Believe it or not, Diddy, Mr. Art Basel Miami himself, was not always the art savvy collector that he is today. In a recent profile with the Daily Beast, the mogul's art advisor, Maria Brito, talks about working with him to learn more about contemporary and conceptual art, and about how his tastes have changed over the past few years.
According to Brito, Diddy had no virtually no art when they met in 2010. She describes working with him as "fun and intense" and says that "it’s hard for him to truly, truly fall in love with something, but when he does, it’s major." One of the first purchases that Brito and Diddy made together was Tracey Emin's I Listen to the Ocean All I Hear Is You (2011).In an article she for Elle about Art Basel, Brito said that Diddy is "fast-paced and makes decisions on the fly." She adds that the Emin neon sculpture "was on the cover of Art Basel magazine this year, so he was thrilled and super-grateful that I had recommended it to him." Since then, Brito tells the Daily Beast that she has advised Diddy in the purchase of over 30 works by important artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Ai Weiwei, and Keith Haring.
On a more personal note, Brito shared a bit about her background, revealing that she moved to the states from Venezuela and that her parents "never encouraged that I pursue a creative career. They had a very South American mentality where you had to have a very dependable job—a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer." Brito earned a degree from Harvard Law School and worked at a prestigious law firm before finding her calling in the art world, so maybe the same will happen to you.