Meet The Team: Masha Golovina
Who Is Masha Golovina?
Masha Golovina serves as the EVP of Acquisitions at Masterworks, the unicorn art investing company. Prior to this, she was an Associate VP at Christie’s Auction House, where she oversaw risk profitability over a broad spectrum of accounts and markets. With numerous years of experience in art economics, market research, and financial modeling, Masha brings valuable skills to our growing platform.
Growing up in Silicon Valley, Golovina was surrounded by the progression in the tech industry while also being nurtured by the creative influence of her family, which had immigrated from Moscow when she was a young child.
Golovina later went on to pursue her education nearby at UC Berkeley where she double majored in Economics and Art history. She then went on to earn her master’s in Economics from Duke University. After leaving North Carolina, Golovina moved to New York City where she worked in specialized analytics at CitiGroup, before spending four years at Christie’s as an associate VP.
I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Masha about her life and interest in the art market, along with her role at the current largest art buyer, Masterworks.
Where Did Your Love of Art Begin?
My mother probably had the most influence over this part of my life. For as long as I can remember, she practiced art as a hobby. When we got older my mother enrolled my sister and me in art classes which were really enjoyable. We started visiting the SF MoMA when I was seven or eight, and it always felt like a magical place, as most things do when you’re a kid
Where Did the Interest in Combining Finance and Art Come From?
I would say it was more wanting to balance practicality and passion. I have always been very passionate about art history — but knew that pursuing a creative career like that came with risks, so majoring in economics was for job security, and I also like numbers and analyzing data. The fact that I now work in a position and at a company that perfectly merges these two disciplines is just perfect.
What Kind of Advice Do You Have for Those Interested in Investing in Art?
Investing in art isn’t that different from investing in any asset. You should either research the market thoroughly or use an advisor with some serious experience. The latter can prove to be quite expensive, and it can be somewhat difficult to network in this industry or even know where to begin evaluating prospective acquisitions.
Part of the appeal of working at Masterworks is the ability to combine my experience in the art market and finance to create a service available to those who would otherwise have no access to this kind of opportunity.
As the EVP of Acquisitions, What Are You Specifically Looking For in the Art That You Want To Acquire for the Platform?
We really just focus on the blue-chip segment of the market, but we are looking to expand into some smaller artists that still have proven a consistent track record.
Within that artist’s body of work, we look for paintings that are really representative of what we would consider their mature style — ideally what they are most recognized for or what makes them unique.
Who Would You Consider To Be Your Favorite Artist?
This has always been one of the most difficult questions for me to answer and it tends to change based on my latest reading or research.
My most consistent favorite is admittedly cliché, but I am very attached to the work of Mark Rothko. I think many people will agree that standing in front of one of his canvases is akin to a religious experience. There was a Rothko at the SFMoMa that I recall visiting when I was a kid and just standing in front of it in awe.