At the age of twenty-one, Joseph Nahmad is one of the newest and youngest gallerists in the New York City art scene. Yet, the art scene is nothing new to a member of one of largest collectors of Impressionist and modern art in the world. Breaking away from his family’s model, Joseph has decided to devote his gallery to contemporary art. He never went to college, instead choosing to work at his older brother Helly’s gallery on the Upper East Side for two years. Joseph’s gallery is currently operating as a pop-up, but he hopes to open a more permanent space in the future. The first show of work by Roy Nachum opened in November of last year, and the most recent show, Delirium Tremens, features works by Michael Sagato.
Many famous gallerists started their careers at young ages, so are there any galleries or dealers you would like to emulate? What motivated you to start a gallery in New York City?
New York is the center of the contemporary art world and the city that feels the most like home to me, so launching this venture here made sense. I’m not sure I can or want to replicate anyone else’s career, but dealers like Tony Shafrazi have made a big impact on how I see the contemporary art market.
Describe your program and what the gallery’s goals are.
I expect to keep doing pop-up gallery shows over the next twelve to eighteen months in New York and possibly a few other cities. In addition to working with a mix of emerging and mid-career artists, I hope to regularly connect their output to the work of mid-twentieth-century masters.
How will you differentiate the gallery from a typical downtown gallery?
So far, not having a fixed location and program allows me to have greater flexibility with the types of shows I can mount and the speed with which I can respond to opportunities.
In many ways SoHo represented the start of New York’s pre-eminence in the international art world. It feels good for me to start here. Who knows, maybe I’ll open a gallery in Chelsea one day.
Why Michael Sagato?
Several mutual friends and numerous collectors had been talking to me about Mike for a while, so when this opportunity arose I jumped on it. I wanted to do a show which represented sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and Delirium Tremens was the perfect body of work for it.