Since opening Mahlstedt Gallery in 2012, designer – artist Oshi Rabin has grown her business into a global art world powerhouse. Relying on her expert aesthetics, honed eye, and keen business sense, she curates luxury spaces for an elite clientele while also nurturing the budding careers of emerging talent. We sat down with Rabin to learn the secrets of her success.
Q: Describe what you do and what makes you unique.
I create luxury lifestyles through art and design. My approach is unique in that I am not just an interior designer and curator but also a conceptualizer and facilitator. Each interior I create begins by getting to know the inhabitants, how they live, and what they love. I am very picky about the projects I take on because each space is highly personalized to the client. Blending interior design and art curation, I conceptualize the look and feel, curating everything from the art down to the light fixtures. The space itself must be a piece of art—everything must work together harmoniously. Once the concept development is complete, I share my vision through hyper-realistic 3D rendering. This allows the client to feel the space virtually—it’s very powerful.
Q: That is fascinating. Describe a recent project you have completed and how you pulled it together.
A developer recently approached me to design the façade and lobby of a new live-work art space in Westchester, NY. It was a lovely space, but it needed an artistic expression. I added this by energizing the façade with just the right amount of color and texture. I played against light and dark elements to create drama. I also added rhythm by paneling the doors and windows to mimic the outside skin of the building. And, of course, lighting is crucial. The way the light warms the space as it hits the floor is my signature. The new lobby and façade feel like an art space now. They reflect the creativity of the artist that work and live in the building.
Q: You have a beautiful brick-and-mortar gallery in Westchester, NY. How have you distinguished your gallery from the heavy competition in Manhattan?
First off, I am a market maker and agent for over 70 artists, both emerging and world-renown talent. I do not focus on one genre or style. I cross disciplines and am highly selective. When people come to me, they know that the art we display is highly curated. In addition to this, Mahlstedt Gallery is over 10,000 square feet—much larger than most Manhattan galleries. This gives us the luxury to display very large artworks and showcase the variety of talent we offer. When you enter the gallery, you will find something you love.
You’ve also had great success in e-commerce. How is your online platform different than other art e-commerce sites?
Buyers have often told me how overwhelming they find other art e-commerce platforms. There is just too much on them! Our platform is highly curated—you do not need to wade through thousands of images to find something amazing. The artists on our website are in the top tier in their respective genres. In addition, we develop a personal connection with our buyers and make sure they feel supported. We answer questions, recommend artists, and hold their hands as much or as little as they want. This makes it much easier for them to find what they love.
Give me an example—what is the rarest piece you have for sale right now?
Right now, we have two unique pieces by renowned Japanese artist E’wao Kagoshima—The Phoenix, a large-scale painting, and Frogman. Both pieces were exhibited at the New Museum in 1983. These pieces are museum-quality—highly sought after. Moreover, they are from an extensive and important private collection. we are very excited to offer them!
Do you have any advice for budding art collectors?
Buy what you love! Seriously, there is no Bible—art is art. Do not listen to what others like—if it speaks to you, buy it.
Mahlstedt Gallery Want to see what else Oshi is up to these days?
Follow her on Social Media @Oshi_rabin