Ralph Gardner can’t resist playing the art naif when he rolls through the Armory Show fair with a young art adviser named, Heather Flow:
Ms. Flow, 29 years old, said she has about 10 clients at any one time. She takes a 10% commission on a sale, but prefers to work on a monthly retainer based on the collector’s purchasing budget—the retainer subtracted from the commission when the client buys a work of art that she’s recommended.
Ms. Flow grew up in North Carolina and got started in the business after she graduated from the University of Virginia. She started to take trustees of various arts organizations she worked for, such as the American Federation of Arts, on tours of Chelsea galleries. “I didn’t think it was a real job,” she explained, “until a friend sat me down and said, ‘It’s a real job. You should get paid for it.'”
She specializes in artists of her own generation. The optimistic idea is that over time the artists, Ms. Flow, her clients, and perhaps most of all the economy will grow and prosper. She’s been at it four years, managing to make it through the recession with her client base intact. “It takes a lot of work,” she said. “I’m out looking at galleries at least four times a week.”
A Tour Guide for Artistically Apprehensive (Wall Street Journal)