Los Angeles-native Gabé Hirschowitz founded Galerie Perrie, an online art gallery featuring a professionally curated collection of artwork and exclusive décor from around the globe. Ideal for both seasoned art collectors and curious art lovers, Galerie Perrie gives everyone access to collecting some of the most cutting-edge work today.
Mementos have the power to help us relive our fondest memories. One of Gabé Hirschowitz’s fondest memories is the period of time after she first moved from Los Angeles to New York, which she memorialized in the name of her virtual art gallery, Galerie Perrie. “I lived on Perry Street, West Village when I originally moved to New York. It reminded me of a really magical neighbourhood and chapter of my life, and so I love the connection there. I love the name Perry and changed the “y” to an “ie” and made it my own.”
With an eye for emerging artists and a passion for the arts, Hirschowitz decided to launch her online art gallery in the middle of the pandemic. “We were all home more than ever. I had a lot of people reaching out to me about people wanting to change their environment at home, collect art and really beautify their environment. I thought, Well, what better time to create a highly curated online gallery — quality over quantity gallery — for people to shop for art online? I would love to be able to go to a really great web page and buy high-quality contemporary emerging art, knowing that an art professional had vetted it and curated it.” In addition to undergoing a rigorous certification of its provenance and value to the private collector, each season, the featured works rotate on a quarterly basis, allowing for a constant renewal of quality, contemporary art, photography and sculpture works by emerging and established artists.
As the founder of UNICEF’s groundbreaking Next Generation Art Party and former acquisitions committees manager at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA), Hirschowitz has a long history of supporting the arts and has a deep connection to giving back.
Her commitment to the arts and philanthropic endeavours is reflected in Galerie Perrie’s DNA, with a portion of this season’s sales from the online gallery benefitting the life-saving work of Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services. As co-founder of the Young Leadership Board of Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services in Los Angeles, Hirschowitz is a strong advocate for keeping art curriculums alive in the daily life of children’s education.
“Art programs are often the first things to be cut from a low-budget curriculum, yet studies continue to show that exposure to art helps improve children’s mental health and creativity. I’m passionate about keeping the arts alive in schools and love volunteering, teaching art projects and leading museum visits for LA’s Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services. Interacting with the students and seeing the positive impact art has on them as they grow is so rewarding. Many of the students have dealt with some of life’s most difficult challenges, so at first, they’re not particularly keen on you coming in and teaching art, but by the end of the session, they’re completely different kids. They’re happier and more enthusiastic, they’re playing with each other and singing, they’re hugging me. Art is a crucial part of what it means to be human, and I’m so grateful I can give that gift to others.”
Dolce spoke with the gallery owner from her home in New York on the connection between art and philanthropy, trends in the art world and her definition of art.
Q: Can you speak on why you believe there is such a strong connection between art and philanthropy?
A: Often, when people are buying art, if they know that a portion of the sale will go to an important cause, they’re more likely to not only love the art but also feel a deeper connection to something larger than oneself. I think there’s just a general spiritual connection between the two. I know that with many of my private clients, before they buy an artwork, they like to know the meaning behind the work, and if there’s any spiritual, cultural, intellectual or emotional connection there.
Q: What is your relationship like with the artists whose work you work with, and is there one in particular whom you gravitate toward?
A: I respect and admire each artist I work with. I personally choose every piece each season, so I would honestly hang every item in my own home. They’re all very talented and I think the commonality among the artists I work with is that I gravitate to people who are very dedicated to their craft. They would be doing what they’re doing creatively, whether or not they are being paid for it. They were born to be artists. To me, this quality feels very true to who they each are – true to their identities. They’re not creating art to be well-known or to make a lot of money. They’re doing it because they can’t imagine doing anything else in life, and that, to me, is a true artist. I really try to make sure to get to know people before taking them on. They’re all very different in their own ways. We partner with people from all over the world, and I’m very proud of that.
Q: You’ve always been quite keen on giving back. Did this come from the way that you were taught as a child growing up, or is it something that you noticed was important from the outside world, as you got older?
A: I grew up in a very loving and warm family. My parents are South African. My mom grew up in Cape Town. My dad grew up in Johannesburg. My entire maternal side of my family all live in Sydney now, near Bondi Beach, and I was actually born there. We moved to Los Angeles when I was four years old. My parents always loved to travel when we were younger. We were exposed to so many beautiful cultures and countries from a young age, and I grew up with an appreciation of art. I suppose I see art as a connecting factor amongst every culture in the world- like a universal language. So, I don’t know if it had to do with my upbringing or travelling the world at a young age and seeing how people live all over the world, then coming home and feeling really grateful for my life and then growing up and wanting to give back. It’s just something that has always felt very natural to me which is why I’m such an advocate for keeping the arts alive in daily life.
Q: What is your definition of art?
A: Art is how the soul communicates. It excites those experiencing it with a realization of the artist’s deepest self. As Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage,” but the courage to be vulnerable. When emotion overrules thought, innovation takes place. It is from this place that truly remarkable art is born.
“ART IS HOW THE SOUL COMMUNICATES. IT EXCITES THOSE EXPERIENCING IT WITH A REALIZATION OF THE ARTIST’S DEEPEST SELF”
Q: What is your favourite way to spend free time?
A: I love hosting intimate dinner parties for family and friends, doing everything from decorating a beautiful table with flowers and candles to baking the dessert. I also enjoy travelling to both new and familiar places and always feel recharged when I’m around nature, especially water.
Q: Do you see a trend happening in terms of what art people like?
A: I think people like true self-expression and self-reflection in art. People really love learning the deeper meaning behind the artwork and connecting with it, and, when they find out that they’ve connected with a creative who’s genuinely showing how they’re feeling with the world and everything going on around the world, people really like that genuine connection. Art allows people to show what they’re feeling without directly telling it, speaking it or writing it, and there’s something really beautiful about that genuine, pure communication through art that people might be too shy to communicate directly — both collector and creative. If anything, a trend that I’m picking up on would be genuine self-expression, and I think that is really powerful. Eli Broad said it best: “I like the fact that art reflects what’s happening in the world, how artists see the world.” I couldn’t agree with that more. Pure, honest and genuine self-expression definitely excites me. Artists create true social and emotional connections that remind us why we’re here. Creativity and vulnerability bring people closer together, and it’s something that I sincerely value and support.
Q: What does la dolce vita mean to you?
A: Living with love and clarity around the people whom you love and who make you feel your best every day. And also, being able to fulfill your passion in life. Waking up every morning and loving what you do.