Real Estate Agent Magazine publisher Judith Dickson recently spoke with Isabella Garrucho, a gallerist, about her career and the intersection of fine art and real estate.
REAM: What first drew you to fine art?
IG: I was raised by a father who was an art collector, always adding new pieces to his collection, so art became an important part of my life from a very young age. It has always been one of my main passions, along with medicine. I studied art history at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, and my love for art has only grown since then. It’s one of the few things that brings a common peace and understanding to humanity, going all the way back to the first cave paintings 40,000 years ago. Art is a central part of what it means to be human, and I’ve always known that it is what I want to devote my life to – I was raised with it, and I will die with it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
REAM: What compelled you to start your own business?
IG: In short, the challenge. My whole life I’ve loved to prove people wrong when they say I can’t do something, and to succeed when they challenge me. In this case, that challenge came from my husband. I was married to a wealthy man, but I never wanted to have everything handed to me on a silver platter; I wanted to live an exciting life where I had my own mission and achievements. One day, my husband challenged me to get a job – not in a rude way, but as a genuine push to help me achieve what I wanted in life. The only thing I wanted to devote my life and career to was art, so that’s exactly what I did.
Forty years later, I’m glad I made that decision. I proved to myself and those around me that I could achieve my dreams, and I get to do what I love every day. I like to say that I’ll die with a phone in my hand, making a deal. And it’s true, I don’t see myself ever retiring. Every day I get to enjoy the life that I built for myself over decades of hard work.
REAM: How do you think marketing of this type of fine art assists real estate agents?
IG: The addition of fine art to a home can add a lot of value, especially to the discerning eye of higher-end clients to whom every detail matters. When you have a beautiful sculpture tying together a room, or a large, engaging photograph or painting, you can bring a whole new degree of life to the layout.
It’s easy to gloss over the details of decoration and pick any piece that will fill a wall, or match up with the general color scheme, but when you include a beautiful work with a life of its own by a highly skilled artist, it creates an effect that very few other things can achieve.
when you include a beautiful work with a life of its own by a highly skilled artist, it creates an effect that very few other things can achieve.
REAM: What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day work?
IG: I love improving peoples’ lives with art. I build up a relationship with my clients – because a gallery should be much more than just a place where you buy art. When people come to me, I really take the time to get to know them as a person. I find out their passions, what they want, and try to discover their true feelings through art. I don’t try to understand what they want to buy, but why they want to buy. Once you figure all that out, you can truly enhance their life by procuring for them something that they love, that really adds sincere joy to their lives. It’s not about finding something that simply fills an open wall. When I know that I’ve truly added value to a client’s life through my hard work, and I’ve shared my deep love and appreciation of art with someone else, I’m reminded of exactly why I went into this business. It truly is a great feeling, and one that I never want to give up.
REAM: What is your vision for your company?
IG: My vision is that it keeps going strong, I’ve already made my gallery into what I want it to be with lots of hard work. I’ve built up my reputation over 40 years with over 400 corporate clients, many of whom still call me today when they need something. I’m happy to have the trust and reputation I do, and I’ll keep channeling that into my gallery to help bring the beauty of art into as many lives as possible.
REAM: Are there any changes coming in the near future that you’re excited to announce?
IG: Yes! We have some amazing developments coming up, things we’ve been working on for quite a while that we’re very excited to roll out. I’ll save the announcements for when things are finalized, but I’m very excited for what the future holds!