This week, Tilman Fertitta meets with Jed Malitz, the sculptor behind Jed Malitz V2 Gallery.
Jed Malitz V2 Gallery features glass sculptures and contemporary artwork, however, according to the episode description, the founder “lets his pride determine his high prices.” The gallery, which is located in New Orleans, displays the original artwork of more than 10 artists. In 2009, according to the founder’s website, “Malitz first dreamed of ethereal human forms made of floating ribbons. In 2011, Malitz ended his IT career and dedicated himself to creating these forms. He completed building the first glass sculptures in 2012.” He has since been creating large glass sculptures and ink on metal works and has been featured on numerous websites.
Fertitta is looking to furnish his new building lobby with conversation-starting pieces of artwork. Meeting Malitz, he calls the artwork “unique,” but is worried that he has only sold one sculpture in four years. He thinks the artwork is too expensive, which has a cost based on what one sale was. He can’t afford to create any new pieces until existing ones are sold and will more than likely be out of business in six months.
He challenges him to raise his profile with a gallery event by inviting writers and art critics. They all seem to agree that the $200,000 price tag is outrageous. There were no buyers so, after some encouragement from his wife and push from Fertitta, Malitz decides to develop new ideas, even if that doesn’t include lowering the cost. The ideas for his new pieces, which feature green glass, are immediately shot down by Fertitta because they would clash with everything in the hotel lobby. Fertitta likes the concept, however, and hopes to make it work in the end.
On Bid Day, Malitz proposes a bronze-colored piece of wall art for his hotel lobby, which Fertitta likes much better. Since they last met, however, he has not sold any other pieces of art. He has visited with curators, who told him that his prices were fair. Fertitta encourages him to listen to his wife’s suggestions and lower his prices. His ask is $205,000 for the piece of wall art, which Fertitta sharply declines. Fertitta counters at $100,000 but he feels as though the markdown would be “catastrophic” to his business. No deal is made.
According to CNBC, the reality television show “introduces promising companies across the country to one of America’s most successful businessmen: billionaire hospitality mogul Tilman Fertitta, Chairman, CEO, and sole shareholder of Landry’s, Inc.” Featured entrepreneurs present their small business to Fertitta in the hopes that he will place a large purchase order. But before they make their pitch, they must prove to the hospitality mogul that their product is worth it through challenges and customer feedback.
Social Media Reacts to Jed Malitz V2 Gallery’s Appearance on “Billion Dollar Buyer”
Look at these sculptures!!! #BillionDollarBuyer
— Carly (@prettyplusmore) December 7, 2016
While it's a great product, I just couldn't see myself buying that … how about some little ones? #BillionDollarBuyer
— Hanne (@HVNNX) December 7, 2016
OMG this art gallery and pieces are spectacular! #BillionDollarBuyer
— Tyrika Williams 3.0 (@perfectlypetty1) December 7, 2016
Cool sculptures. What an interesting process! Only ONE sale?!?! I think that means no demand… #BillionDollarBuyer
— Cristina321 Gaming (@Cristina321Game) December 7, 2016
Boy, creatives can be really challenging to work with at times. They really do value the art over the dollar. #BillionDollarBuyer
— Tretta Bush (@TrettaBush) December 7, 2016
Jed is blinded by the value he sees in his art, mark up 4 to 5x before success = bankruptcy. #BillionDollarBuyer
— Tammy Motola ❤️ (@tmotola) December 7, 2016
What were your thoughts on Jed Malitz’s attitude regarding his artwork? Do you think Fertitta’s offer should have been accepted? Sound off in the comments section below!