What inspired you to delve into the art world?
I was inspired to enter the art world after witnessing the goals of many successful and powerful businesspeople in the crude oil and high yield investment sectors who worked 70+ hour weeks just to be able to invest and participate in the art world. When I became more familiar with different types of art such as antiquities, old master paintings, Chinese porcelains, among other things, I began to realize the beauty and passion that surround this world which stoked my desire to be involved. The art world allowed me to bring all the business acumen I had acquired throughout my career into a much more beautiful setting.
Tell us a little bit about ISET
ISET is a culmination of many years of hard work in other sectors, which I will call “due diligence,” and as many good ideas as I have ever had – into one cohesive entity.
ISET was born after I closed my gallery in Pasadena, CA. I had many artist friends – artists and musicians – who were in need of exposure and who were being taken advantage of by people in the industry. At first, I was representing my friends in the spare time that I could offer them until eventually, they began referring me to their friends, and as you cannot offer free services forever, I began to charge at a very fair profit. My goal was never about the money but rather to benefit people in the industries that they were looking to excel in. Eventually, ISET Agency expanded to umbrella the other things I had been doing – helping start-up businesses get off the ground and art collection management. We currently represent our own collection of art, totaling 20 pieces from the Ashcan school; which is an early 20th century school of art headed by Robert Henri that depicted scenes of daily life in New York which some describe as “art akin to journalism.” Art during the late 19th and early 20th centuries were often bourgeoisie pieces that depicted extravagant settings, but the Ashcan school of art preferred to depict how life was in the economic downturn of the early 1900s. In addition to our own collection of art, we manage and sell collections for other entities.
What are your goals for the future?
I would love to deepen my experience with antiquities. My greatest desire is to study artifacts in Egypt, perhaps one day to have involvement with the Grand Egyptian Museum. I am fascinated by the history of Egyptian artifacts; it’s amazing that they have survived for thousands of years. Being in their presence, you can almost feel the time and place where these antiquities were utilized. I also want to help people by making the art industry more accessible and welcoming to the average consumer. Art and love are one and the same, as people express their passions through art and it is a great way to share the love in our world.
What are some challenges and success you’ve had in this industry?
When I first dove into the art world, I did so by opening up my own gallery in Pasadena, California. I was shocked by the number of people that felt threatened and wanted to drive me out of this industry. I had wanted to be in the art world for a long time and saw the industry as a beautiful world filled with lustrous works. I thought there was room for everyone. However, it turned out that the art world is a very connected network of people comfortable dealing with themselves. During my time as an amateur, many competitors tried to shake my resolve by attempting to sabotage my business by posing as clients while making low-ball offers on my available pieces. Many people in this industry want to keep the art world closed off from newcomers because there are only so many quality pieces of art in this world. It is especially the case when a newcomer with potential enters and they feel threatened. The artworld is not filled with dark and grimy dealers though, as for every bad experience I have had, I have also had an equally bright and happy experience.
Are you currently working on any projects?
I’m currently working on many different projects. Just yesterday we began the final stages of sealing a deal with a 10,000 piece collection currently managed in Milan, to serve as their LA Partner for sale of these works. We are working to put together shows and events to highlight these incredible pieces which span many eras, genres, and mediums. We are also looking for locations that suit these pieces to have them displayed for extended periods of time, such as potential partner galleries, fine hotels, and select restaurants. While we do not intend to flood the market, we are excited to work with such a desirable and large collection.
We also work in tandem with Rachel Dares PR as a consultant to entrepreneurs who are looking to take their businesses to the next level. Her marketing expertise, combined with the assets and business development expertise from the ISET Agency, form a powerful tool for all budding entrepreneurs. We are working with many businesses and personalities to assist in the development of their products and services, business models, and strategies. Our model also allows us to match investors with high-revenue yielding opportunities. Rachel Dares PR offers publicity services for the artists that I manage. One artist I represent, Nova Gholar, has just released an incredible album called, “The Preacher’s Kid,” available on iTunes, Tidal, you name it. Every day and every hour, there is a different project that we are working on.
What benefits do you see art contributing to the world?
I see art as the embodiment of love and passion. A work of art is the tangible representation of the artist’s emotion and allows an incredible insight into the psyche. I feel as though I offer a unique perspective to the art world – half philosopher, half business maven – my goals are to make art more accessible to those who haven’t before been invited to the “exclusive club” that is the art world. I, myself, came from humble beginnings, and only as I climbed the ladder of success became slowly but surely introduced the history, beauty, and wonderment that is embodied in each work. I have some very specific ideas on how I plan to integrate art and art history into the average person’s life and look forward to surprising the world very soon. Both art and music give people an emotional outlet, a tangible fantasy, and a history lesson all in one – what’s not to love?
How can our readers get in touch with you?
We are always interested in exploring new business opportunities in a vast array of sectors. If you’re a musician, artist, entrepreneur, investor – if you have an unfunded good idea, we can break barriers. If you have a funded idea, we can turn it into reality. You can contact me via email at ISETAgency@gmail.com
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