Fay Gold pioneered contemporary art collecting in Atlanta. As founder and director of Fay Gold Gallery, she staged groundbreaking exhibitions of work by such artists as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Mapplethorpe and Robert Rauschenberg. Gold works as a private art consultant, presents pop-up shows and is working on her memoir. (Photo by Ames Fisher)
In 1966, my husband, Donald, relocated his lingerie factory to Cartersville. I moved to Atlanta from New York with my three young children. At the time I was a serious artist and had a studio built onto the back of my new Buckhead home. For the next 15 years, I taught drawing and oil painting to 60 students a week in that backyard studio. I continued to paint, not knowing if I had any real talent. This lack of knowledge led me deeper into self-doubt and anger. Painting had become an important part of my life. The gift of color. The moments of silence. It soothed my lonely heart. I faced my fear of failure and explored new paths as I searched to find my own vision. A walk into the invisible garden. A spiritual connection, a freedom, a dance with life.
Yet destiny played a trump card I could have never imagined. Two alter egos emerged . . . the artist and the art dealer. I opened my gallery in 1980, and it gave me a life where I would never feel alone. A metamorphosis, not of good and evil, but of forging a new cultural direction for the South. Dr. Jekyll, the artist–teacher, versus Mr. Hyde, the gallerist–art dealer.
During the last 12 months of the pandemic, I have continued to work on writing my memoir, Basquiat’s Cat. This challenging process has made me feel younger, lighter and happier as I unburden my respectability and inner lusts. The genius of all the mistakes I have made. A reminder to have faith in myself whether or not the world accepts me. How I became someone with the power to fly over trees. A constant dream I had as a child. A silent state to receive what life has to offer me. I did not choose the artist world with the touch and feel of nature. I chose the art dealer’s life where I am never alone.