Intimate Interviews with Three of NY Metro’s Top Art Gallery Owners


Arielle: Mark Gallery

Arielle Mark is the owner and art advisor of Mark Gallery. Born and raised in Munich, Germany, Arielle developed a passion for art at a very young age. She studied art history at the Sorbonne in Paris. Arielle has traveled extensively around the world for both business and pleasure, developing and nurturing long-lasting relationships with many artists. She and her husband, Andrei have been avid art collectors for over 15 years. Arielle brings to Mark Gallery a wealth of knowledge, a true passion for fine art, and a genuine desire to make fine art accessible to everyone.

What is the focus in your gallery?

Most of the art at our gallery is contemporary, but we are able to procure more traditional pieces for our clients. The work is diverse in both media and subject matters. One can find small works as well as very large ones; abstract works, landscapes and figurative paintings and drawings; oil, acrylic and encaustic (wax- based) paintings, pastel works on paper, drawings, sculptures and photographs.

Share your process of accessing art.

We chose our artists very carefully. Some I have known and collected for a long time; some we found at art fairs and museums or gallery exhibitions; some were recommended by other artists or clients, and some approach us directly. We are also always busy researching to find new and exciting acquisitions.

Is there something specific that you look for?

When choosing pieces of art, I look for the skill and talent of the artist. I like to show works of art that challenge the owners and intrigue them for a lifetime. I also look for inherent beauty in the piece. I consider price, and I look for artists that I feel are established, but underpriced.

Do you deal directly with the artist?

We always deal directly with the artist, and with most we have developed close relationships and friendships. It is very important to us and the artists, that there is a high level of comfort, trust and respect between the artist and the gallery. We also deal directly with owners and dealers. Sometimes a client is looking for a piece by an artist we do not represent directly, or for a certain type or style of work we do not carry at the gallery. In those situations we either contact specific artists or, if they are represented exclusively by other galleries, or are deceased, we work with other dealers and owners.

Are pieces taken on consignment? If so, how long are they displayed?

We take most of our artwork on consignment, but we also purchase some pieces directly from the artists. The consignment period varies, but is at least 6 months and more typically one year. After that, the gallery and the artist decide together which pieces to return to the artist in exchange for other works. We have a new exhibition about every 6-8 weeks. Once the show finishes, we keep most of the unsold work at least until the end of the consignment period. After that time, if a piece has not been sold by another gallery, we can still retrieve it. Clients, often, come back months after a show to buy a piece they saw during an exhibit.

What called you to the profession?

From very early on, even as a young teenager, I was drawn to art and the art world. I started going to museums and art galleries and befriended many artists. I grew up in Munich, Germany and studied art history at the Sorbonne in Paris.

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