Antiques Dealer Vito Giallo, Who Worked for Andy Warhol, Unearths His Gems

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Antiques Dealer Vito Giallo, Who Worked for Andy Warhol, Unearths His Gems

While Mr. Warhol sketched in front of the television with a pad on his knee, Mr. Giallo used a lightbox to make dotted line drawings. Mr. Warhol’s mother did the lettering and prepared the lunch of sandwiches and Campbell’s tomato soup.

At night they went out. “I didn’t mind the wild parties,” said Mr. Giallo. “But Andy did it. Everyone wanted to meet him. But when they met him, they were very disappointed because he didn’t want to say anything. He hardly spoke.” Mr. Giallo favored jazz and quartet shows — Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Miles Davis — which cost a few dollars a ticket. It was easy to sneak in, too, although Mr. Giallo swears he never tried.

In the ’50s, he said, people could have the best meal of their lives for $1.85 — which is about $22 today — and go to Lord & Taylor and ask for a reference for “one type of lighting” just to go with Alexander has been linked to being Calder’s best friend. “It was a lot more fun,” said Mr. Giallo. “You could sleep in Central Park without worrying about being in danger. A lot of people did that on very hot days.”

Mr. Giallo stopped working for Mr. Warhol in 1957 after the two fell out. (Mr. Gluck, his successor, became Mr. Warhol’s foremost assistant.) In 1961, Mr. Giallo opened his first antique shop on Third Avenue, where he attracted a clientele of Abstract Expressionist painters such as Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, and Lee Krasner. “When they bought something, I would take it to Rothko’s flat, which was just around the corner,” Mr Giallo said.

Mary Gabriel, an art historian, noted that these artists often welcomed strangers into their workspaces. “If you wanted to see an artist’s work, you would go into their studio and talk to them,” she said, adding today, “It pains me to think of people looking at a 10-foot painting on the internet look at .”