It’s been a while but I’m back and comfortably settled in my usual corner booth at the ol’ art dealer bar. Having been away for a bit, there’s a lot bouncing around in my head. First up is something most of us can relate to: It’s a story about an art gallery which I sell to, and my less-than-impressive attempt to help them convince a client that a big ticket painting was really worth the price. It’s a part of the job that I’ve never liked but which somehow calls to me like the siren’s song in the fog…to wreck myself onto its jagged shore. So this time, instead of pontificating on my own, we’re calling in an old friend of the show, Jeff Jaffe, to help shed some light on this age-old obstacle.
We’re also going to return to the second half of our conversation with San Diego gallerist and art dealer Alex Salazar. The first half is not a prerequisite to enjoy this episode but I highly suggest checking it out as well. This time we’ll get a lot deeper into how a young Alex with multiple masters degrees in art and religion found his way into the world of art sales. And moreover, the lessons he learned along the way that make him the successful and more importantly, happy art dealer he is today.
Not all episodes of the “Art Dealer Show” have moral to them. Typically, they probably raise more questions than answers. But after relistening to the conversations with Alex and Jeff while I edited this week’s show, I kept noticing that the parts that made the most sense had almost the same basic points. While talking to Jeff for several minutes about how best to deal with a client that is not easily convinced of the value of a painting, he finally said “just be the person they’d trust buying from.” With Alex there was a point when he explained that the qualities of a good art dealer are much the same as being a “good human.” And that may be the secret to it all—that the key to selling art, and being happy in life doing it, are the same lessons that our parents, kindergarten teacher, friends, every religion and the occasional fortune cookie has told us. Be a good person (for all that means) and the rest will start to fall into place from there.
Seems I’m two glasses ahead of you so please hit play and catch up with me.
Alexander Salazar, owner of Alexander Salazar Fine Art:
225 WEST MARKET STREET – San Diego, CA 92101
Downtown San Diego
(619) 531 8996
Jeff Jaffe, owner of Pop International Galleries:
195 Bowery (at Spring Street), New York, NY 10002
T: 212 533 4262 F: 212 533 6553