Marine Tanguy

Meet the French entrepreneur who started the first talent agency in the art world, MTArt Agency

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Published: 01/03/2024

Marine Tanguy is an entrepreneur who has made significant waves in the art world. She is the founder and CEO of MTArt Agency, a groundbreaking talent agency, which represents the top visual artists and integrates their art in all contexts – from the digital world to galleries in various cities as public art projects.

Her passion for art led her to fully immerse herself in the art scene from an early age where she landed several management, investment opportunities and opened several businesses in quick succession.

Launching galleries

At just 21, she managed her first gallery, the Outsider’s Gallery, located in London’s vibrant Soho district with Steve Lazarides a publisher, photographer, collector and curator, who had been involved with famous street artists like Banksy and JR.

Just a few years later in 2014, Marine co-founded the De Re Gallery in Los Angeles alongside investor Steph Sebbag, which she named after the tiny island of Île de Ré in south west France where she grew up.

Marine says:

It was amazing to have the opportunity to set up your own business at 23. You have exposure to lessons that you would usually have to wait much longer for. This is how I got exposed to all the top talent agencies in LA.”
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Biggest venture

However, her most impactful venture has been MTArt Agency a global leading talent agency, which she established in 2015. The core business model is to develop new revenue streams and audiences for its artists via public art, digital, entertainment and art sales departments. It manages renowned talents like climate artist David Aiu Servan-Schreiber and sculptors Lorenzo Quinn and Léo Caillard.

Besides representing leading artists, MTArt Agency reviews portfolios of up-and-coming artists too and tries to give them a leg up through covering studio costs, selling their works (charging below average commissions), and providing press exposure. In return for the agency’s time and investment, artists contribute one piece of art to the agency’s private collection annually. The company has the added ambition of making the art world a larger sector with wider audiences and to be artist led.

Today MTArt, which is valued at £35 million and featured on the Sunday Times as one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK, is backed by several business angels such as Todd Ruppert, Saul Klein and David Amsellem to name but a few.

It’s expanding too and has offices in London, and is active in Paris, the US and Middle East markets. “For us, the international expansion started a couple of years ago. The Middle East and US are two very large markets, leading markets in terms of new business. So, we’re working there and building teams. We’re lucky that we continue to grow well, which is a priority,” explains Marine.

Award-winning artist and author

Besides disrupting the art scene, Marine is an author, keynote speaker and has won awards for her entrepreneurial efforts. She delivered two TedX talks, which focus on how to transform cities with art and how social media visuals affect minds. She was also named in Forbes’ 2018 30 under 30 list and won the Demeter Award at the NatWest everywoman Entrepreneur Awards.

This year she published her first book The Visual Detox – How to Consume Media Without Letting it Consume You, with publisher Penguin. The book has had a positive impact on the business too. “It’s an intellectual reflection. It was so interesting writing it, because it made me really go deep into why we had done what we’d done. It’s given me loads more energy, improving the company culture, recruiting new people. It’s helped me articulate a lot of our vision and values. I’m really excited for the next year. It should widen the audiences,” explains Marine.

When asked about what advice she’d impart with for other up-and-coming entrepreneurs Marine highlights the importance of cashflow.

Initially, I didn’t feel very confident in financial planning and cash flow management. So, learning to read numbers, and keeping on track with them has been important. There is a confidence in knowing that while the passion is on the creative side, it’s been grounded in constant good financial management,” she says.
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