Episode 29: Jeff Jaffe Talks About Pop International Galleries

We’re hearing a lot about immigrants these days and Jeff Jaffe is certainly someone who came to the U.S. in search of a better life. Jeff grew up in South Africa during the apartheid era and was no stranger to the social injustice happening all around him. At that time, all male high school graduates were enlisted into the military to fight against the “communist threat.” 

At age 20, he left South Africa after his military service ended with only $100 in his pocket. Fast forward to 1997 when he opened Pop International Galleries on the Bowery in New York City. He remembers selling his first major painting, a Keith Haring, for $150,000. Today that painting would easily get $5 or $6 million. 

Jeff earned an MFA in sculpture from the prestigious Cranbrook Academy of Art near Detroit He has a unique point of view as an artist and a gallery owner. To this day, he has never signed formal written agreements with the artists he represents – everything is done with a handshake. 

Jeff talks with Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti about his journey from South Africa to New York and Pop International Galleries.

About Charlene Giannetti (664 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. She is the author of 13 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her last book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Her podcast, WAT-CAST, interviewing men and women making news, is available on Soundcloud and on iTunes. She is one of the producers for the film "Life After You," focusing on the opioid/heroin crisis that had its premiere at WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, where it won two awards. The film is now available to view on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other services. Charlene and her husband live in Manhattan.