Bella Haykoff, founder of Haykoff Gallery, is an accomplished art dealer, collector and business consultant based in Beverly Hills, California. Known as one of the most astute dealers of modern paintings both globally, and on the West Coast where she is based. Bella has sold various international artists from around the world such as Robert Rauschenberg, Ivan Aivazovsky, Ivan Shishkin, Martiros Saryan, Minas Avetisyan and Konstantin Korovin, to name a few. Bella impressively holds both a Presidents’ and Key Executive Masters degree in Business Administration and PKE MBA, from Pepperdine University. A successful, multifaceted female entrepreneur of Armenian descent, her portfolio includes Haykoff Gallery, a private, appointment only art gallery showcasing exclusive collections throughout the world, currently conducting virtual showings. www.haykoffgallery.com | @haykoffgaller
How did you get immersed in the artworld and what made you fall in love with it?
Art has been a part of my life since birth. My family has always collected art for as long as I can remember in Armenia. I grew up in a home where art was always hanging from walls such as Gevorg Bashinjaghian, Minas Avetisyan, Martiros Saryan, Ivan Shishkin, Konstantin Korovin, Ivan Aivazovsky, Robert Rauschenberg and sculptures such as Salvador Dali. Moreover, I have extended family members who are painters, artists, poets and writers including my mother, who’s a writer. Art has always been embedded in me. Fast forward from childhood, I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. I embarked on my new journey to the US in 2000 where I started growing a small family business into a large operating manufacturing.
Tell us about the 100 million dollar collection, essentially your 100 million dollar idea!
Well, I began working on various business projects until I reconnected with artist Martiros Manoukian, who I have known since childhood. Martiros needed financial help and was preparing to exit the industry to go back to live in Armenia. When I first walked into his studio, I saw artwork I had never seen before, which blew me away. Pieces he never had showcased. It was a secret collection he had been working on for decades. To me, this was the 21st century’s most mesmerizing art work in existence. I then made it my mission to showcase these paintings to the world. This collection deserved to be seen and I did not want them to be locked away forever. I knew I was not ready to leave the industry, and hence a new path of mine was embarked on.
What made you want to open your own Gallery?
That is a very easy question. I wanted to have a gallery where I could have the paintings displayed in a perfect setting, where one would be able to have enough space and peace, with no distractions and most importantly, with no time limitation to be able gaze into the artists’ masterpieces. I wanted to create an environment specifically fit to the impressive art collection, hence my private estate gallery was born. We are currently shifting our gallery space in Los Angeles reflective of the pandemic, and conducting virtual showings as well as private showings at homes upon request. Once things begin to shift back, we plan to debut our new gallery space.
What artist in your gallery is the most popular?
Currently we are showcasing The Constellation Collection by Martiros Manoukian which consists of twenty-one mesmerizing massive masterpieces. He is our most popular artist that is very unique in style and genre at the moment. He attracts art collectors from all over the world. However, in addition, recently we have been privately showcasing some famous artists’ works such as Andy Warhol and Pollock, to name a couple.
In addition to all the amazing artists you already showcase at your gallery, can you highlight a few additional names you would like to see in Haykoff Gallery?
As a museum quality gallery, the list is endless! I would love to display works of incredible artists such as Monet, Joan Miro, Gustav Klimt and Basquiat to name a few.
What makes for a great artist?
What makes a great artist is their undeniable love of constantly creating, immense passion and honesty in their artwork. That to me is what makes for a great artist!
Do you have sound advice you would give a person interested in entering the art space?
People always tell me ‘I do not understand much about art.’ My response always is that you do not need to understand art, you need to know how to love the art. Collecting art, creating art, representing art or wanting art can only be done by the love for art. To understand art or to start understanding art, one must start paying attention to their feelings. I ask the viewer standing in front of the art, ‘…how does this art make you feel? Once you hold this feeling deep in your heart and mind, you now understand this art.’
As a successful female in this space, tell us about being a woman in this business?
I feel so grateful to be able to do what I love and have established myself in this industry. I worked really hard to get to where I am, and I take pride in this. As a female entrepreneur, especially in the art space, there were definitely challenges and lessons, but I am proud of our current collection, our dealings, and our clientele. I hope to inspire females to follow their dreams, and pursue a career in the art world, or any world they wish to embark on. If you truly follow your passion to create a business around what you love and what inspires you, you will never “work” a day in your life.
How can Lapalme Magazine readers view the collection, follow your work and stay up-to-date on new happenings at Haykoff Gallery?
We are available by email and phone, to answer questions, arrange virtual showings, or socially distanced in-person white glove service showings. We can bring the art to you, location dependent of course. Our goal is to continue to provide collectors with an incredible, one-of-a-kind art viewing experience. Art is an investment that feeds the mind and soul, and the experience should do just that.
Photo Credit: Jasmine Shademan