A Harvard alumnus, art critic, historian, collector and respected art dealer in La Jolla and Boston for many years, Alexander Salazar opened three locations in 2010 in downtown San Diego designating some 7,000 square feet to art. The corner of 7th and Broadway, was transformed into a 2,000-square foot-high fine art salon featuring the works of national and international mid-career and emerging artists, and just two doors down at 635 Broadway, Salazar offers an artist-in-residency studio each month to an emerging San Diego artist. Head north to 1040 7th Ave. to see the 5,000-square-foot open gallery space featuring modern and contemporary art.
Salazar holds a master’s degree in theology and art from Harvard University and he earned a second master’s in sociology and art from Boston College. While an undergraduate at Colorado College, he lived in London where he studied modern and contemporary art before moving to Florence, Italy to do research on the masters, such as Bernini and Botticelli.
With more than 13 years experience as an art dealer around the country, Salazar continues to build museum-quality private, corporate, and celebrity collections worldwide. A collector himself, he said he understands that art is a reflection of oneself and his only requirement for acquiring a work from his gallery is that "you love it!"
What brought you to La Jolla?
I moved to La Jolla in 2001 from Boston after completing my graduate degree at Harvard University. I was relocated by a Miami art dealer to establish dealings in California, mainly La Jolla. When I first drove onto Prospect, I fell in love.
What makes this area special to you?
La Jolla holds a special place in my heart because it launched my career as a reputable art dealer. The diversity of the residents in La Jolla allowed me the opportunity to work with collectors from all over the world. It was also always exciting to see the seasonal visitors come back each summer. I have seen businesses open and close in La Jolla, but nevertheless, La Jolla maintains itself as the Jewel of Southern California in its entire splendor!
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you improve in the area?
I would fill every empty storefront with a fabulous business!
Who or what inspires you?
Art and philanthropy inspire me and take most of my time. I hove found that the more I give, the more I am blessed. That in itself is a beautiful thing.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
My Mother - Because she has been my angel in heaven and on Earth.
Picasso - Because he was the best artist that ever lived.
Rembrandt - So he can confront Picasso about the caricature portraits he did of him over the years.
Mother Teresa - So Picasso has the opportunity to paint a portrait of her — and then I could offer it at auction for charity.
Princess Di - She would more than likely be Mother Teresa's Plus 1
Elvis Presley - I smile at the thought!
Marilyn Monroe - For the sizzle!
James Marcus - The love of my life
Tell us about what you are reading.
"My Name is Charles Saatchi and I am an Artoholic" by Charles Saatchi.
What is your most-prized possession?
My two mini-schnauzers — Nechita and Mick!
What do you do for fun?
I love to eat and travel. A visit to the regional spas is a must once a month!
Please describe your greatest accomplishment.
My greatest accomplishment was opening Alexander Salazar Fine Art in Downtown San Diego at Broadway and 7th. Being able to expand to three locations in only 10 months was the next greatest accomplishment that came sooner than I could have dreamed. I thank all the individuals throughout my life who taught me the skills required to reach my goals.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?
The more you give, the more you get back!