An Interview with Forum Gallery’s Director, Robert Fishko
At the helm of the bicoastal Forum Gallery is celebrated art connoisseur Robert Fishko. While travelling in Iceland, Mr. Fishko spoke to Art and Living writer John McCarthy about just what makes his gallery so unique.
Art and Living: So what does Forum Gallery look for in its artists?
Robert Fishko: We are always interested to expand our program by exhibiting artists whose work pushes at the boundaries of what we show. We would like to show art that sends an original message, that shows us an aspect of life in a way we haven’t seen before.
A and L: With over four decades in the fine art field, Forum Gallery has placed works in every major American museum and in private collections throughout the world. How healthy is the demand from private collectors at the moment?
RF: Since we’ve been in business, there has always been collector interest in art that communicates feeling and respect for the panoply of human life. Right now— in an expanding global economy—there is that interest, and there is great interest in art as a means to enrich people’s lives. So I feel that we will have expanding collector interest as long as we continue to enrich our program with new art that sends a strong message.
A and L: In addition to exhibitions at your galleries in New York and Los Angeles, Forum Gallery also exhibits at important art fairs across America. How important is the exhibiting of your artists’ works at art fairs as opposed to exhibiting at your celebrated New York and Los Angeles galleries?
RF: Art Fairs have become an enormously important part of the business; art fairs bring the art to the viewers and there’s nothing else that does that. Advertising and the Internet can and certainly do stimulate collector interest, but we are, at the end, in the communication business; what we have for sale is the communication between the unique object and the viewer, and nothing can sub- stitute for that. The fairs offer people the opportunity to see a pre-selected exhibition of works from, say, 100 galleries that would take them a year of intensive travel to reach in any other way.
A and L:What do you like to do to unwind?
Robert Fishko: Actually, I’m pretty wound up most of the time, but I do love to cook, so I unwind by preparing the food for the parties we hold at our apartment after each opening in New York, usually for 35 to 45 people. Cooking, classical music and baseball are three things that help me to unwind a bit.