TV’s ‘Gallery Girls’ Fuels Critics in Cast, Blogosphere

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Photographer: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo via Bloomberg

Amy Poliakoff, Angela Pham, Maggie Schaffer, Liz Margulies, Kerri Lisa, Claudia Martinez and Chantal Chadwick in the Bravo series premier of "Gallery Girls." The show follows seven ambitious 20-somethings looking to break into the art world.

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Photographer: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo via Bloomberg

Amy Poliakoff, Angela Pham, Maggie Schaffer, Liz Margulies, Kerri Lisa, Claudia Martinez and Chantal Chadwick in the Bravo series premier of "Gallery Girls." The show follows seven ambitious 20-somethings looking to break into the art world. Close

Amy Poliakoff, Angela Pham, Maggie Schaffer, Liz Margulies, Kerri Lisa, Claudia Martinez and Chantal Chadwick in the... Read More

Photographer: Katya Kazakina/Bloomberg

Art dealer Eli Klein and Wendy Teramoto, managing director at billionaire Wilbur Ross's WL Ross & Co., at a "Gallery Girls" party in SoHo. Klein regularly checked for Twitter updates on the show throughout the night. Close

Art dealer Eli Klein and Wendy Teramoto, managing director at billionaire Wilbur Ross's WL Ross & Co., at a "Gallery... Read More

Photographer: Aaron Showalter via Bloomberg

Guests at art dealer Eli Klein's cocktail party for the premiere of "Gallery Girls" on Bravo. Klein is one of the main characters in the show. Close

Guests at art dealer Eli Klein's cocktail party for the premiere of "Gallery Girls" on Bravo. Klein is one of the... Read More

Photographer: Aaron Showalter via Bloomberg

Guests watching Eli Klein on Bravo's new reality TV show "Gallery Girls." The show follows seven young women, including two interns, working at Klein's SoHo gallery. Close

Guests watching Eli Klein on Bravo's new reality TV show "Gallery Girls." The show follows seven young women,... Read More

Photographer: Katya Kazakina/Bloomberg

Amy Poliakoff, one of the seven main characters in "Gallery Girls," at a SoHo party for the premier of the series. Poliakoff shared some screen time with an intern, who is also a childhood friend, on the show. Close

Amy Poliakoff, one of the seven main characters in "Gallery Girls," at a SoHo party for the premier of the series.... Read More

Photographer: Katya Kazakina/Bloomberg

Art bloggers Marina Galperina and Paddy Johnson hosted a "Gallery Girls" party at their Bed-Stuy apartment. The show is receiving a lot of buzz on art websites. Close

Art bloggers Marina Galperina and Paddy Johnson hosted a "Gallery Girls" party at their Bed-Stuy apartment. The show... Read More

On the three television screens in his apartment Monday night, art dealer Eli Klein sported a gray suit and gelled hair as he gave orders to two girls who landed internships at his SoHo gallery.

It was the premiere of “Gallery Girls,” a Bravo reality show that follows the adventures of seven 20-somethings at the low end of the pecking order in New York City’s art world. Klein, 34, is one of the main characters.

Off-screen he seemed more boyish and low-key as he mingled with clients, friends and family members lounging on beds and sofas in his SoHo flat. He wore his shirt untucked and regularly checked his iPhone for Twitter mentions of his name.

“Kinda shocked that Eli Klein agreed to appear on #gallerygirls. He must enjoy being a villain,” wrote Benjamin Sutton, an editor at Artinfo.com, in a Twitter post.

In the show Klein was brusque with interns at his SoHo gallery, which specializes in contemporary Chinese art. These are unpaid jobs requiring low-level work and often given to the presentable offspring of wealthy families.

In the show, Klein quickly sends one applicant packing: “You don’t speak Chinese and you haven’t graduated from college.”

At the party, the dealer’s father, Richard Klein, said, “He is a sweetheart.”

Drinking Game

Another “Gallery Girls” party was hosted in an apartment across the East River in Brooklyn by art bloggers Marina Galperina and Paddy Johnson. Galperina had published a drinking game on her AnimalNewYork site before the show started at 10 p.m.

Players had to take a drink every time any one of eight things happened in the show, including: “someone mentions their parents” or “someone refuses to do basic work” or “someone’s cleaning in heels or any other similarly ludicrous combination of inappropriate attire and physical labor.”

Could they get seriously drunk by the episode’s end?

“We are taking sips, not drinks, because it’s a Monday night and we have to go to work tomorrow,” Galperina said. “I have to curb my cynicism.”

As their guests drank chilled rose and crunched baby carrots, the two women shared their reactions on Twitter.

“I dunno. I liked ‪#gallerygirls‬,” wrote Johnson, editorial director of a blog called Art Fag City. “Based on the twitosphere reaction though, I think I might be alone in this.”

‘Mean Girls’

A Twitter post from Art Fag City blogger Corinna Kirsch called the show “a drunk ‘Mean Girls.’” “OMG I’m already bored,” wrote Hrag Vartanian, editor of an art website Hyperallergic.

At Klein’s apartment in Manhattan, Amy Poliakoff, another “Gallery Girls” cast member, squeezed her Tory Burch clutch as she watched a scene. A childhood friend of hers who is one of Klein’s interns ridiculed Poliakoff for babbling and drinking too much.

“She was very mean to me,” said Poliakoff, 25, wearing Valentino heels and a little black dress by Catherine Malandrino. “My image is exaggerated a little bit, but it makes things more entertaining.”

Muse highlights include Ryan Sutton on dining, Jeremy Gerard on theater.

To contact the reporters of this story: Katya Kazakina in New York at kkazakina@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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