Emerald Gruin

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LADYGUNN ANNA BLODA Emerald Fitzgerald 4
Emerald Gruin is a green-eyed, ivory anchor for the current state of art. Born in Sydney to a ceramicist mother, Emerald grew up in an art studio with a cat called Clay. The art aficionado spent her early 20’s modeling in London, Paris, and Hong Kong, before¬†settling in New York.
“I was modeling in London, Paris and Hong Kong and very disenchanted with the modeling world. I would seek out museums and galleries for comfort, in between casting and shows. I would go there alone and sometimes sketch the works I liked, for hours and hours. I spent more and more time surrounded by art, galleries and museums. I was drawn to the diversity of subjects and always discovering something new. I felt if it was good art, I could connect with it on some level.”
She spent years working in the city peppering her resume with various jobs in the events and art world before opening her first art gallery in Lower East Side.¬†ROX NYC¬†was the most scandalous spot New York city had seen in a while. It was a defiant and rambunctious cause and their first show, a campaign for ‘Free The Nipple’ was complete with a police shut down. She now runs¬†Gruin¬†Gallery ¬†with her husband Adrian Gruin.¬†Emerald‚Äôs art curation has put their shows on the map and enabled her to work with such art stars as Spencer Tunick, Michael Wolf and Chen Jiagang. We get a tour inside the head of art world’s rising star.

What was the first piece of art you felt you loved?
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This¬†Ryan McGinley, I saw hanging at The Hole Gallery, in 2012/13 when I first moved to New York. I had to acquire the piece, I saved every single dollar I could. Brought a bag of cash to the dealer selling it. She kindly gave me a good deal, as I was so passionate about it. This was part of Ryan’s “Animal” series. A strange story about him being junky and one of the only works from the series where the ‘animal’ is not featured with the model (there is just an illusion of an animals’ presence). This work still hangs in our living room today.
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What are your favorite art pieces of the last ten years?
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Love, Ashley Bickerton 
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Eddie Martinez
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Greg Haberny 
What about the last 100 years?
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Georgia O’Keefe, Summer Days, 1936
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Edward Hopper
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Jackson Pollock
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Wayne Thiebaud
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Kees van Dongen
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Keith Haring
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Andy Warhol 
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Roy Lichtenstein
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Henri Matisse
 
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What is really great art to you?
¬†Art that makes you feel a strong sensation. Art work that requires skill and technique. Colors that are strong and harmonious, variety of mark making if it’s painting, good drawing underlying the final art work.
 
What is the most valuable piece of art you have? 
 Ryan McGinley
 
What is the most economically valuable piece of art you have?
 Spencer Tunick
 
Is there any relevant advise you can offer to this generation’s art collectors? How do you collect art in the digital age?
¬†When you see work you like, that inspires you, don’t always jump to purchase, do a bit of research on the artist and follow them for a while, until you are convinced.
 
How is it running a gallery with your partner? What do you guys fight about the most?
¬†My gallery partner is my husband, so we have the best possible working relationship. I truly believe art is one of the only businesses you can do with family as it is so personal. We never fight, he is always one step ahead of me, in areas in which I lack skill or I’m one step ahead, in areas that are more my strength. We balance each other out. It’s a perfect partnership.
What do you miss most about Sydney?
 The beaches. The Hamptons are bollocks compared to Sydney beaches. haha
The food is much better quality overall in Australia. Just look at all the best cafes in New York, they are all run by Australians!
The fresh air. Breezy summers. I color of the sky and nature all around.
What would you miss most about NY if you had to pack up and leave tomorrow?
 The fast pace and constant changes. Anything is possible and can do attitude. Living dreams is a way of being.
 
Where is the Gruin gallery heading in the future?
We will open our own space, not tied with any conflicting venture. We are moving to South Williamsburg this August and will have a private viewing gallery, with special events once a month. We are also working with a beautiful loft space in Soho on Crosby Street, hosting the first exhibition in October with a solo show of Anthony Haden-Guest’s new artworks, neons, drawings and mirrors.
 
What are you most excited about for the future.
Discovering new artists, developing the Gruin Gallery programing and working more in Sydney for featured special exhibitions.
 
What is the Gruin manifesto?
CREATE CHANGE!
 
What one trait you notice in young artists?
Eager, fresh, full of hope.
What attracts you to artist?
Convinced by their point of view. (Hoping it is a strong one, that has substance! )
 
Where is art world heading in the future?
Alternative spaces. Multi-Purpose, with the focus on film and television.
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LADYGUNN ANNA BLODA Emerald Fitzgerald 5LADYGUNN ANNA BLODA Emerald Fitzgerald 6story / Koko Ntuen
photos / Anna Bloda
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