ice fields in Greenland. If you leave everything you’re dealing with here behind, and only focus on your day-to-day survival for months, you come back with a fresh perspective. And that is what guides my dedication to art.
Your biggest project is called “Kairos. The Right Moment“. What is the project about?
It brings the gaps in 2000 years of European art to light; the works hidden in museum archives and the major events in art history that were never painted. Wolfgang Beltracchi is creating paintings in the artistic voices of great masters like Caspar David Friedrich, Claude Monet and others for the project. Where did the idea for the project come from? It started with the series “Treasure Rooms” by Mauro Fiorese. He got access to the archives of major museums and photographed them. The surprisingly atmospheric photos, which we will be exhibiting in “Kairos. The Right Moment” as well, made me start thinking. The question presented itself: how much of our cultural inheritance do we actually see?
Wolfgang Beltracchi is a controversial artist. Why did you decide to work with him?
His talent is unique. This project is not just about top-quality technical abilities and knowledge. That would potentially be enough for making good copies, but he has to create new works using someone else’s artistic voice, and has to convincingly compose them in great detail and contextually further develop an existing work. He also lets others look over his shoulder while working to see, for example, how Caravaggio used shadows and lights to achieve dramatic effects, as well as his legendary method of picking his models, which propagated the mythos of his being a disreputable artist.
When and where will the works be shown?
The exhibition is starting in October 2018 in Venice and will then travel on to other European cities, including Hamburg, but you can already keep up with how the project is progressing now on our website. How the ideas for motif and paintings are developed and created.