There exists in the representation of art at Georges Berges’ gallery a life force, a humor and above all a pathos, which particularly belongs to him and which may be qualified as specifically “Bergesian.” Today, through his ever need for betterment and growth, these qualities have become recognized and established. No longer can we think of him as the “Maverick Gallerist,” but rather, and with no hint of exaggeration, “New York’s Finest Gallerist.” And yet, even this moniker, has become, since we last profiled him, outdated. For Georges, with his desire to conquer new feats, has opened a second location in one of the toniest sections of Berlin and has his eye on a third location (which as much as I’d like to divulge its location is a mystery to me too). I should also like to add there is an inquietude and a sort of restlessness that not only distinguish his personality and style of business, but which is also pervasive throughout the art he represents.
Take, for example, the art of Jean Schmidel. A German artist with no formal training, whose figurative work is other-wordily and, dare I say, off-putting to some. Yet, with Georges’ ingenuity, he has grown the artist’s visibility, status and most importantly (after all the art world is still a business) his prices. His collectors have lapped up Jean’s art; this is true for all of his artists whom he carefully picks and cultivates – it is not only Georges’ trademark but one of his business attributes he is most proud. Another example is the work of Khara Oxier-Mor, an American self-taught (just like Jean, it does seem that Georges favors those who follow their own path, perhaps no coincidence) artist whose frenetic and feminine (with a touch of the macabre) work concentrates on the human body. Again, like the Midas touch, Georges’ touch has turned Khara’s work into gold. Investors, collectors and art enthusiasts have all fallen for this newcomer.
Beyond the little-known artists that Georges loves to pluck from obscurity, he revels in working with those personalities famous for things other than art. The case in point – Sylvester Stallone. Famed as an actor and creator of the world-renowned Rocky franchise, few people, beyond Georges knew of Mr. Stallone’s artistic prowess. And while some critics might complain that it is a bit of a stunt (and maybe there is a touch of truth to that assessment), Georges knows better. Stallone’s work is powerful, timely and like all of his other artists, collectable.
Having recently spent a few nights breaking bread with him, I’ve gotten to know Georges even better. There are a lot of similarities between him and me and I see in him a passion, an almost pathological need for success, which I’d like to think I share with him. But be that as it may, a tangible example of what I write was when I had dinner with him and one his top collectors – a young woman executive at one of the major technology companies in the United States. Her resume is impressive, but even more so, was Georges’ ability to speak frankly, directly and honestly to her about what pieces she needed to buy. His ability to assuage her concerns and advise her was impressive. It is not without some jealousy that I wish I had his ability to speak of the ins-and-outs of art with the command and unpretentiousness that Georges does.
But to the fundamental question what does an art gallerist do? That’s a question I put directly to him. His answer was intriguing, “A gallerist is really the bridge between the collector and the artist. There is a synergistic relationship which transcends time and space between the artist and his gallerist or art dealer; they’re a team, it’s a marriage, as it were. It’s the gallerist that ensures that the artist and his work that are too important to ignore are not ignored.”
A man of action, grace, eloquence and business-savvy, Georges is the type of promoter and representative that all artists should dream of having. If I were an artist, I know I could find no one more passionate, more desirous of promoting my unique brand of art than Georges Berges. And for the art collector, you can find no one more trustworthy, more willing to find the best deal and no one more deserving of the accolade, “Finest Gallerist,” than Mr. Berges. If you find yourself in Berlin or in Soho, make your way to this truly superlative gallery and take it from me, “buy, buy, buy,” for you’ll find no art more captivating, indulging and powerful than the art at Georges Berges Galleries and no gallery owner more accommodating and wanting, willing and waiting to serve your needs!