Aoki, Akio

Galeria Vermelho’s director, Akio Aoki, describes how the São Paulo-based gallery prioritizes the Latin American art scene while still maintaining a strong international presence. Aoki also talks about the multi-year process of relationship building between the gallery, artists, and collectors, and how an artist’s ongoing career should be more important than one isolated show or artwork.

“We try not to put anything in the secondary market directly. We try to direct all the sales to very, very strong collectors. Even not so rich collectors that have to pay in installments–some of them have installments of $1,500 per month to pay–we’d rather sell to them than sell to someone that we [don’t see as] an ambassador of the art piece and the artist.”

Akio Aoki graduated with a degree in fine arts before working as Advertising and Sales Promotion Chief of Toyota in Latin America, and then as Marketing Supervisor of Citroen. In 2002 he co-founded Galeria Vermelho gallery in São Paulo, Brazil, and since 2005 he has acted as the space’s director. In 2007, the gallery added a new project space, Tijuana, for publications and non-traditional work. The gallery employs eighteen staff members and it participates in eleven international art fairs per year. In the past, Aoki has also served on the Barrio Joven Chandon Selection Committee, a group that chooses emerging artists for participation in arteBA, a contemporary art fair in Buenos Aires.
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