Mr Truls Blaasmo

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Mr Truls Blaasmo

Words by Mr Stephen Doig | Photography by Ms Cat Garcia | Styling by Mr David Lamb

7 December 2017

The art consultant takes us on a tour of his favourite Bloomsbury spots, and tries the latest Dunhill collection for size.

A particularly grey stretch of London’s Mayfair may not be the most fitting place to stop and smell the roses, but at least it’s allowing Mr Truls Blaasmo a brief moment of stillness to savour the aroma of his steaming black coffee. “Last week, over the course of six days, I was in Shanghai, London, Palm SpringsLos Angeles and Norway,” he says in his lilting Norwegian accent. “I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a week of such extreme contrasts before. It can make your head spin.”

Mr Blaasmo is the founder of P.A.R.T. Associates, a specialist art consultancy and advisory to high net worth individuals. The pace might be demanding, but the 30-year-old, all Puckish features and a shock of strawberry blond hair, is a picture of polish in a sleek black Dunhill blazer and shirt as he guides MR PORTER around his favourite haunts during one of his stopovers in London.

Since founding the company in 2013, after studying product design in Copenhagen, his lifestyle, along with his wardrobe, has been designed to fit around his punishing airport-lounge-to-art-gallery itinerary. Mr Blaasmo has previously called Copenhagen, New York and Berlin home.

Growing up, his entrepreneur father’s spirit of commerce infused dinner-table conversation. “I grew up in a family of business-minded people, so discussions were always about business,” says Mr Blaasmo. “I learned that if the opportunity didn’t exist, you had to create it for yourself. I always wanted to work for myself, and I’ve built the company brick by brick.”

As he keeps up with his clients and network of conservationists, art historians and evaluators, Mr Blaasmo has built up a roster of must-haves that make life at 41,000ft more bearable. This includes a cashmere eye mask, Bose noise-cancelling headphones, multi-vitamins and a regimented, typically Scandinavian, minimalist wardrobe of monochrome basics that are packed to precision in his Rimowa case, along with white gloves, a humidity gauge and a torch.

“I stick to a formula,” he says. “I always pack three black Sunspel T-shirts, one white. Two white shirts from Paul Smith or Cos, black Grenson shoesComme des Garçons sneakers, a suit and my running gear. Because I have no one routine, it can be challenging. Because my life is spent between airports, I always try and fit in a morning spinning class. It helps blast away the jet lag.”

Mr Blaasmo’s years in London have also influenced his pared-down aesthetic. “I do tend to be influenced by the tailoring element of British style, which is so integral to a brand like Dunhill,” he says. “As someone who appreciates craft and artistry, the kind of expertise you see there and on Savile Row is a really special thing.” Mr Blaasmo relies on a Shanghai tailor to alter certain items he picks up, and more often than not will downplay a suit with a T-shirt and sneakers.

His schedule for the next few months is unrelenting – he’s trying to find a home for a forgotten hoard of work from the Danish-Belgian-Dutch CoBrA art movement that he discovered in a bunker – but he has two oases of peace that he can retreat to. “One is Comporta, a little beach destination just outside Lisbon,” he says. “Then in winter, I head to my family’s cabin in a Unesco World Heritage site in Norway. It’s by a lake and there’s nothing but the silence of the snowy forest. For that, I add long johns to the packing list.”

Mr Blaasmo’s favourite haunts

The School Of Life

“In the process of establishing the company, this place became a great point of inspiration. It was a go-to on my lunch break. I’d head here, listen to a motivational talk or read something, and gain some much-needed perspective. I was a London resident for seven years, but now split my time more or less 50/50 between Europe and China. There’s a huge contrast of cultures between Europe and China, and they have totally different ways of doing business. Shanghai has been a real learning curve and a new adventure, but that’s what I like. It’s never boring.”

The Brunswick Shopping Centre

“Russell Square and the Brunswick Centre became the hub of my business. I rented a studio space here and gradually built up my philosophy of how I wanted to approach the market and make what we do unique. The perfect encapsulation of this was walking through Russell Square one day. I had a client on one phone, an auctioneer on the other, and I successfully managed to proceed with the sale. It was then I knew I had a way of working established.”

Ciao Bella

“Who doesn’t love a good carbonara, right? It’s a bit of an institution and I love the friendly atmosphere. I also work with a lot of Italian art markets and I’ve definitely learned that the best way to an Italian’s heart is pasta.”

Massimo De Carlo Gallery

“Napoleon, Crowning Himself Emperor – Purple”, 2017 by Mr Yan Pei-Ming. Permission courtesy of Mr Massimo De Carlo, Milan/London/Hong Kong

“The space is beautiful and light filled. I spend a great deal of time around Mayfair when I’m in London, because of the various art galleries and auction houses here. I use the nearby Soho House or Little House as a base. I’m not an art historian. What interests me is the business side of the art world and the fantastic people I get to meet. It’s evolved into this big network across the world.”

Store Street Espresso

“Quite simply, the best coffee in the area. So rich in history, it’s always nice to wander around. This has always been a great place to take clients or artists. It’s close to the office and has a Scandinavian feel, which I’m all for, obviously.”