Will Gompertz

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Credit: Johnathon Foster Williams
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Will Gompertz can be found roaming the halls of Britain's Tate galleries, where he's enjoying the art—and making sure others are too. This year he was appointed director of Tate Media, after overseeing some of the museum's award-winning marketing efforts with Fallon, London—work that inspired not just our industry, but a new demographic of art fans who previously may have considered museum visits a drag or a snooty pursuit. Notably, Gompertz signed off on the irreverent Grand Prix-winning campaign that encouraged the everyman to think up his own Tate Britain "exhibits" like the "I'm Hungover" or "I've Just Split Up" collections.He was also the patron to Fallon's Tate Tracks, an initiative to bring a younger audience into the Tate Modern by enlisting underground musicians to create original tunes inspired by the gallery's works of art. Gompertz's goals have not been confined to museum walls, however.He's also stepped up the Tate's presence on a global, multi-platform scale, helping it enter the content business—online, on television and in the theaters. In 2007 he launched an in-house production arm and executive produced programming like the Channel 4 documentary series, Taken for a Ride. The show followed a taxi driver and his relationship to art and to his native Liverpool, the 2008 European Cultural Capital, home to a third Tate gallery and to the Turner Prize in '07, which last year left London for the first time since its 1984 inception.

Gompertz, on innovating in the art world: "It's capturing the excitement and freshness of [artists'] ideas and responding to them in a way that you engage your visitors. On the whole, the way museums present themselves to the public tends to be incredibly conservative, very straight, and not particularly friendly. Oddly, artists, these brilliantly flamboyant, innovative thinkers, can be intimidating. It's crucial for Tate that we're inspired by the work, not cowed by it. We work very closely with them [artists] in developing our ideas."

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