We peeked into Bertrand’s massive Brooklyn loft with big, stupid grins plastered onto our faces. Why? Because the 16,000 square foot, mixed use building was filled with enough cool toys and hip furnishings to make any grown man blush. There is a hang glider suspended from the ceiling, vintage French mopeds displayed in the foyer, a beautiful wood-carved pool table and humidor and a bunch of over sized modern paintings hanging from the wall. Perhaps coolest of all, there is a 1:1 Porsche to Pug ratio – seriously, there are 3 of each strewn about this amazing bachelor pad. For the record, Bertrand does have a girlfriend and we’re guessing this glorious man palace didn’t hurt in cementing the relationship.
You seem to have very eclectic taste in art. Tell us about your galleries and some of the featured art
I love art, all Art… I love the way it makes me feel. Most of my artists are from Europe though I also represent a couple American artists. It really doesn’t matter to me who makes it and where the art comes from. I show original paintings, prints and sculptures. Some landscapes, some figurative and some semi abstract works. I used to collect, trade and sell vintage posters. I have more than a thousand. Over the years I got tired of them and my interest shifted towards modern and more contemporary art. So I rolled them up and put them away. Like good wine their value appreciates with time and one day I will enjoy them again I’m sure.
We dig your Porsches. Tell us about them
I will hold onto these 3 cars forever – the last thing I will ever do is sell. I love them. I’ve had that one (white 930 Turbo) since the early 90s. That one I got in 2000 (1970 911T – Tangerine). I was at Potamkin shopping for a car for my girlfriend and they had this car hidden away on the second floor covered in dust. I inquired about it because I loved the color and ended up buying it for $10 or $11k dollars. I had it completely redone.
All of the beautiful art work hanging on the wall was actually printed inside the building. Bertrand owns and operates a print shop on the top floor that specializes in silk screening. He tells us it is one of the last print shops in NYC that does silk screens. Each color is printed one at a time, sometimes utilizing up to 60 or 70 different colors at a time.
Bertrand’s 1970 911T (tangerine) and 1987 Porsche 930 Turbo (white)
So you’re into hang gliding – what’s that like?
Hang gliding is better than sex (kidding). It’s my hobby and I do it as often as I can, mostly in warm climates like Florida, Mexico and California. My longest flight is 6.5 hours…you eventually get tired and really dehydrated and have to come in. The glider will take you 20-60 mph depending on tail and head winds. The record length flight is over 10 hours and 400 miles. It’s nice to just get lost.
What do you love about Porsches?
I just love the way they drive, the way they feel. I grew up in Germany so whenever we were on the autobahn, Porsches would be flying up our asses and flashing their lights as my dad would curse at them. You would see some asshole take off and I thought to myself…I want to be that asshole. I always loved speed and I got into a Porsche when I was a kid for the first time. I promised myself a Porsche by age 30 and managed to pick my first one up when I was 28. I have had many of them over the years.
Tell us about your printing business
My business was originally in publishing. I used commercial printers to publish limited edition prints that I would sell to galleries at wholesale all over the world. I had some empty floor space and was tired of hearing all the bullshit excuses from the printer so I bought the print shop. Then the business changed and the wholesale pretty much died. So instead of doing very high numbered commercial editions, we cater more to artists that do smaller editions – 100 pieces or so.
What’s up with those old bicycle-looking things?
They are vintage French mopeds, called Solex, and are an easy and convenient way to get around. They were all over Paris in the 60s and 70s and are a lot of fun to drive. They get about 100 mpg. Of course they are completely illegal here because they fall between the category of bicycle and motorcycle You pedal like a normal bike and, once you get going, you drop the little engine on the front wheel. You can go like 25 mph.
How do you decide what to feature inside your gallery?
If it’s not in my house, it’s not in my gallery.