Curious about how this Rothko ended up in your favorite TV show or movie? Meet Fanny Pereire

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Fanny Pereire with Amiens, Notre-Dame Cathedral, 2009-2016, by Markus Brunetti
Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

New York-based curator and art consultant Fanny Pereire creates art collections for people who don’t exist. As the fine art coordinator for blockbuster films and television series, Pereire secures authentic works of art and reproductions that speak to a character’s complex personality and background. And as ‘safer at home’ orders amid the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) have caused an increase in streaming services and general screen time, Pereire’s plans are more visible than ever.

Most recently his work can be seen in the FX Hulu miniseries. Mrs. America starring Cate Blanchett as conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who joined the equal rights movement in the 1970s, and Rose Byrne as feminist activist Gloria Steinem. In the series, Pereire’s historical sense shines in a scene where Steinem attends a launch party for his magazine. Mrs at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, where viewers can view works from the collection hung in the museum’s rotunda, including paintings by Piet Mondrian, Lawrence Weiner and Fernand Léger. An upcoming episode where the characters attend the historic 1977 National Women’s Conference in Houston also features “recreations of the beautiful Rothkos,” she said.

Pereire’s insight into the art to which certain characters might be drawn comes from a past career in the industry. After studying architecture and art history at Bennington College in Vermont, Pereire joined the press service at Christie’s auction house in New York, where she “was not an expert in any field but s. ‘looked after all collectors and all sales,’ she says. The experience “gave me a good idea of ​​who collected what, which was very helpful for what happened later in my life.”


Photo of Mrs. America showing feminist activist and lawyer Bella Abzug in Fernand Léger and Rufino Tamayo’s Guggenheim Woman and Rocks (1945)
Fernand Léger, Starfish (1942). © 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris Rufino Tamayo, Woman and rocks (1945). © 2020 Tamayo Heirs / Mexico / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Sabrina Lantos / FX

Pereire officially jumped out of the art world in Hollywood when producer Scott Rudin hired her to coordinate the art of the 2002 film. To change of way with Ben Affleck and Samuel Jackson. “About 30 years ago, copyright law began to apply,” Pereire explains, and the Artists Rights Society was formed to license and control the intellectual property of artists. A major scene from the film takes place at the Metropolitan Museum, while an Alex Katz beach scene serves as the backdrop for another. “Rudin approached me because he thought that if the studio needed to get the rights to the art in the film, then someone who knew the art should do it,” she says.

Since his first gig, Pereire has worked to secure the rights to artwork seen in major productions, including the 2018 art heist comedy, Ocean’s 8, and the 2016 television series Billion. The most expensive original piece she put on a platter was a $ 20 million painting by Cy Twombly, for the 2013 thriller Paranoia with Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford at the head of technology conglomerates in New York.

“Each character is a composite of people I know or have met,” Pereire says. “The characters have to be human, so I really have to get into their minds and get to know these people in make-up. Art in their home, office, children’s room, even the restaurants or shops they go to, needs to be authentic.

In order to release the rights to a work by a deceased artist, Pereire sometimes has to find his children or grandchildren. “There are always very layered stories, and sometimes, unfortunately, there is a disappointment if they are too slow to respond and the shoot is over or we don’t have time to do the reproduction”, Pereire . “It’s always a juggling act.

When a work is recreated for a set, Pereire photographs himself destroying the piece after filming is finished to prevent it from being sold as a counterfeit. “It’s my job to make sure any game meets standards, even if it’s displayed for less than a second on the screen,” she says.

While the film industry has come to a halt due to the pandemic, Pereire is still working on researching and budgeting for future productions, and his work can be spotted in upcoming series such as We are who we are with Chloë Sevigny and Alice Braga. “Who knows when we’ll come back up,” she said. “I don’t work and no one else works, so this is actually the perfect opportunity to sit and watch excessively.”


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