Andy, meanwhile, is working to revive the career of Eighties graffiti star Richard Hambleton. Last fall, with Restoin Roitfeld, he secured underwriting from Giorgio Armani for a large-scale show of Hambleton’s work that opened in New York and traveled to Milan and Moscow.
“It’s thrilling for me to see this work embraced by a younger generation,” says MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, who has long championed Eighties graffiti artists and is organizing a major street culture show at the museum next year. “The Valmorbidas have a lot of flair. They believe in these artists.”
The siblings are nothing if not ambitious; they cite Gagosian’s start as a poster salesman as proof that large ventures spring from modest beginnings. “People want to do more than just look at art,” Andy says. “It’s the whole experience. It’s like flying on an airline—sure, you can get from A to B. But if you can do it comfortably and with good entertainment, it’s a better experience. We’re offering a lifestyle product.”