By age five, Michael Irvin loved art and museums but, in retrospect, his was no schoolboy infatuation. Today, his dedication to objets d'art has made him one of the most sought-after art dealers in Southern California.
The wares of his perenial treasure hunt span his clients' estates and summer homes, private planes and yachts anchored in Newport Beach and Monte Carlo. But Irvin is not simply a wholesale art dealer, for this stylish art connoisseur describes his work as "part psychologist, part art consultant," and he uses his expertise to interpret and translate his clients' artistic expressions.
"Many of my clients already have everything. Luxury cars, beautiful jewelry, clothes," said Irvin, a rugged 39-year-old who resembles a bronzed and taller Tom Cruise. "Their homes are their calling cards, and these homes command exquisite art."
These demands require a comprehensive understanding of art history, and celebrities like Dr. Phil McGaw and Orange County's elites regularly call Irvin. His client roster is a veritable "who's who" of OC society and includes a top Microsoft executive and a Saudi princess. Unlike traditional art dealers who simply locate art for their customers, Irvin consults with clients who have little time to research and are unsure of their decorative choices. He relies on his extensive database of artists and experts amassed over a decade of work, and buys directly from the source at wholesale prices.
"Michael has a solid grasp of what his clients want," said Sheldon Harte of Harte Brownlee & Associates, a celebrated interior design firm in Laguna Beach. "He's the best in the business."
Despite the posh imagery, Irvin, said his daily routine is anything but glamourous. His typical day involves unloading and carrying heavy canvases, wood panels or sculptures in all shapes and sizes. But Irvin doesn't complain. The son of a Dallas fireman, Irvin grew up in Texas and was first exposed to opulance and excess during a stint... [continues]
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