Downtown uncovered Alexandra Rosa’s interview with gallery owner Alexander Salazar
by Alexandra Rosa
Published - 04/13/11 - 02:26 PM | 12098 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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If art could talk, it would say the name Alexander Salazar. If you live or work downtown you must have read or heard something about this Renaissance man who is the proprietor of Alexander Salazar Fine Art. If you haven’t, then you should know that he turned the San Diego art world upside down and gave it good spin like a whirling dervish, just for fun!

His pedigree is a varied bloodline starting with Harvard University where he holds a master's degree in theology and art as well as a master’s degree in sociology and art from Boston College. This over-achiever lived in Europe where he honed his art and negotiating skills before returning to the states.

How well do I know this over-achiever? Well, Alex and I go way back, about 10 years in fact. I remember first meeting him at an art show in La Jolla where he managed a gallery. I used to hang out at his exhibitions where we would swap fashion stories, gossip and sip champagne while he managed the store and sold art. I had always hoped he would one day have his own gallery where he would be able to change art work in the windows weekly and mix it up often. Now he has three downtown art spaces.

With more than 13 years experience as an art dealer around the country, Salazar continues to build museum-quality collections worldwide. I recently sat down with him at his office/gallery and uncovered a side to him rarely seen. It was like stepping into an abandoned warehouse and discovering a beautiful painting underneath a cloak of dust and cobwebs. A real gem and a true find.

Alexandra Rosa: If you had one tip for an artist what would it be?

Alexander Salazar: Get off Facebook and paint! You create it, let your art defend itself, just paint.

AR: What do you think is the most misunderstood about art?

AS: That you should buy it for an investment.

AR: If heaven exists what would you like to hear when you arrive at the pearly gates?

AS: What are ya doing here!

AR: [Big laugh] So I take it you’re not expecting to go to heaven?

AS: I have degree in theology from Harvard so I will definitely get into heaven. What would God say to me? Good job.

AR: What is your first memory of looking at a piece of art?

AS: When I was in eighth grade, my teacher, Miss Ryan, in middle school brought in a bar of Ivory soap that was carved into a swan.

AR: Bottle blond or natural?

AS: It’s not natural.

AR: When did you know that art was your passion?

AS: It was in 1995 when I first sold my first piece of art at a Boston gallery for $600 and I screwed up all the paperwork, but they were happy. I also used to sell my own art at coffee shops and have my own exhibits.

AR: Why did you choose downtown San Diego as the location for your gallery?

AS: Downtown San Diego felt closest to home for me. I grew up in a tough neighborhood in Houston, Texas, in the city, urban living, in a normal household with seven kids. I feel most at home in downtown and I live a block away from my gallery. I love that. It’s my block and I wanted to invest in my neighborhood, change it, make it better and I’m gonna do it!

AR: P.S. Alex you already have.

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