A Chic Au Fait Live Wire
Managing Director and Co-Founder of 1858 Ltd Art Advisory, London

If you are a fan or our Socially Speaking column, you would have already come across Viola Raikhel-Bolot when she shares some of her art encounters around the globe with The Art Gorgeous.

The classy and glam co-founder of 1858 Ltd Art Advisory is an au fait live wire. With an impressive career spanning the globe, Viola has ridden the waves of success by leading the art advisory market for 14 years, bringing international insight as a contributor to CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg television news, her lecturing and patronage of the arts. Though better known by her closest circle as a devoted wife and mother of two young girls, her passion for art and fashion shine through.

In this interview with the buzz-worthy lady, we chatted about her multitasking outfits, the eye patches she can’t live without and her admiration of The Prince of Wales for his work as patron of Children & the Arts.


My ideal working outfit looks like…
My outfits needs to take me from school drop off to board meetings, studio visits, client meetings, private viewings and carry through into evening functions. The outfit needs to multitask as much as I do!

My go to staples are crisp white shirts, black turtle neck sweaters, cigarette pants and bold prints for creative days.

Brooks Brothers have the perfect white shirts which do not crease throughout the day and look as crisp at 7pm as they did at 7am.

For prints, I am hopelessly devoted to Dolce & Gabbana. Their prints and cuts are the perfect balance of feminine and sexy.

Heels or flats…? Which brand or style…?
Heels for sure.

I am a recent convert to Gianvito Rossi, they are super flattering and incredibly comfortable.

Then there are my Sergio Rossi ankle boots and Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots which I can’t live without during the colder months that work with all my outfits.

On the weekends, at art fairs and on travel days, Chanel ballerinas are my favourite. They really are the gold standard for flat shoes and there is a rainbow of colours to chose from and play with to keep each season current while the style remains the same. Why mess with perfection?

My favourite art-related blog/app is…

I do love instagram for the power of an image to tell a story. I enjoy following artists such as Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor, Takashi Murakami and Jean-Michel Othoniel to name just a few. I have also started discovering new designers and artist through Instagram which has been great fun.

The last thing I bought and loved was…
A panther cocktail ring while I was back home in LA for the holidays. The panther has long been a symbol of strength and femininity that has spoken to me. I love her elegance, power, and emerald green eyes. Cocktail rings are great to pack when travelling as they immediately dress up an outfit for evening.

Most ridiculous thing I ever bought…
Is that a trick question?

My necessary extravagance is…
There is a small pharmacy in Florence on the Piazza Signoria that still creates perfumes from Catherine de’ Medici’s recipes. Their Vanilla fragrance is something I can’t live without. I have been wearing it for years. If I can’t make it to Florence to replenish my supplies they are kind enough to ship it to me.

Three things/products I always need to have in my purse…
iPhone 6 s plus, Tom Ford Sunglasses, and Hermès Ulysse notebook in rouge casaque for call and meeting notes…I am still devoted to pen and paper in meetings. My notebook comes with me everywhere.

My ultimate beauty secret after long working hours…
My ultimate beauty secret after working long days or long haul travel: Valerie Beverly Hills Eye Patches.

These heavenly little patches are filled with algae extract which is cool to the touch and so incredibly soothing.  They take away all the signs of a tired working mummy. I fly a lot and I have Valerie’s patches in every bag ready to go when I land. I cannot live without them at home or when abroad. Valerie is my first and last stop whenever I am in LA.

My favourite work(s) of art is/are…
Robert Indiana’s LOVE.

Fragonard’s The Swing in the Wallace Collection in London…I think I walk in to see it almost every time I walk past during opening hours.

Also Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog, Lucio Fontana’s slash canvases, Anish Kapoor’s mirrors, and Cy Twombly’s Roses.

Somebody stop me, I could keep going for days…


In the art world currently I find most exciting that…
The number of new private museums and foundations being established. We are privilliged to work with some exciting collectors and collections around the world. Being part of the collecting journey and seeing a collector’s dream realised is extremely rewarding.

Art makes me…
Art makes me!

My next art trip/travel will be…
I have just returned from New Zealand where I went to visit Alan Gibbs and his extraordinary collection of monumental contemporary outdoor sculpture. The biggest Richard Serra and Anish Kapoor I had ever seen to name just a few of the highlights.
I may have even jumped inside and ran through the Kapoor, depends who is asking.

I am flying to LA, Nassau and Miami this month also. I will be combining meeting with artists, clients, inspecting works, lecturing at a conference and squeezing in a few exhibitions in between too.

The most arty city is…
To me it will always be London…it is HQ for 1858 Ltd Art Advisory and is the beating heart of the art world.

The perfect art-world gentlemen is…
I have long admired The Prince of Wales for his work at Patron of Children & the Arts. Not only is he an artist himself, he understands the importance of children being exposed to and striving for excellence in the arts. I have been working with and supporting Children & the Arts for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by how they use art as a platform to inspire and enable personal and social development amongst those who are hardest to reach. www.childrenandarts.org.uk

Artist(s) we should have on our watchlist is/are…
Ori Gersht and Andre Hemer.

Website: www.1858ltd.com

Instagram: @ciaoviolab

Photos: by Viola Raikhel-Bolot