Auctioneer Spotlight: Arturo Torrez and Claudie Lintvelt
Many of our Park West collectors develop friendships with the art teams over the course of their land or sea vacations. Here’s a chance to get to know them more as they share their favorite adventures in the art world.
Arturo, principal auctioneer, is from the Bronx in New York City and has been an international art dealer on cruise ships since July 2010. Claudie, Auctioneer Assistant, is from Graafwater, South Africa and began in May 2011. Arturo and Claudie are an auctioneer couple on the ships and are recently engaged!
Previous ships as Auctioneer: Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) Fantasy, CCL Pride, CCL Dream, CCL Magic, CCL Spirit, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Infinity, and Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas
Current ship: Norwegian Getaway
What do you like most about being an auctioneer?
Arturo: I really enjoy entertaining guests with an auction experience that they do not expect on their cruise vacation. Also, I like introducing clients to the world of collecting art. It is no secret collecting art can be bit intimidating, so I like to assist clients to become knowledgeable, confident and happy with the art they collect.
Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?
Arturo: I really enjoy the works of Peter Max. One reason may be that I’m a New Yorker and he’s a New Yorker. Also, I enjoy his life story. He and his family were uprooted from Germany due to conflict; however, after 16 years of travelling, the world they came to harbor in New York City. They finally felt freedom and liberty. Of course, his ability to bring color together really amazes me.
Claudie: I love the art of Romero Britto. Some works of art can be confusing to understand or too dark, but Britto’s artwork just brings a smile to everyone that looks at it and allows anyone to feel comfortable with his art. He is also an artist that gives back to his community in various ways and is recognized the world over. He was also the official artist of the 2010 World Cup of Soccer, which was held in my home country, South Africa!
What is your favorite guest memory?
Arturo: The memory we’ll never forget is with Dan and Jeanette M. who are guests Claudie and I still keep in touch with today. They were on the Carnival Pride out of Baltimore, during which they acquired a great collection. However, Jeanette had her eye on a Max “Blushing Beauty” she saw earlier that cruise that she really wanted. She finally got it at the last auction and it brought her to tears; she was so happy it was hers. At that moment, I realized this is more than just buying art – I’m actually bringing memories into peoples’ lives that will forever hang in their homes and live on through their families. To quote Picasso, “The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away,” and I’m lucky to say I found my gift with art.
What has been your favorite port?
Arturo: Claudie and I went to Amsterdam for a week on my birthday in October 2013. It was a week I’ll never forget. We had a week in-between ship assignments and were in Barcelona, so we decided to fly to Amsterdam to meet up with one of Claudie’s childhood friends. We went to all the great museums, from the Rijksmuseum to the Van Gogh Museum to Rembrandt’s house in Amsterdam. We even went to Leiden where Rembrandt was born. I loved it all – a city with so much history and countryside with unbelievable scenery. If I could, I would live there in a heartbeat, as long as I could still do what I love with art.
Tell us about how you met through working abroad and your recent engagement?
Claudie: We met at auctioneer training in May 2011. Arturo was going out to his next ship as gallery director before getting his own ship as an auctioneer and I was brand new to the art auctions. We kept in contact over the next year and in December 2012 I joined him as gallery director on the CCL Pride.
Over the last two years we have worked together on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival and Norwegian. In November 2014 I went home for a three-week work break and he bought the ring while I was gone. During the first week back from vacation he proposed during a show in the Illusionarium on the NCL Getaway and I said, “Yes!”