An Auctioneer's Legacy
Huri and Natalio Slato, 1967
Huri and Natalio: A Team Couple
In 1965, Huri Angelica, a Fashion Designer with an Art History degree who had her own fashion radio program in Buenos Aires during the mid 1960s and Natalio, an Agricultural Engineer with an avid passion for literature, antiques and the arts. Both met and fell in love. A few months later they created the first agricultural and cattle farm related fair that promoted meats and grains from Argentina to Venezuela. This unique fair used the method of auctions in order to have products sell faster. In the booming 1960s Venezuela, the fair and the auctions were very successful and gave the couple the initiative to move to Caracas and start working in the 1967 Food and Agricultural Fair, which was completely invested in a new space to exhibit and was bringing in all the best Argentina had to offer. At the same time they both opened their first art gallery in the town of La Canderlaria in Caracas and called it Huri Galerie.
Valor Arte Auctions 1960s-1990s
With the original name of Valor-Arte, (Valorización de Bienes y Arte, C.A.) the team couple started a company in 1968 that would become one of the most active and diverse art, antique and real estate auction houses of the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s in the Mega Cultural city of Caracas, Venezuela. Both Huri and Natalio were considered the best auctioneers in the trade. Huri becoming the leading female auctioneer for the Americas during the decade of the 1980s.
With a mission to export Latin American Art to the North American Market, in the early 1980s the Slatos open up Valor-Arte International based in Bal-Harbour, Florida. During this time, Natalio and Huri held two very large Latin American and International Auctions at the Americana Hotel in 1979 and at the Sheraton Bal Harbour in 1983. These Latin American Art Auctions, were the very first of their kind in Miami and the state of Florida. A precursor to the Latin American trend that was to follow in Miami’s art district for years to come.
Valor Arte International Auctions in the 2000s
Trained by both his parents since very young, Alex started as an Auctioneer in 1988 in the Museo Jacobo Borges in Caracas. Later he moved to Florida where he trained at Florida Auction School and passed the Florida State Certification and the International Society of Appraisers exam in 2000. For the next 20 years, as a museum executive, Alex has created mega Auction Fundraisers that not only worked as a platform for over 100 Latin American Artists in the California Market, but also a very good funding resource for events. Such events as: Museo de Arte De Puerto Rico, Los Angeles Contemporary Art Center, LA Artcore, Los Angeles gallery and almost for a whole decade the Annual Auction and MOLAA awards event which in 2006 broke $1,000,000 in sales for Latin American Artists in California.
A Modern and Contemporary Art Auction House
with a Latin American Focus
Under Alex's leadership, Valor-Arte has incorporated Natalio's and Huri's old traditions and respect to the business while adding new auction technology that allows us to reach our old clients better and welcome new collectors to our client base.
With over 50 years in the Auction Industry, we have shown respect, dedication, professionalism and transparency. We aim to be South Florida's most important Online International Art and Collectibles Auction House.
Natalio Slato in Action at his Gala Auction in the early 80s
Valor-Arte International Advertising for Bal Harbour Auction
Jillian approaches everything she does with curiosity and respect which serves as the foundation of her estimable taste.
With a BA in human development as well as an MFA in acting from the prestigious Yale School of Drama, she has has spent her lifetime in pursuit of all things that bring about wonder and beauty in the human spirit and that speak the truth of the human condition. She has lended her curatorial aid to dozens of projects in the mediums of theater, film, fashion, music, and fine art and continues to cultivate her keen eye through travel and an exposure to new cultures and experiences.
Jillian’s most recent/current projects include a global commercial for Jacob’s Coffee, a new rock opera with music by Amanda Palmer, and a short film written by Wallace Shawn.
Along with Valor-Arte, founded by his parents, Alex created The Business of Art, LLC over a decade ago with the goal to provide the most comprehensive specialty services advisory for high worth collections as well as the emerging collector who is very in tune with buying art from their generation. Since then we have grown with the explosive art market to manage several of the trending collections of Latin American Art in Los Angeles as well as New York City and Miami.
Alex comes from a family passionate about the arts, who instilled in him a sense of beauty and responsibility toward bringing contemporary and modern Latin American Art to the mainstream, which he had dedicatedly helped to do for the past 35 years.
In 1999, Alex came to the U.S. and trained with the International Society of Appraisers and the National Auctioneers Association, specializing in Latin American Art. He became the official auctioneer for the Museum of Puerto Rico as well as a consultant for several museums and auction houses in the U.S. until 2001 when he moved to Southern California to serve as the Associate Director at the Museum of Latin America Art (MOLAA) until 2010 and Director of LA Art Core in DTLA where he managed the development and curatorial departments until 2015.
After thirteen fruitful years in the Los Angeles non profit sector, Alex decided to go back into the family business and thus The Business of Art, LLC was born. Since then he has been a full time Art advisor for several private collections in Los Angeles and Miami as well as taking part time coaching, fundraising or advisory roles for diverse Art institutions such as: Founding member and acting associate director for the Otero Pardo Foundation, Advisor for the Museum of Central American Art, Advisor for the Museum Of Latin American Art, Auctioneer for the Los Angeles Contemporary Art Center (LACE) and the Museum Of Latin American Art.