Confessions Of A Gallery Girl Pt. 9: Falling In Obsession

New York City: if I can make it here, I can make it anywhere. My story takes place on the Upper East Side, on a street right below the—oh wait, this is supposed to be an anonymous article, never mind. The fact is that I fell in love with this one painting the moment I almost spilled coffee on it. It was a cloudy Monday morning right after breakfast—which for me consists of a dark tall late and an aspirin to calm down the demons from the fun weekend—when, on my way to work, I noticed an artist moving in nearby my gallery. There was nothing but clouds above the island that day and it was getting even cloudier above my head, but I was still able to see the beautiful aesthetic abstraction half covered up by a dirty sheet of cloth. It was discretely leaning against a wall, going unnoticed by all the passers-by. Without thinking, I approached it and pulled off the white cloth to reveal more of the piece. The artist soon noticed that I had been blankly staring at his painting but didn’t immediately say a word. As he carried the last piece of furniture up his flat, he came closer to reveal in a half whisper, “Eight grand.”

It Had To Be Mine

Knowing this wasn’t going to happen (at least not soon), I proceeded to use my Gallerina skills and convinced the artist that I was the owner of a gallery and would love to dress the gallery’s walls with this one piece. By next week, I had the painting at the gallery, right by my side. I could stare at it from nine to five everyday and be at peace. Yet the week after the gallery hosted the great vernissage, the first of many interested people started calling about the piece. This particular buyer was no one known to the gallerist nor a top collector, so it was easy to evade the call. But then the e-mails started pouring, along with calls from collectors – it was obvious I was not the only one in love with the piece.

Loving art: where do we draw the line? For great tips on how to look at art, click here. Photo: Chris Phillips

My fixations for this painting compelled me to start saving my money. As I erased e-mails of potential buyers and managed to avoid phone calls, I felt the power of obsession consume me. I kept going on like this for months until the day finally came when I had enough money and the gallery owner had gone off to Basel for the art fair. That same day, after one of our best buyers called to reserve the piece, I faked a bill of a sale made in “cash” and a photocopy of the payment method and tossed it in some long forgotten folder no one would ever came across—and if they did, I faked the identity of the buyer. The “owner” of this piece was now an Asian tourist; she owned a house in Miami Beach and left nothing but a curvy signature.

On a hot rainy evening, lights in a upper east side gallery went off, goose bumps came on and a canvas was carefully packed as to leave no evidence of wrongdoing. That night, I left the gallery with a huge smile, grabbed my beloved abstract piece under my arm and never looked back. 

Article by Anonymous Gallery Girl

Editor's note: This article originally appeared on the pages of Artparasites on August, 2013. For more juicy confessions from the series, click here