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Park West Auctioneer Spotlight: Matty Whittam and Sasha Voronova

 In Art & Gallery News, Cruise Art Auctions at Sea
Auctioneers Matty Whittam and Sasha Voronova

Auctioneers Sasha Voronova and Matty Whittam

At Park West, when guests attend our art auctions, they not only walk away with a newfound appreciation of art—they also walk away with lasting friendships.

Spending most of their days at sea, our onboard art teams help collectors around the world take home artwork they’ll treasure for the rest of their lives. That’s why, every month, we take time to dive into the lives of our top auctioneers!

We’d like you to meet Matty Whittam and Sasha Voronova, two top Park West auctioneers who each have a unique story of how they came to work for Park West. (We’re sure glad this is where they’ve ended up!) These two make a tremendous team and they recently sat down to tell us how they got started with Park West, share some of their favorite client memories, and let us know what it’s like living at sea.

 

Previous ships as an auctioneer: Carnival (CCL) Elation, CCL Glory, CCL Valor, CCL Pride

Current ship: CCL Breeze

 

Where is your hometown?

Matty: I grew up in Blackburn, England and currently live in Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria.

Sasha: My hometown is Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, which was one of the five cities where the World Cup took place in 2018.

Auctioneers Matty and Sasha celebrate New Year's Eve on Carnival Valor

Auctioneers Matty and Sasha celebrate New Year’s Eve on Carnival Valor

 

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

Matty: Prior to joining Park West, I was working as an onboard personal trainer, presenting seminars, nutrition programs, and helping people improve their lives and health. I became great friends with Park West’s onboard art team and thought, “I love being on a microphone, this could be perfect for me.” So, I joined Park West in 2017, gained a new passion as an art auctioneer, and have loved everything about it since!

Sasha: I have always envisioned my life being filled with travel, which is how I found myself working on a cruise ship. While traveling and visiting famous museums around the world, I became intrigued by art—its colors, styles, you name it! One day, I walked into one of Park West’s onboard galleries and felt like it was meant to be. I’ve been working for Park West for over five years, and I treasure every experience and memory I’ve made.

 

Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?

Matty: I am a big fan of Chris DeRubeis. To me, his works are like a portal into another dimension. However, Rembrandt has always been my “Number 1.” He was able to create artwork the size of a business card that was not only technically brilliant but also awe-inspiring.

Sasha: I’ve always been drawn to Marcel Mouly’s artwork. His brilliant colors give me the “warm fuzzies.”

Sasha and Matty pose with artwork by Chris DeRubeis

Sasha and Matty pose with artwork by Chris DeRubeis

 

Do you have a favorite client memory?

Matty: I love introducing new people to auctions and seminars, and generally, just being able to spend time with our guests! It’s great when a collector visits the art gallery every day of the cruise, even if only to say “Hi.” That’s when I feel I’ve made the most impact

Sasha: I love the “congratulations” hug that comes with helping a guest collect an unforgettable work of art. This moment always makes me emotional and I always feel truly appreciated.

 

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

Matty: I’ve had some of the greatest times in the South Pacific, especially in Fiji. When I’m there, I’m instantly relaxed and it feels like vacation. I can’t wait to go back!

Sasha: Exploring Hawaii was an unforgettable experience. I’ve seen an active volcano, walked on a lava field, hiked through the rainforest, and swam near beautiful waterfalls. Alooo-ha!

Sasha and Matty

Sasha and Matty

 

What does life look like when you’re home and not working?

Matty: I have four nephews at home and one more nephew/niece coming in January. (It’s a surprise!) So I tend to spend a lot of time with my family. Sasha and I also try to escape to different countries on our time off.

Sasha: When I am back home in Russia, I still fine myself traveling all over the country to visit friends and family. Matty and I also look for unique experiences on our time off like going on an African safari, sleeping in a tree house, or watching the sunrise on a hot air balloon!

 

Tell us one thing about living and working at sea that would surprise most people.

Matty: We’re able to take advantage of many guest offerings on a ship—it’s a nice perk!

Sasha: Life on a cruise ship is definitely different, but still incredibly rewarding. In one day, I might be brainstorming new ideas for the art program in the morning, snorkeling in the afternoon, and sharing my art knowledge with guests in the evening!

 

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Learn more about Park West’s world-class auctioneer program:

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Showing 3 comments
  • Kristie
    Reply

    We love Matty and Sasha! They’re a great pair. They introduced us to many things through Parkwest. They have a passion and love for what they do!

  • Julie Crenshaw
    Reply

    Matty and Sasha helped us acquire our first ever work (a breathtaking piece by Metland). It was a labor of love to help us take home this piece. We were totally unfamiliar with Park West and had never attended an art event despite having taken several cruises before. We just HAD to have that awesome work, and Matty and Sasha helped make our dream come true. We have it hanging up in our entry way right as you walk in our home and we just love being able to admire it every day. Since then, we’ve acquired art on two other cruises (one just last week!) and attended a VIP land event that was so amazing. We are hooked, and we might have never entered this world if it weren’t for how kind, friendly, and helpful Matty and Sasha were guiding us through our first purchase! They took all the intimidation out of the process and made it so fun. We really appreciate them and wish them all the luck and happiness! ~Julie & Raymond

  • Rod Logsdon
    Reply

    Sasha, I share your love of Marcel Mouly. I worked for Park West a few years back. Mouly was still alive at that time. It always felt special to watch people’s expressions when I told them they were acquiring a work by a living master who had actually studied under THE Master, Pablo Picasso!

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