LUXE Colorado — # 14
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GALLERY SINK

A self-described “lover and collector of beauty,” Mark Sink has spent over 30 years immersed in fine art photography, his role defined as that of artist, gallery director and curator. “It’s my life curating and making photography,” says Sink. “I get to play both sides of the fence; I feel very lucky.” Inspired by his teacher, famed pinhole photographer Ruth Thorne-Thomsen, Sink says that his defining moment came with the realization that fine art could be made with a camera. Today, Sink—who co-founded the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and has helped assemble retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York—works closely with both private and corporate collectors, inspired by the way his passion for fine art photography sparks their own ardent interests in the medium. Sink advises, “Immerse yourself in art. Don’t buy a piece for its possible future value, but instead from the heart.”

DAVID COOK FINE ART

“I started by my bootstraps,” chuckles David Cook, who opened his first gallery in Denver over 25 years ago. Fluent in both his first love, American Indian art, and American regional art (including the modernist, Impressionist, Plein Air and abstract schools), Cook’s true passion lies in forging relationships with his clients and amassing their private collections. “I’m lucky that I can travel and find great pieces to acquire,” Cook says. “Every collector has a style, and it’s my job to identify what they’ll like.” A member of the Fine Art Dealers Association—which holds its esteemed members to high standards of quality—Cook says his best finds include a rare Navajo textile that’s slated for exhibit in major museums nationwide. It’s searching for these rare pieces that Cook’s greatest asset surfaces. “When I find an amazing piece, it will sell itself. My greatest strength is the hunt.”

MICHELE MOSKO FINE ART

Michele Mosko’s passion for art dealing developed naturally, thanks to the international exposure to art and culture bestowed upon her during childhood. “Growing up with art is very much a part of what turned me into what I am,” says Mosko. After over 30 years in New York as a private dealer, she recently returned to her hometown of Denver to open Michele Mosko Fine Art in homage to her father, a prolific art dealer and artist. Now, Mosko casts a wide net, helping private clients throughout the country acquire museum-collected art and modern to contemporary works, and enjoying the benefits of a “virtual network” of established peers—be it an expert on European art in New York or a dealer of Masters works in Los Angeles—that broaden her access to great art. “Art is a luxury,” says Mosko. “But it’s accessible, and there are many people like me who love to help and inspire our clients.”

LYN SEGAL FINE ART

Lyn Segal’s appreciation for fine art began at an early age. “I always loved museums as a little girl. I loved to look at paintings and pretty pictures,” says the president of Lyn Segal Fine Art, who began dealing art privately after closing her brick-and-mortar gallery in 1984. Segal’s discriminating clientele span the globe, seeking out the Aspen-based dealer for modern, contemporary and Impressionist works from some of the art world’s most iconic names, including Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse and Andy Warhol. Segal defines her own style as traditional, “But I lean toward contemporary or modern works,” she says. “There’s just a freshness to them; I like something with spark, life and energy.” Segal brings the same passion to her work, the impact of a stunning piece serving as her figurative muse: “When I sell a beautiful painting to people who I know will love it and appreciate it, that’s when I feel inspired.”

What most influences the pieces you select for your clients?

This depends on the space and the aesthetic of the client, but generally it’s romantic and rarely conceptual.

What advice can you offer to collectors just starting off?

Research and most importantly, participate in the art community, be it regional, national or international. Visit art fairs; when you find your direction, go to the auctions.

What are you seeing right now that’s “hot” in the art world?

Photography in all directions, from Damien Hirst to found images.

What do you feel drives specific trends in the art world?

Curators, critics, collectors, the Venice Biennale and Art Basel—in that order!

What defines your style?

I am a passionate art advocate, and I pride myself in my vision and good taste in design and art. I know strong, great work, and finding it is such a rush. It’s like falling in love.

Are you currently working on any special projects?

I am a founding board member of a new great art space in Denver called RedLine. The director from the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center at the Museum of Modern Art in New York curated our inaugural exhibition recently with some of New York’s hottest artists.

What item in your own home would you never part with?

My gifts from Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. I was friends with Warhol, and he had a closet with gifts that he would pass out for birthdays and such. He often made me drawings, and those I would never part with.

What’s the largest collection you’ve created for a single client?

I worked on a collection for over 10 years that became one of the finest private collections of American Indian art. I placed over 200 pieces and advised and curated the entire collection, including a special section of Navajo chief blankets and very high-end historic Native American materials.

What advice can you offer to collectors just starting off?

It is important to focus on quality, not quantity. Often, when people start an art collection, they just want to fill up the walls. I tell my clients to buy one painting, and several prints. Then as your budget allows and your collection grows, trade your prints for another painting through a reputable art dealer.

What are you seeing right now that’s “hot” in the art world?

We’re seeing more interest in modern and abstract art. Before it was strictly the New York school— artists like William de Kooning, Clifford Still and Jackson Pollock—but now we are starting to see interest in a lot of artists who weren’t in New York.

What is your current art obsession?

It’s combining American primitive art with American modern and abstract pieces. Many of the European masters like Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró were influenced by primitive art. I just can’t get enough of seeing how these painters were inspired by the primitive art of North America.

What inspires you in your work?

It’s not work to me. I once heard, “Find something you love to do, and you won’t work a day in your life.” I was fortunate to find something that I really love to do almost 30 years ago, and today, it’s still like a honeymoon to me.

What types of pieces can be found in your own home?

Very few dealers have pieces that are never for sale, but we’ve got a handful. There are two Navajo textiles that are up there with the greatest in existence. One is called a wedge weave, where the yarns in the blanket are woven at an angle and create great tension and dynamic. Even though it’s 150 years old, it still looks contemporary.

How do you and your clients typically come together?

It’s generally referral, and I also build relationships through art fairs. I like to see what other types of work my clients own so that I can help them define their tastes—it’s very rewarding to me.

Desribe your acquisition process?

I often acquire pieces for my own collection first. I’m always exposing myself to art by going to art fairs in Paris, London, California, New York and Miami. I’m constantly looking.

What advice can you offer to collectors just starting off?

It’s very easy to be intimidated by the art market. Don’t be afraid! Buy art magazines, look through them, and mark pages with art that moves and inspires you. And if you fall in love with an artist, choose one piece that can represent their body of work.

What’s your most unusual acquisition story?

I once found a piece at a flea market in New York that I initially thought was just a little side table with a decorated top. When I took it home, I lifted up the glass on the table and discovered that it was actually a Howard Hodgkin print!

What do you feel drives specific trends in the art world?

Political, economic and social factors—everything that is going on in the world is what is reflected in art. It’s so interesting to see artists on different sides of the world creating paintings that will have one universal theme.

What defines your style?

I would describe myself as very accessible. I like to share my knowledge, and I like my gallery to be comfortable, so that my clients can explore, sit, read magazines and discuss art.

What piece in your own home would you never part with?

I have a piece by Peri Schwartz, a charcoal on paper that I bought at the very beginning of her career in the 1980s. It exemplifies my dark side. Her career has grown since then, and it’s worth much more now, but it’s not for sale and it could never be replicated.

What most influences the pieces you select for your clients?

Most of my clients today know what they want. They will come to me and inquire about a particular artist or work; in other words, they come to me for specifics.

What is your acquisition process?

I attend the public auctions like Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Sometimes I’ll buy artwork and keep it as inventory, or the client may want to live with it for a weekend. The way people buy art is very specific and very private.

What advice can you offer to collectors just starting off?

I tell my clients, “Go to art galleries everywhere— that’s how you’ll educate yourself.” I’ll often take my clients to the auction houses to explain the pricing and why some artists have more demanding prices than others.

What’s your most recent coup?

About three years ago, I sold a painting by Spanish artist Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida to a collector. A friend of mine, an academic who writes about the artist, brought the piece to my attention and asked if I could sell it. It is truly a beautiful painting.

What type of pieces can be found in your own home?

I’m very eclectic. I’ve had everything from Western to 19th-century European art. Whatever I see that I like, I buy. But I’m an acquirer, not a collector. I like to acquire a piece, live with it, enjoy it and sell it.

Favorite design icon?

I like the uniqueness of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava’s work.

Favorite artist?

I love Salvador Dalí. He’s a genius, and I love his subject matter—the way he can twist things around and make everything so surreal. Plus, he is an amazing draftsman.

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