Joseph Akel on the New York Times

11 Feb, 2015

Joseph Akel on the New York Times

"As San Francisco Booms, So Does its Gallery Scene" by Joseph Akel has been published on the Art Matters section of the New York Times Style Magazine.


"San Francisco, as has been well documented, is undergoing seismic cultural shifts. The second technology boom has brought an influx of wealth, investors and start-up prospectors to the city, drawing parallels with the gold rush of 1849. Now, as members of the newly well-heeled tech elite look to invest their money, the city’s small but thriving gallery scene is finding itself the recipient of their attention.

'San Francisco feels like the center of the world,' says Sabrina Buell, formerly the director of New York’s Matthew Marks Gallery, who is now a partner in the art advisory firm Zlot Buell + Associates. Buell, a Stanford graduate, helps successful start-up founders – many of them her former college classmates – begin collecting. 'The tech community is in many ways defining culture,' she says.

On any given opening night at Jessica Silverman‘s namesake space in the city’s gritty Tenderloin neighborhood (488 Ellis St.), the crowd is likely to include luminaries of the industry such as the Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger or the Jawbone creator Yves Béhar (Buell’s partner), with whom Silverman collaborated on a curatorial project, 'Fused Space,' at his Potrero Hill design studio. 'The tech community includes a lot of philanthropic intellectuals that are open to visual experimentation,' Silverman says."

About the Author

Joseph Akel is a freelance writer and editor. His non-fiction writing has appeared in Frieze,The New York Times, Interview, The Paris Review, Artforum, Modern Painters, Art Review, V Magazine, and Man of the World, among others. Additionally, he has penned several artist monographs and is currently working on his first novel. Akel holds a Masters degree in Art History from Oxford University and is currently working on his second one from U.C. Berkeley's Rhetoric Department, with a Designated Emphasis in New Media Studies.