George “Theo” Theodorakos of L&G Projects is paving the way for other boutique art galleries in La Jolla.
Having opened last December, L&G Projects joined the rich mix of a dozen or more art galleries in the Village that includes Africa & Beyond, Alcala Gallery + Bauer’s Rare Books, The Artful Soul, Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery, Cosmopolitan Fine Arts, Joseph Bellows Gallery, K Nathan Gallery, La Jolla Art Association, The La Jolla Gallery, Madison Gallery, Mangelsen Images of Nature Gallery, Martin Lawrence Galleries, Thumbprint Gallery, Tasende Gallery, and Siamak Art Gallery.
Theo has more than 10 years of experience in the art industry and has traveled the world, most notably France, Greece, and Italy. He realized it was possible, and essential, to create a gallery that not only showcases talented unknown artists but also curates the most personal experience possible for clients.
Admitting COVID’s outbreak in March forced him to “pump the brakes” a bit on his operations, Theo said it also painted a path forward for him.
“Art galleries were stronger back in the day, and some of the heavy players that used to be anchors have left, but it has allowed some of the smaller operators to come back in and exhibit their works,” he said adding, “My artists, in my program, are international from Tel Aviv, Australia, Poland, Greece, and the United States.”
Of his gallery’s character, Theo said, “It’s modern contemporary. My artists display figurative, abstract art. I also have wooden sculpture and calligraphy art.”
Theo noted his art gallery at 1111-1113 Wall St. is small compared to some others.
“It’s about 500 square feet, a boutique,” he said while adding, “But if more gallerists feel confident opening up these smaller spaces in La Jolla, then we would have a really great gallery presence: It would become a melting pot. There are more little galleries like mine popping up featuring other artists. That allows more flexibility to the galleries, and La Jolla, in general.”
Though small in stature, L&G Projects makes up for it by having vaulted ceilings and lots of wall space. “I’ve utilized the space really well,” Theo noted.
L&G Projects assists first-time to long-term collectors in building both private and corporate collections. It is a full-service firm that can research and acquire artists from all sources for collectors.
Theodorakos was born in Pensacola, Fla., in a family rich with Greek heritage and culture. Theo became interested in black-and-white photography at a young age. Afterward, he had immense and varied exposure to the arts in a myriad of forms. He grew up in San Diego, but La Jolla is where he cut his teeth in the industry first working in an art gallery there about 10 years ago.
“I got exposed to everything from curating, to selling, shipping, and installations, while meeting artists and going to art fairs all over the world,” he said. “I traveled through New York seeing little boutique dealers in SOHO and Chelsea that were the size of my Wall Street gallery.”
Theo is a one-person show.
“I do it all,” he said. “I take the artwork to people’s houses, do home shows, free consultations.”
His attitude about art collecting is also unique.
“Some gallery owners come at it strictly as a business,” he said. “I do it for the art. I’m more of an artist than a gallerist. I’m a salesperson. But the art should sell itself.”
Off the beaten path in more ways than one, Theo noted when people visit his gallery they’re “seeing something different than what you normally see on Prospect. I’m not following with the neighbors, or what the next gallery over, is doing. I’m pulling in artists exclusively, where I’m their only representation in the United States.”
Theodorakos also views the relationship between him and the artists he exhibits differently.
“There is a partnership there,” he said. “My personality is very supportive. They create, And then my job is to sell it. They believe their art can sell. I opened my gallery believing their art will sell in my space.”
What does Theo like best about owning an art gallery?
“I love interacting with the collectors,” he concluded. “At the end of it all, they become my friends.”
Where: 1111-1113 Wall St.