Press Release  March 29, 2021

Photographer John Mazlish Takes on Art Dealing

Courtesy John Mazlish.

John Mazlish, Pacific Surf.

Q: Thinking about your photographic career and your promotion of a vast array of different artists, I am reminded of Alfred Steiglitz and his work with establishing artists and his contribution to modernism. Steiglitz wore both hats well, as a photographer and dealer.  He was able to continue photographing while running a gallery where he showed his work and that of his fellow artists. Can you tell us how you decided to become a dealer?

A: A few years ago, I became a member of an art collective. Unfortunately, it turned out to be run by a person who used and manipulated artists- preventing them from communicating with one another, damaging their work, and not paying for work sold. This was a harsh wake-up call, to say the least. One day, one of the other artists threw out the seemingly random and wild idea that I start my own gallery. In one of those classic "ah-ha" moments, I knew that this was my destiny! I realized that I didn't need to depend on anyone else for my success - success that I measured not only in financial terms but in quality of life. I thought, "I'm going to treat artists the way that I want to be treated"- meaning with respect, honesty, openness, and integrity. Luckily, my experience with that collective was an anomaly, and I had developed relationships with other wonderful galleries and curators of exemplary character that served as inspirations along the way.

Courtesy John Mazlish.

John Mazlish, Freefall.

Q: Can you share with us what has influenced your work?

A: I think I'm just a naturally sensitive, creative, and spiritual person. I've always been a creator. My mom was a wonderful painter who loved color, and I think that this influenced me on a deep unconscious level. I've always been a nature person, and love to explore off the beaten trail. I'm very attuned to differing qualities of light, season, beauty, form, and the essence of people. I wouldn't say that there's a particular artist or photographer who has influenced me the most. I'm a musician as well as a photographer, and in truth, music has impacted my artistic expression as much or more than any visual artist.

Q: What impact did your professional training have on your decision to have a virtual gallery and roster of artists?

A: Honest answer: none! I'm essentially self-taught in all creative endeavors from music to photography. And now I'm learning how to run a gallery as they say via "the school of life."

Courtesy John Mazlish.

Aima Saint Hunon, Earth Love.

Q: In your photographic work, you return to the subject of water again and again. Tell me about that.

A: I grew up on Long Island, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Long Island Sound. I guess you can call me a water connoisseur. I love to swim; I love the feel, smell, and taste of water. Water is magic. It's colorful, dynamic, ever-changing, reflective, life-giving, unpredictable, and alive.

Q: Can you tell me how you find the artists you show, what you are looking for in their work and how you engage critically being yourself an artist?

A: When I started the gallery, I wanted to offer a refuge of sorts to a number of artists who had also had bad experiences as part of the "Collective." On top of that, I had several artist friends whose work I had always admired. Slowly I began to gather an eclectic group of talent- artists whose work I not only loved but who were people I enjoyed relating with. Positive energy is super important to me in terms of creating the type of "vibe" that I'm going for. Integrity must run both ways between artist and curator.

My aesthetic and my "eye" are ever-evolving. I strive to remain open to all styles and mediums of expression, yet more than anything I rely on intuition and a gut feeling for what attracts me. I truly believe that there is a proper match for every talented artist and gallery.

Courtesy John Mazlish.

CLoD, Me Fumé Una Lumpia.

Q: What are the exhibition plans–future pop-ups? 

A: Though the gallery is virtual, we hope to do as many physical exhibitions as possible. There is no substitute for the excitement of viewing art and meeting artists in person. Currently, we're hosting an exhibition at The Invisible Dog Art Center in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn through April 6. In fact, I'm preparing for a reception tonight, complete with wine and live music!

Courtesy John Mazlish.

Andrew Cotton, The Biggie.

Q: Working with other artists, it's important that we find our niche. You started your own gallery because you were looking to innovate and use collaborative methods: ie virtual gallery, popup shows, etc. Through these methods, you can bring in buyers and attract a new audience. What are you doing to get people to the pop-up? To the website? Art fair plans?

A: That is a great question and one that informs my daily work life. Learning to operate effectively in the digital realm represents an ongoing learning curve for sure. Of course, there is social media (all hail the almighty Instagram), email lists, advertising, SEO, word of mouth, networking, building relationships with interior designers and art consultants, and creating press releases such as this one. Brick by brick, we're building our brand and reputation. One unique part of this brand building is that we offer interior design consultation and art appraisal, with the goal of comprising a "full service" package. I believe that this feature, combined with our personal, client-centered approach and our wonderful art and artists, sets us apart from the crowd.

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