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After graduating from Mary Baldwin College with an Art History / Arts Management degree in 1993, I moved to New York to attend grad school at NYU, with the goal of working at a gallery. In 1994 I started at Stux Gallery, as the lone recession-special employee, and stayed on for seven years as the gallery wound down the SoHo space, shifted to secondary market artwork sales, and then re-opened in Chelsea. After that I worked for Peter Freeman, who was privately dealing Minimalist and Pop masterworks at the time, and then became a director of Dee/Glasoe when they opened a ground floor space in Chelsea. But by 2002, I was ready to work for myself as a private dealer / art advisor — the only way that I could still work in the art world, properly support myself, and lead a sane life.
So for the last 14 years I’ve been helping collectors with whatever they need, buying and selling artworks for them, offering advice and research, being an overall support system. Most collectors already have relationships with galleries, so it doesn’t make sense for me to insert myself in the middle of their primary market purchases, so I generally concentrate on secondary market works that I’ve privately sourced. I love working with artist friends directly, but usually only do so when they’re in between gallery representation… I think of what I do as match-making, and I know that I’ve done my job right when everyone and everything is happy: the buyer, the seller, and the artwork!
My favorite collectors buy art to express themselves, they have a point of view and a visceral response to the artworks — I like it when they’re inspired to learn everything there is to know about the artist, when they are secure in their taste. I look for that in artists too, it’s a joy when they are comfortable with their obsessions and everything is seen through their personal filter, versus being clever and correct and tasteful. I’m grateful that I’m able to enjoy a large cross-section of creative people and the patrons that appreciate them. It’s all I ever wanted growing up as a nerdy little superfan from NJ!
[…] Pearl Albino, who recognized her attraction to art after an academically unconventional adolescence, scaled the ladder of the art world in an evenly organic and self-determined fashion. Her rousing interview details her gradual ascent from endurant assistant to confident gallery director to autonomous private art dealer. […]
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