About MLG

Mona Loves Gustav seeks to break down the barriers between art and the viewer. It is a platform designed to help new art collectors discover the art that speaks to them, by facilitating an understanding of the viewer's personality traits as they relate to visual characteristics in art works.

How do we do this? We made the ArtDNA Quiz! Take our scientifically-developed ArtDNA™ Quiz, and discover your art personality this is the first step towards building a collection that matches your taste and your budget.

So, why does Mona love Gustav? At first glance, these two artistic dynamics —Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Gustav Klimt's The Kiss — seem completely unrelated. Yet, these paintings, although separated by centuries, materials, techniques, geography, and even the social influences of their time, have an unmistakeable connection; they are each very succinctly representative of every artist's innate, unwavering need to express one's self through color, shape, line, and form. Through this expression, artists invite their viewers to question and explore nature, society and culture, and discover a sense of themselves individually by the connections they make to the work in view, and ultimately to art, writ large.

My Story:
Michele LaRocco, Founder

People are often amused to find that art and I were not immediate bedfellows. My parents are forever art enthusiasts, and I was exposed to the art world at a young age, but if we meet, remind me to parley the storied family tale of seven-year-old me pitching an inconsolable fit at the MET.  Retelling that story as an adult provided me an enlightened understanding of how challenging art really is — I now acknowledge that viewing and appreciating art is difficult for many. The world of art is rife with complications that can revert even the most mature of us into petulant 7 year-olds!

I'm not sure if it was my premier and uber-charismatic art history professor or the artworks themselves shown to me in that class that made me take a second look at the art world, but once I started really looking and seeing, it was impossible to turn away. It was art that brought me to London to pursue my Masters in Art Business at Sotheby's, and it was there when I met my co-founder, Maura Pettengill and discovered our shared commitment in both promoting emerging artists and providing the public with greater access to the art world.

After a career in the arts as both a college Art History teacher and a private consultant for individual and corporate clients looking to collect, I cultivated lasting relationships with working artists and then conceived of a pedagogical business model that would serve the interests of collectors and artists alike. I developed the ArtDNA™ Quiz that assesses a collector's personality traits and then provides guidance through potentially desirable art works that characteristically compliment those traits.

In the years since that first Art History class, art has become my enduring love affair that continues to change, evolve, and surprise me. I've fallen in love with the Mona Lisa in Paris, The Kiss in Vienna, Language of Stone in Mumbai, and many more. And to come full circle, my husband proposed to me at the MET, surrounded by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Franz Kline.

My art journey has been anything but predictable, yet two constants have remained: my affinity and respect for the artists who create, and the joy I feel seeing a person connect to a work of art for the first time — this is love at first sight, and I'm in love with that love.

What's your ArtDNA™?

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