Vito Giallo (born 1930) is perhaps an overlooked figure crucial to Andy Warhol’s early career. Like many others of the Warhol dramatis personae, Giallo played double duty. Firstly, he acted as gallerist of one of Warhol’s earliest art exhibitions when he convinced graphic designer Jack Wolfgang Beck to turn his New York studio space into “The Loft Gallery” (so named because it literally consisted of a loft), which Giallo ran. Warhol would do a total of three shows there—two collaborations and a solo—in 1954; they were some of his earliest showings. Secondly, Giallo would go on to become Warhol’s first paid assistant, having admired him as an increasingly popular commercial artist. In his year of employment under Warhol, he learned the latter’s blotted-line technique, a staple of his artwork at the time.
After studying at New York’s Franklin School of Professional Arts, Vito Giallo found success as a graphic designer and commercial artist along with the same contemporaries he would showcase at his Loft Gallery, including Clint Hamilton and Nathan Gluck, who would later also serve as an assistant to Warhol. Following a falling out with Warhol, Giallo would find continued success, however, as the proprietor of an antiques shop on 3rd St., a shop that had no shortage of famous celebrity patrons. Having sold his later antique prop rental establishment to none other than Martha Stewart, Vito Giallo now produces art himself, specializing in mixed-media collages and providing illustrations to a book on Superstar-associated hangouts of 60s and 70s New York.
His relationship with Warhol seems to have been salvaged, as Warhol wrote in his diary about visiting Giallo’s shop as late as May of 1985.