Mark Borghi on ArtHamptons, Incorporating Art Into Your East End Home
July 11, 2012 | At Home
Some boys dream of being racecar drivers—others of superheroes. But Mark Borghi? He’s been selling artwork since he was nine. Borghi, who spent most of his childhood days inside his father’s many galleries, was clearly destined for a life surrounded by art. As the owner of Mark Borghi Fine Art, Borghi prides himself on highlighting significant local Hamptons artists in his Bridgehampton, Manhattan, and Palm Beach galleries. This Friday, Borghi’s ArtHamptons booth hosts a much-anticipated exhibit—a never-before-seen photograph of President Obama by Lisa Jack.
See what Borghi has to say about his gallery, his tips on buying artwork for your Hamptons home, and details on this year’s ArtHamptons event.
How is your Bridgehampton gallery location different than the other locations in Manhattan and Palm Beach?
MARK BORGHI: While all of our galleries focus on post-war abstract and contemporary art from 1945 to the present, our Bridgehampton gallery is an intimate setting that provides access to the work on a comfortable scale. Collectors will find noteworthy pieces, but anyone with an appreciation for art can find something of interest.
What do you look for in a local Hamptons artist when deciding to display their work?
MB: In our period of interest, we specialize in artists of significance—those who’ve made a lasting contribution to their genre as well as those with unique and memorable style and technique. Over the years, the Hamptons have had several noteworthy artists, from Willem de Kooning to Richard Prince—they all have lived here or currently do.
What tips would you give a Hamptons art lover who is looking to buy artwork for their home?
MB: First, decide what you like. I am rather tired of the "art advisor." In the end you are buying their taste, not yours. Second, visit as many galleries as you can and get to know the owner or the staff at the gallery. That way you'll quickly discover whom you feel most comfortable with. And third, stay away from auctions. The auction principle is great if you have been collecting for years. Most times works at auction exceed what we would ask for in the gallery.
Which genres of artwork would you say work best in a Hamptons home?
MB: Generally speaking, I feel that abstraction seems to work well in this natural setting in the Hamptons.
Mark Borghi Fine Art is representing two artists at this year’s ArtHamptons event: Ed Moses and Lisa Jack. What drew you in to each of these artists’ work?
MB: Ed Moses is a legendary California artist and he will be receiving the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award at ArtHamptons. This is the first time in many years that he has shown his work on the East Coast, let alone the East End. He is regarded as being one of the most innovative and prominent abstract expressionists of the post-war era. Ed will be exhibiting works from his 55-year career at ArtHamptons while some of his most recent works will be on display at our gallery.
Lisa Jack first showed her photographs of Obama at a gallery I cofounded in Los Angeles three years ago. This will be her first exhibition on the East Coast. I love her story of how, as a college freshman with aspirations of becoming a photographer, she took photos of a handsome young student in his Panama hat, bomber jacket and cigarettes, stored them away for almost 30 years and then realized that she literally had pieces of history locked away in her home. She is currently a professor of psychology so, even though she isn't the professional photographer she dreamt to be, her work deserves to be shown and appreciated by the public. Lisa will personally be at ArtHamptons to talk to anyone who has questions or would just like to meet her, so you should stop by to say hello.
It’s been said that Lisa Jack will be revealing a piece of artwork at ArtHamptons that has never before been published. Can you tell us anything about it?
MB: The image Lisa will be revealing is another photo of President Obama as a freshman at Occidental College. It is from the same series of black and white images she took in 1980 and first exhibited in 2009. Her upcoming exhibit "Lisa Jack: Barack Obama: The Freshman +1" is truly unique in that it shows Obama as a young, carefree man full of fun and charisma before his image was polished and perfected—they are unlike any other photos out there of the President. I, myself, have yet to see the image, so I am equally curious and excited to see what it is.
Mark Borghi Fine Art, 2426 Main St., Bridgehampton, 537-7245; ArtHamptons (Friday, July 13-Sunday, July 15): Sculpture Fields of Nova’s Ark, 60 Millstone Road, Bridgehampton, 283-5505. Tickets: arthamptons.com/admission