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Vincent Vallarino is the real McCoy: an artist without ego, an intellectual, and a collector in whom the spirit of altruism runs deep. He is also a professional who successfully juggles a photography career with running an art gallery and a foundation (his gifts of nearly 600 photographs to the Currier Gallery in Manchester, New Hampshire, and of 150 fashion images to the International Center of Photography in New York, form the backbone of each collection).

Vallarino has been taking photographs for over thirty-five years. He began in his home state of New Hampshire, and in 1971 moved to Boston, where he studied with the highly influential, inscrutable, and deeply spiritual Minor White. Both aesthetically and emotionally formative, this period was a rite of passage for Vallarino. "He would always tell me," recalls Vallarino, "'It's not what it is but what else it is.' He taught me to trust my intuition." This advice led to the exploration of arresting natural landscapes and an honesty of inner perspective captured through the lens of Vallarino's 8 x 10 mahogany Deardorff camera.

A fascination with images is also expressed in Vallarino’s Greenwich Gallery, which he owns with business partner Abby Taylor. The polished wood floors and spectacularly high ceilings are the perfect display space for the Calders, Cropseys, and Guillaumins they sell. Since 1988, the two have specialized in nineteenth-and early-twentieth-century American and European paintings from the Hudson River school, the French salons and Barbizon school, and impressionists and post-impressionist artists, to name a few, as well as related sculpture and fine photographs. Vallarino, who shares the responsibility for buying, selling, restoring, and framing the art, says that he and Taylor simply "buy what we like," with an emphasis on maintaining a diverse inventory.

Vallarino's love of discovering the work of recorded and unknown artists manifests itself on the walls of The Greenwich Gallery where there is something for everyone in all price ranges.

The Greenwich Gallery, 2 Greenwich Ave., Greenwich, Conn. 06830. 203.622.4494; www.greenwichgallery.com.

-- Lara Gavigan

-- Photography by Vanessa Viviane Vallarino

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