Located in Boca Raton, Florida, VFA has maintained focus for over 15 years on the luminaries of Pop, Abstract Expressionism and Optical Art. As always we will be specializing in editions and multiples. The gallery has also recently branched out into emerging artists and photography, with only a small portion of our inventory represented online. We are constantly updating and always purchasing new work.
Director, Vertu Fine Art
I started collecting art in my early twenties … works that provided joy … and actually increase in value over time.”
Walk in to VFA in Boca Center on any given day and you’ll likely see Gallery Director Bill Pugsley – repositioning works, engaging clients, investigating new acquisitions – basically having the time of his life. Like the masterful artists he collects, curates and sells, Bill’s role in the world of Pop, Op and Abstract Expressionism is more of “a calling” than a career choice. Working with owner Gary Santoro to make Vertu Fine Art the highly acclaimed South Florida Art Gallery that it is, Bill’s expert status is the result of his unquenchable thirst to know all that can be learned about the art that makes his heart pound.
As a young man growing up in North Miami Beach, Bill’s interest in art was ignited by an interest in symbols and signage where he was enlightened about his own natural ability to paint and draw his own logos and symbols. Almost immediately, Bill transcended into a “working artist” – with a steady gig as a sign painter and taking on an array of project work, much of it coming by referral from his high school art teacher. One project, painting his high school’s logo on their newly surfaced gymnasium floor, led to another, and another. Eventually, four Dade County schools showcased Bill Pugsley’s hardwood talent. Around the same time, in the mid 1980’s, a job with a local silkscreen printing business introduced Bill to the print making process, invaluable experience for a collector of Pop and Op Art.
Prior to building a career in the art world, Bill found success in another interest that made his heart race. From 1985 to 1990, he participated in the highest levels of competitive cycling, earning his way onto teams that competed with top athletes from around the world. Bill credits racing in Europe and South and Central America as an early opportunity to travel the world. As that chapter was cut short because of multiple injuries, the next chapter, titled “all things related to modern design” turned into an obsession to learn as much as possible about the masters. Modern architecture, furnishings, paintings, and glass – all became objects that Bill sought to possess, whether materially or via intellectual awareness of their presence and meaningfulness.
“I started collecting art in my early twenties,” explains Bill. “While friends were spending money on sports cars, boats and other such investments that rapidly devalue, I was putting money into art, works that provided unending amounts of joy and actually increase in value over time.”
Modern design and collecting are an essential part of who I am.”
As an avid collector of Pop, Op and Abstract Expressionists – including works by fellow sign painter Robert Indiana, Frank Stella, Tom Wesselmann, Robert Motherwell, Gerald Laing and others – Gallery Director is a role that fits Bill Pugsley like a vintage Zoot Suit. Visitors to VFA are treated to Bill’s tireless rearrangement of works. It’s not uncommon for frequent visitors to ask, “Is this new?” about pieces that may have been simply been moved ten feet since their last visit. It’s the Bill Pugsley experiment. His rearrangements take into consideration that works are perceived in context. By moving a piece of art, there is change to viewing distance, lighting, height and juxtaposition to other works, so returning viewers receive a fresh experience.
“Modern design and collecting are an essential part of who I am,” says Bill. “With regard to my own collecting, I’m particularly astounded by the early modern glass designers, primarily the Italians, Fulvio Bianconi, Ercole Barovier, Dino Martens, Gio Ponti…and others.”
Outside of Vertu, Bill Pugsley approaches other interests with equal passion to his art collecting. Ask Bill what he loves most in this world and his eyes smile brilliantly. Spending time with son Graeme, a smart, well-mannered and handsome ten year-old tops the list. Aside from palling around with Graeme, Bill is also deeply interested in 1960’s garage/psyche rock (another mid-century fixation).
If you’d like to contact Bill about art, music, life, love or anything else, you can email him at Bill@vertufineart.com or visit at Vertu Fine Art Gallery in Boca Center.