Meet the Artist – Artexpo New York Spotlight Recipient: Galeria Azur

Artexpo New York returns to Pier 36 April 4-7. Here at Art Business News, we’ll be showcasing this year’s spotlight recipients.

Q: Introduce yourself — who are you and what is the vision of your gallery for artists?

A: I am Lucas Kokogian, founder and director of Galeria Azur. Our gallery’s vision is to serve as a platform for artists from diverse backgrounds to showcase their talents. We are committed to promoting inclusivity and equal opportunities in the art industry, believing that art should be accessible to everyone. Galeria Azur strives to create a space where emerging and mid-career artists can gain exposure and recognition.

Q: What is your background?

A: As a collector myself, I earned my spot in the art scene in Argentina by representing the greatest living artists. I opened Galería Azur in Buenos Aires in 2009. My connection with art started early – my family home was surrounded by art and antiques – and continued by approaching the artistic world from an academic perspective by studying Art History Management. After several years as a leader in Buenos Aires and Bogotá, I obtained peer respect and discernment and launched a career in the art auction world. Having established my reputation in the auction room, Galería Azur grew into the global network of galleries it is today.

Q: What is your work philosophy and how does that impact the gallery?

A: My work philosophy revolves around promoting inclusivity and equal opportunities in the art industry. This philosophy is deeply ingrained in Galeria Azur’s mission and operations. We strive to create a vibrant and diverse art community where artists from all backgrounds can thrive. My work ethic has been shaped by a combination of influences and experiences throughout my life. Inspired by my parents, I learned the values of hard work, dedication, and commitment. Over the years, I have had the privilege of learning from numerous mentors and colleagues in the art world, which has contributed to my strong and adaptable work ethic.

Q: What artist(s) inspire you?

A: I am inspired by artists who challenge boundaries and provoke thought through their work. Witnessing the transformative power of art motivates me to continue promoting emerging talents and fostering a more inclusive art community. Jon Gilchrist, one of the artists we represent inspires me every day. His personal odyssey transmutes into a visual symphony. His art—a mélange of abstract forms and bold colors—echoes the depth of his narrative. As a tall, young man navigating the complexities of identity as an African American individual in Houston, his canvases are replete with the emotional richness of his experiences. Works such as “Brave New World” and “Clearly Muddled Sky” transcend their titles, becoming emotional cartographies charting the terrain of his soul’s journey. He is constantly inviting the audience on a voyage of introspection.

I can sit here and name artists all day! Picasso inspires me as an artist for several reasons. Firstly, his unparalleled creativity and innovation in the realm of visual arts continue to astound and captivate me. Picasso’s ability to constantly push the boundaries of artistic expression, experimenting with various styles and techniques throughout his career, serves as a constant reminder of the limitless possibilities within the artistic process.

Q: What is the best advice you’ve received?

A: The best advice I’ve received is to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, to seek mentorship from those who have walked the path before me, and to continuously cultivate a clear vision for what I want to achieve.

Q: When you are not working, where can we find you?

A: When I’m not working, you can find me exploring art galleries, attending cultural events, or spending time with my family and friends. (Also drinking a Dry Martini at The Beekman)

Q: What does exhibiting at Artexpo New York 2024 mean to you?

A: Exhibiting at Artexpo New York 2024 is an exciting opportunity to showcase Galeria Azur’s diverse roster of artists on a global platform. It allows us to connect with a broader audience and collaborate with talented artists from around the world. We are thrilled to participate in this prestigious event and share our passion for art with others.

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