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Introduction from Virginia
I think when something is natural you don’t really think “is this the moment” you just do it. Like when I opened from my flat I didn’t think “I’m going to turn this into a gallery” I just think I was doing it naturally. I didn’t even have a business plan, I didn’t have any idea of how to do it. It was something very spontaneous, organic, maybe impulsive also but I didn’t really have a plan. I didn’t even know how to sell art, I didn’t know anything… I just did it.
So you opened your first gallery in 2003 and sold the entire exhibition to one very important client, tell us about that
Yes that’s correct. We opened in 2003 when the first Frieze art opened at the same time, so in London there was a momentum, Contemporary art was something that everyone wanted to be part of. And London becoming the epicentre alongside New York. I mean New York was really first to promote contemporary art but London becoming an epicentre and hub for Contemporary art.
If you think, big galleries like Gagosian, opened the big space in Britannia Street in 2004, Charles Saatchi country hall which was like a museum showing up in 2003. So London was becoming the hub.
But how did the artist react to the entire exhibition selling out to one client, how did the artist react?
Ah so when we first opened in 2003, on the first day before we opened to the public we were installing the show of an artist we had just discovered at the Royal College of Art, just out of college. Someone was looking through the door while we were installing and I remember, my business partner said ‘no no we have to continue putting the show together, make it look right.”
So I went and looked through and it was Charles Saatchi, so of course I welcomed him in. Suddenly he bought the whole show. The whole installation!
So that was our first client, our first customer through the door, was Charles Saatchi
Image Credits: Wolfe von Lenkiewiecz, Charley Peters, Christopher Bucklow and Ralph Ziman.