Interview by James V. Thomas

Photography by Louis Duvinage

Hailey Widrig in front of a Gérard Traquandi piece.

Sky Blue : Hello Hailey, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today about one of your recent projects. I think I know what you do, but can you explain for our readers what you do?
Hailey : I’m an art advisor- I provide advice about artworks, collection management, art-related finance and philanthropy for private and corporate collectors as well as museums. The art world is still very opaque and it can be complicated to get impartial advice as most people work for auction houses, galleries or as private dealers. 

What drove you to work in art advisory?
I’ve always been interested in the visual arts and especially the networks created with other areas in the world - connections with finance, architecture, different cultures etc. I was lucky to work for some influential figures in the arts and finance worlds that helped solidify my career path. 

How did you get involved in sourcing the pieces of art in the new wing of the Costes, Castiglione?
Part of my work involves collaborating with architects and interior designers for their projects, or those of my clients. I was working with Christian Liaigre and one of his projects at the time was the interior design for the new Castiglione wing of Hotel Costes. 

Ceiling glass installation in the lobby of Hotel Costes, Castiglione, by François Morrellet. 

What persuaded you to select the pieces that you had installed? 
We discussed what pieces to he wanted to place in the new property, did studio visits and bounced ideas back and forth. It’s a dialogue when you’re working with somebody else to select works. The new space is airy and minimal, with some challenging interior architectural elements to work around, so few pieces were installed but they’re quite monumental. 

Do you have a personal story with the artists?
This project was lead by Christian so many of the artists were meaningful to him- Gerard Traquandi, Francois Morrellet or Mathieu Nab for example.

Can you tell us a bit about the actual physical installation of the pieces? 
Luckily for this project the installation was taken care of by Liaigre’s team. I actually love the installation process though - mapping out where to place everything, being onsite with the various teams (transporters, art installers, lighting, household staff etc) and the stress of ensuring everything goes smoothly. It’s very rewarding when it all comes together.

Hailey in the new space of the Hotel Costes, Castiglione. 

"I moved from London before it was fashionable to jump ship with Brexit, and now everyone and their dog is here." 

What do you think of the Hotel Costes? / What is your version of the Hotel Costes? 
Hotel Costes is one of those rare places that remains enduringly cool and contemporary; it’s reliable. Part of this is the crowd, which is vibrant and international, but also the attention to detail that goes into creating an effortless atmosphere - flattering lighting, sexy music, consistent menu and an opulently designed space. The Castiglione wing continues that feeling, but in a new way. It reminds me of the energy at the Mercer Hotel in New York which Liaigre also designed. 

What brought you to Paris?
Lifestyle - I moved from London before it was fashionable to jump ship with Brexit and now everyone and their dog is here. 

If you were not working in art, which field would you be working in and why?
Probably private equity or law. I like the stimulation of working on a variety of projects, carrying out research and negotiating. 

Selected pieces in the lobby. 

What projects are you working on now? 
A book - many of us have been unable to travel for years, so what initially started as a casual guide to Paris that I put together for friends and clients who could finally visit again has morphed into a publishing project. 


You may read more about Hailey on her company website, Widrig Art Partners.

Sky Blue

Est. 2019