By: Limor Ben Ari Contributing Writer
After 11 years on Atlantic Ave., Blue Gallery’s second location opened up last month, a few doors down from the first location, still in place. Why? Because one gallery is not enough to showcase all the beautiful art.
Originally from Israel, Rami Rotkopf is soft spoken, easy going, with a warm personality. Being more of a listener than a talker, it was hard to get to him and extract a story out of him, but I was persistent.
Blue Gallery’s first location on Sixth Ave. and Atlantic Ave. has been triggered my curiosity every time I pass by it. The ever-changing art featuring unique, exclusive Israeli artists from all over the world caught my eye, and my heart (especially as an Israeli.)
Mixing sophisticated flare with contemporary art, Blue Gallery features original collections of internationally-acclaimed artists painting landscapes, abstracts, semi-realistic, realistic and figurative imagery.
Founder/owner, Rami Rotkopf, grew up in the family art business in Tel Aviv, Israel. Extremely familiar and immersed with the kind of adrenaline buzz that is so typical of the atmosphere present in the art industry, Rotkopf adeptly infuses this energy into his Blue Gallery. He reflects a lifetime of gallery experience and exposure to art and is committed to discovering and exposing the work of extremely talented artists. He combines his knowledge and vision, with his passion for the arts, and represents some of the most well-defined and celebrated contemporary artists of today.
Rami launched his art business 28 years ago, following his family’s path who also own a gallery in Israel.
“I got into art when I was 15 years old,” he said.
He started as a wholesaler representing artists and selling to galleries across the USA and over the years expanded with his own retail art galleries. He opened an impressive 16,000-square-foot art showroom for designers and collectors in Coral Springs five years ago. The showroom/warehouse/office facility has exclusive collections of over 20 artists, as well as an in-house custom framing facility and an art studio currently used by one of their featured artists, David Schluss.
Working with over 300 galleries all over the world, Smart Publishing provides unique art pieces that in most cases are offered exclusively to them. Rami opened Blue Gallery in Delray Beach 11 years ago, and opened a second location for Blue Gallery in Las Olas eight years ago. The third location, is the newly opened second gallery on Atlantic Ave.
Rami loves Delray for its atmosphere, the people, the location – close to the beach, and the growth of the town: “In the past five years there has been a huge jump in traffic on the Ave. a lot more tourism, new people. It’s great.”
Rami picks his art while traveling the world to see artists, studios and shows. He chooses one artist every year to be featured in the gallery. He buys the collection directly from him/her and the artist works exclusively with Smart Publishing and Blue Gallery. “I choose pieces that move me. Art that has something different and interesting to offer. I try to feature all genres. It’s all mostly Israeli artists.”
2008 was a rough year for all, but especially for the art business. I asked him how he survived that time while remaining on the Ave, “I had to cut my expenses across the board and the fact that I sell to collectors abroad helped me through that time period.”
Joining him on his journey is his wife, Karyn Fink Rotkopf, who he met 20 years ago in the business. She was managing galleries and art and helped him manage some of his art collections. Together they now head Smart Publishing’s warehouse and art distribution as well as the Blue Gallery locations. They have two dogs named Zoey and Lola. Rami’s son from his first marriage, 17, resides in Israel and comes to visit him frequently. He will soon be recruited to the Israeli army.
Blue Gallery in Delray is expanded into an additional location right next door to the current location. The new location offers a larger space, 5,000 square feet, with added wall space for more art. The space opened last month, and will features more pieces by the world-renowned artists the Gallery has been supporting, as well hosting events, artists meet-ups, and new exhibitions.
The art varies and includes original paintings, sculptures, serigraphs and etchings; and demonstrates unusual textures, colors and dimensions.
Featured artists include: David Schluss, Isaac Maimon, Isaac Kahn, Alex Pauker, Avi ben Simon, Lenner Gogli, Yuval Orly, Sveta Esser, Iris Eshet Cohen, Calman Shemi, Natalie Rozenbaum, Neil Loeb, Zsuzsanna Luciano, Harry Guttman, Marcus Botbol, Lior Ron, Stacy O’nell, Joel Amit, Amir Genislaw, Will Grant, Olando Quevedo, Rina Maimon, Ali Golkar, Brett Lethbridge and Nathan Elkanovich.
Visit: www.bluefineart.com to see the art or learn more about the artists. Stop by the gallery 600 E. Atlantic Avenue or 616 E. Atlantic Avenue. Or call to schedule a walk-through in the warehouse: 561-265-0020