An ex-Goldman Sachs analyst is trying to enliven his "grey-suited" colleagues

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Art Wall Street

After graduating from the George Washington University with a bachelor's in business administration, Joshua Pulman got a job at Goldman Sachs in New York. Not just any job at Goldman Sachs: a job in Goldman Sachs' executive office, working alongside Goldman's most senior staff. The executive office at Goldman deals with everything from corporate strategy, to Goldman culture, and Goldman brand. Pulman was in the thick of it.

Even so, he didn't stick around. During the year-plus that he was at Goldman, Pullman didn't frequent the cafeteria, eating egg white omelets alongside his colleagues. Most every lunch break he sprinted down to World Trade Center so that he could pitch his side project. 'Silver Arts Projects,' a program owned by building developer Silverstein Properties that wants to bring some sparkle to the world of Wall Street.

“Our mission is to introduce color to the grey-suited people of the financial district,” says Pulman, who quit Goldman in September 2018. These days, he's a product strategy associate at Arthena, a quantitative investment firm for art assets. He's also busy with Silver Arts and its mission: transforming unused commercial real estate space into temporary pop-up studios for the next generation of artists - who will be able to use the space for free.

Pulman is now working with artists around the world instead of executives at Goldman Sachs. Even so, he says his time among the grey-suits has proven instructive.

“The art world doesn’t have a lot of appetite for professionalism,” said Pulman. “Most of my job is translating between executives and CEOs and 19-year-old artists who want studio space." However: "My experience [at Goldman] was a great way to prepare for those conversations.”

Pulman has managed to use his Goldman-inspired conversational abilities to secure five floors at the recently completed 3 World Trade Center, courtesy of building owner Silverstein Properties. There, he's pairing-up promising artists in need of studio and exhibition space with a new building swimming in square footage (at least until new businesses can move in).

Artists from around the world can apply for free studio space where they can work and eventually show off their art before collectors at shows curated by Silver Arts. Instead of toiling away at some empty warehouse in Brooklyn that collectors may avoid, the artists will be working at the epicenter of finance. Pullman says that one of the 80k sq. ft floors is dedicated solely to exhibitions that will be more “polished” than typical art studios. The presumption is that finance people will prefer this.

Pulman said that other commercial property developers have shown interest in giving Silver Arts temporary space, though they are currently working exclusively with Silverstein Properties and 3 World Trade Center. When it launches next year, the project will employ temporary walls and can shuffle artists out as quickly as they move them in.

The idea might catch on. – Just as long as the 19-year-old artists can play nice with the rest of the financial district. The free rent should help grease the wheels.

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