Auctioneer Spotlight: Johnnie Hilario and Nina Milosevic

 In Art & Gallery News, Cruise Art Auctions at Sea

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.

No matter what corner of the globe you’re in, you never know who you’re going to meet. For years, both Johnnie Hilario and Nina Milosevic traveled the world at the impulse of their ambition, only to find each other within the limits of their hometown.

As an auctioneer couple alongside Park West, Johnnie and Nina are committed to the relationships they build—among clients, colleagues, and family. True to this principle, Johnnie and Nina are excited to embark on their greatest commitment yet—each other. With a wedding planned in July and an onboard program to manage in the meantime, this Park West pair shares their journey at sea below.

Nina Milosevic and Johnnie Hilario on board Royal Caribbean International’s Navigator of the Seas.

Previous ships as auctioneer: Holland America Line (HAL) Maasdam, HAL Westerdam, Carnival (CCL) Fantasy, CCL Valor, CCL Magic, CCL Dream, Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Legend of the Seas, RCI Brilliance of the Seas, RCI Independence of the Seas

Current ship: RCI Navigator of the Seas


Where is your hometown?

Johnnie: Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.

Nina: Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, though I’m originally from Maribor, Slovenia.


When did you start working as an international art auctioneer on cruise ships?

Johnnie: I had worked on board cruise ships for six years—as both a Fitness Instructor and Cruise Director—before starting my career with Park West. I always enjoyed the experience of working at sea, so I became motivated to join my interests in the entertainment and fine arts industries. Now, I’ve been representing Park West for four years, and I’ve been living and working on cruise ships for a total of 10 years. Yikes, time flies!

Nina: Johnnie and I met while he was on vacation back home in New Zealand. Before Park West, I practiced Judo professionally and competed internationally for many years. I’ve even held multiple European championship titles. I was working as a Personal Trainer when we met and our common interests sparked something really special. I love my career alongside Park West. Each day we meet new and exciting people while sharing our passion for art along the way.


Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?

Johnnie: My favorite artist in our collection is Peter Max. I always say: “Color is the emotion of art.” This is what draws me to Max’s work. In terms of contemporary art, I truly believe that less is more, and Peter Max is spot-on when it comes to the portrayal of abstract imagery. It was only fitting that the first artwork Nina and I collected together was a Peter Max.

Nina: If I had to pick my absolute favorite, it would be Joan Miró. The simplicity of his artwork deeply resonates with me and awakens my imagination. I love how a Miró can be whatever I interpret it to be.


What is your favorite client memory?

Johnnie: Nina and I have met many incredible people over the years, including the parents of JC Chasez from N’SYNC. However, our favorite client memory is when we met Tracey and James Lovell. We had an instant connection with these two wonderful individuals as they shared their love for Pino, Autumn de Forest, Michael Cheval, and Martiros Manoukian, among others. Now, Tracey and James are among our closest friends. From time to time, they surprise use by randomly cruising on the ship we are on.

Nina and Johnnie snorkeling off the cruise ship.


Out of all the places you’ve traveled, where is your favorite port?

Johnnie: My all-time favorite port is Cozumel, Mexico. This place never gets old for me, even though Nina and I have a routine: scuba diving, tacos, visiting with friends, and resting by the water. I like to call Nina my “little mermaid” when we visit.

Nina: I couldn’t possible pick just one. I’m completely obsessed with Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, and its empanadas. The vibe of the historic city is breathtaking. Of course, Cozumel is a special port for both Johnnie and I.


What does life look like when you’re home on vacation?

Johnnie: If our vacation is during New Zealand’s summer, we stay at my parent’s house. From there, we travel and scuba dive around Asia and the Pacific Islands. If we’re lucky, we can see my sister’s band perform at one of her many gigs.

Nina: If our vacation is during Europe’s summer, we visit my parents first and travel second. We love visiting Asia—the culture, the food, everything. Enjoying the company of family is very important, as we only get to see them once a year.


Tell us about your experience aboard the Navigator of the Seas:

Johnnie: We are really enjoying this contract. It helps that we have such an incredible team onboard that makes each day something to look forward to. The Navigator of the Seas, in our opinion, has one of the most diverse itineraries at sea. We are so happy to be a part of it.

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The exterior of London's Tate London (Photo courtesy of Scott Wylie)