So, Diandra, how did you first become interested in art?
My mother is an art historian, my father studied photography, and all of my family members of my mother's side are somehow involved in industry either as artists themselves or as dealers. So, when I was a child, I was always surrounded by art and going to museums. When I realised, 'okay, you can actually make a living out of this,' I went straight to Munich to study art history. I was always very determined to turn my passion for the subject into my career.
What were some of your first experiences of working in the art industry?
I started university in 2008 so—due to the economic crisis—while I was studying I always did one or two internships a year. I thought that the more people I got to know, the easier it would be to get a job in the future. The first internship I did was at Bellinger Gallery in Munich, which is now closed. I later went on to do a nine-month placement in the department of prints and hand drawings at the Metropolitan Museum for Art in New York, before taking up my first full-time job at Christie’s in London and Munich. In Munich I worked under the director Marie Christine Gräfin Huyn, who was a fantastic boss. She is very smart and precise and became my role model. In the art world you think there are a lot of powerful females but to be honest when you get higher up the ladder, you find out that most people in leadership positions are men.
What first attracted you to working at Grisebach?
Actually everything! From the first moment that I read about the company and its history I felt like I had to work here. The auction house was established in 1986, before the Berlin Wall came down. The founder had a dream of a united Germany without borders, and wanted Griesbach to embody this and be an auction house for the whole of Germany.
I also think it's very very special how art is treated here. There are almost 55 people working here and almost 40-something are art historians. Many people working here are experts or have written books about certain artists, so the quality of involvement with the arts is extremely high. There is also a lot of passion and love.
What does an average day look like for you?
I enter the villa at around 09.30 am. I start by saying hello to everyone because I think it’s really important that your team feels connected and that personal interactions make you feel more motivated. Then I have normally about two hours a day working on my emails. Then for lunch I usually need to meet up with clients to discuss consignments and acquisitions for the house. In the afternoon it depends. Sometimes people come to visit me, or I have some meetings to discuss the house’s strategic direction or upcoming events that we’re organising, such as lectures, discussions or exhibitions. Most of the time I have to meet someone for dinner or go to an opening reception or go to another lecture to meet other experts in their fields. So, I see myself more or less as always being on the move and I'm not too long in front of the computer.