Tell us about your role your business...
My name is Alexandra Mazzanti and I am the Curator and CEO of Dorothy Circus Gallery, located at 35 Connaught Street, W2 2AZ. Dorothy Circus Gallery was founded in 2007 in historical Rome. In 2017 I opened a second gallery in London near the beautiful Bayswater, a few steps from Marble Arch and in colourful Connaught Street. We conceived the Six Senses Concept Store with the opening of the London Gallery. I'm a self-made entrepreneur, mother at twenty-one, now with 3 children, who started her career from scratch in a male-dominated industry such as Contemporary Art.
Since the early years, I have tried to present a provocative and revolutionary selection of avant-garde contemporary figurative artists. I curated a street art project for the first time in the City of Rome and have collaborated with museums and embassies from around the world on several occasions, during a time when the contemporary art scene was still oriented on white cube conceptual art. As a result, I established the name of Dorothy Circus Gallery internationally.
My role as Gallery Owner is, among many other things, selecting the artists based on the fundamental themes of contemporary art and social interest. I try to offer our audience the most original and talented artists within the main styles that we deal with at the Gallery, such as Street Art, Asian Art, New Surrealism and Magic Realism.
Every month we have an exhibition either in Rome or London. Next month we will open a particularly spectacular exhibition by Street Artist Levalet, one of the artists who has made us most proud, not only with his artistic evolution but with the new body of works he is presenting in his first solo show in London titled Let's Get lost. The exhibition will be opening on the 25th of March and the artist will also be present.
What inspired you to become a gallerist? Which women have inspired you most throughout your life?
My path in the Arts started with my Mother. She was the patron of all arts, a sensitive and romantic musician at first, then book publisher of Ballet and Theater and then a collector of art from the 700's to contemporary art. She was my inspiration. She believed in me as a daughter first, and then when I became a mother, she believed in me as a working mother. Due to that, I felt a mission to bring on the significance of a new way of working set to support other women in their creativity and careers.
I tried to invite a new form to an Art Gallery which is sensitive to social thematics. One which is welcoming, educational and capable of spreading an intimate and personal language in the arts that invites introspection and results in attentiveness and care for humanity and the world we live in.
In my life and work, I'm inspired by all women, from my two daughters who taught me more than what I taught them and to my collaborators with whom I bond under the mutual goals and difficulties we encounter on our way.
Having a team of women means developing a new way of working. Our rhythms and language are often equal but we respect the individuality of each of us and we learn from that giving birth to a Matriarchal family. This aspect is not often cherished, but I believe it is important and can also be brought into the work criteria. Don't get me wrong, it's not about feminism.
This doesn't aim to exclude men, as male support for women is important and a supportive male figure in anyone's life is also vital. I am blessed with an amazing husband who supports me, my work and my children by being the best father you could imagine.
Based on your own experience, what advice would you have for women wanting to get into your industry, or start a business of their own?
I became a mother at 21. Thanks to my mother's support and her belief in me, I found the courage to start something new and untested, both in the curatorial sense and in the style and concept of the Gallery which is extremely innovative. Because of this, I faced an uphill road. Many women may struggle because of the fear of taking away time from their motherhood and risking their personal and family balance.
When I started the Gallery, my kids were little and used to help me pack paintings. They saw me working hard and building something that one day could be theirs. So, as my mother inspired me, I also want and hope to inspire my own children. It's important to take the leap not only for ourselves but also because the world needs a reality that reflects independent women's minds.
What does International Women's Day and this year's theme 'Break the Bias' mean to you?
International Women's Day and this year's theme 'Break the Bias' are important to the Gallery and me. As a woman in the Arts, supporting women and mothers has been my goal since I founded the Gallery. I've spent a lot of my time empowering most of the artists I worked with, dedicating a lot of attention to female visions and language in contemporary arts with spellbinding exhibitions in the name of Beauty and on the themes of contemporary society's challenges. We have been silent for too long and I am sure we have a lot yet to express and say but we need support and no discrimination.
What do you love most about being positioned in Connaught Village?
I enjoy the privacy of the road; the fact that it's not a commercial road but rather an exclusive yet welcoming Village. Mostly, Connaught Street is full of independent realities which aren't taken for granted or replicated in every city. This confers uniqueness and charm. I live in Oxford, and I'm from Rome. Rome, for example, is a city that teems with independent realities. Connaught Village offers that atmosphere too: it respects the creativity and originality of its community without compromising with homologation.