Eden Fine Art Founder Cathia Klimovsky on Running a Multinational Gallery
As Eden Fine Art opens its ninth location on a prominent corner in downtown Manhattan, we catch up with the gallery’s founder, Cathia Klimovsky.
Artsy: Where was your first location, and why did you break ground there?
Cathia Klimovsky: I opened my first gallery in Jerusalem in 1997. People from all over the world visit the city all year long. There, the unique light that illuminates Jerusalem’s famous stone surfaces creates a rare atmosphere perfectly matched the first artist I represented—an artist with a very spiritual approach, Yoel Benharrouche.
Artsy: You work with 11 artists—do you see a common thread that runs through their work?
CA: There is a harmony between their practices, even if they are very different when it comes to subject, medium, and material.
Artsy: Do you show the same artists at all of your locations? Or do you cater the work being shown to clients in a given city?
Artsy: You recently opened a new space in Soho, why there?
CA: First of all, I fell in love with the space: a beautiful and rare 25,000-square-foot corner plot where the previous owner invested some $17 million in interior architecture. It’s full of elegance. Also, Soho has a specific vibe, one very different from that of the corner, on 50th and Madison, where our uptown gallery sits (and has been for 10 years). Here, we have also more visitors, who we’d call neighbors, from Soho, Tribeca and Chelsea.
Artsy: How do you strategize the gallery’s expansion?
CA: Today there are nine Eden Fine Art galleries in locations like NY, San Francisco, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, St Barth, etc. In addition, dozens of independent galleries are buying art from the artists I represent. Until now, we focused on exclusive, high-traffic locations, but, more and more, we have become a “destination” for people looking for our artists—and Eden galleries in general. New gallery locations are more a question of feeling and opportunity than a cold, calculated strategy. Still, there are some important towns where we want to meet collectors, so we are looking into them.
Also, some professionals from the field want to open their own Eden Fine Art operations, and a few partnerships are in the works. One such partner operation opened two years ago in San Francisco, and in 2016, they will double the size of their 2,800 square-foot gallery.
Artsy: How do you discover new artists? Can you tell us about a particularly exciting discovery in the past?
CA: We can plan, search, and decide, but the reality is that the most successful “matches” are spontaneous ones. We are contacted by thousands of artists each year, and we incorporate very few into the “Eden Family.” Representing an artist is a responsibility, and we have to be confident that we are the right platform for him or her. There is a business woman, internationally famous in her field, who agreed to create art pieces for the gallery. We are very proud and happy with that relationship, but we committed not to divulge who she is—we show her art with her pseudonym only. That was an interesting process, and a story that is just beginning.