Entertainment Superpower Mottola Opens Gallery In East Hampton

Tommy Mottola has had quite the career. He once headed Sony Music Entertainment, acted as talent manager to some of the industry’s biggest names, and now owns Casablanca Records. His latest foray, though, is right around the block for Hamptonites.

Mottola has opened an art gallery on Main Street in East Hampton in place of a Hermès boutique. Gallery Valentine debuted Saturday, with pieces ranging from $5,000 to $3.5 million. Willem de Kooning, Alex Katz, Fernand Léger, Robert Rauschenberg and Sam Francis were among artists showcased at Valentine‘s opening evening. Some of the items were also personal possessions of Mottola, a media mogul of three decades who has worked with names like John Mellencamp, Diana Ross, Carly Simon, Mariah Carey 9to whom he was married for five years in the 1990s), Jessica Simpson, and Jennifer Lopez. [expand]

The project is the product of a partnership with Ryan Ross, a friend of Mottola‘s who runs Arcature Fine Art, a swanky gallery in Palm Beach, Florida that specializes in ipnressionist, modern, contemporary, and post-modern artists. He boasts work by Henri Mattise, Jackson Pollock, and Pablo Picasso at his Worth Avenue exhibit. The idea came about when Ross and Mottola were spending some time together recently in Palm Beach.

Mottola told The Wall Street Journal that his familiarity with music will benefit the gallery’s operation. “The music business, as far as the sale of physical music, is at the end,” he said. “People’s appetite for music, however, is probably more insatiable than ever before, but they just don’t want to pay for it.” The art business, “will never be at the end. That’s the beauty of this,” he continued, “you can’t download this.” He also said that his career in music is far from over.

Alexandra Fairweather, the stepdaughter of sculptor John Chamberlain (also a friend of Mottola‘s), will act as gallery director, and several pieces by the Shelter Island-based artist will be displayed for sale at Valentine.

The gallery should be an East End art cornerstone, but Mottola and Ross expect it to grow quickly, and indicated that branching intoManhattan and Miami are possibilities for the future. [/expand]

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