Bella Haykoff 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 on the West Coast, she 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 holds both a Presidents’ and Key Executive Masters degree in Business Administration and PKE MBA, from Pepperdine University. A successful, multifaceted entrepreneur, her portfolio includes the Haykoff Gallery, a private, appointment only art gallery showcasing exclusive collections throughout the world.
In 2015, Haykoff reconnected with the world-renowned artist Martiros Manoukian. Immediately recognizing his genius, she purchased the artist’s entire inventory of original Martiros paintings and other Martiros artworks worth an estimated $100 million. In 2018, she purchased the copyright for all artworks and intellectual property created by Martiros, making her the sole representative of his originals.
Bella’s Artworld Inspiration
“Art to me is the highest form of aesthetic pleasure. Art is a form of communication that cannot be said in words. Art is the highest form of one’s expression and imagination. Particularly, the inspiration in ‘The Constellation Collection’ is the harmony in colours (how do all these intense colours live together in such harmony?). The hues of colours used are out of standard, the mixed media combinations (how does oil live with watercolour in such a perfect painting?), technique and colour mastery that CANNOT be copied. In today’s digital and advanced world, almost everything can be copied, however, ‘The Constellation Collection’ will be impossible to copy.”
When were you first introduced to the art world?
I grew up in a home full of art. 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 small family business into large operating manufacturing. 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 retire 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 artwork 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.
When did you decide that you wanted to open your own Gallery?
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 to gaze into the artists’ masterpieces. I wanted to create an environment specifically fit the impressive art collection, hence my private estate gallery was born.
What does a typical day look like for you?
After every early morning coffee, I wake up daily to news and updates from my international colleagues. As it is always daytime on the other side of the world (Europe) while it is night here (in Los Angeles), I put my phone on sleep mode knowing that there will always be messages, voicemails and emails waiting for me to get back to first thing in the morning. The rest of the day usually follows by being at the gallery, always surrounded by aesthetic pleasure, and greeting art lovers in the gallery. Never a dull moment on my daily schedule.
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.
Is there a particular artist that you don’t currently have in your gallery and want?
Yes. The list is endless… as a museum-quality gallery, I’d love to showcase works of incredible artists such as Monet, Joan Miro, Gustav Klimt and Basquiat to name a few.
What makes for a great artist?
The unconditional love of constant creation, impeccable passion and pure honesty in their art are what makes for a great artist.
What is the best advice you can give someone 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 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.’
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