David Kaiser is an independent art curator, art adviser, and a gallerist at frosch&portmann on the lower east side.
How did you first get interested in contemporary art?
I’ve always been obsessed with art, my nature demands it! I don’t have specific memories, but I’m pretty sure I emerged from my mother in the delivery room thinking about Courbet’s Origin of the World, ha!
Is the lower east side still in its infancy as an art destination?
I think it’s still in it’s nascent stages and it’s exciting to see it grow and evolve. There is a definite LES spirit and vibrancy buoyed by the New Museum and events like The Festival of Ideas for the New City that happened last summer. During the festival, A Swiss artist at frosch&portmann, Raffaella Chiara, moved to the LES for a month to draw inspiration from the rhythm of the neighborhood and created some amazing work. I think it’s the best neighborhood in the city to find awesome new emerging artists and galleries.
Tell us about an artwork or two that you live with.
One of my favorites is Gnostic Transfer of Grace by Paul Paddock, an artist we’ll be showing at Pulse New York in May. I love the figurative, dreamlike, ambiguous spaces he creates. They’re beautiful and also unsettling at the same time.
I also love Yves Klein’s Peintures, a series of monochrome prints I have hanging in my apartment. His estate produced a limited edition of them on the occasion of his 2010 retrospective, Yves Klein: With The Void, Full Powers. They are from a catalog that he originally produced in 1954 of an imaginary exhibition that he never really had. They are reproductions of works that never existed. He gives the illusion of the existence of these works in a hilarious and beautiful way. There is nothing more beautiful in the world than Yves Klein blue!
Upcoming show you are excited to see?
I’m really excited to see the new Cindy Sherman photographs at Metro Pictures that is just opening now (April 28th – June 9th). Also, I just found out that Kalup Linzy will be performing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 14th and 15th. I can’t wait, I’m kind of obsessed with him.
Artist quote or words to live by?
The imagination is the vehicle of sensibility. Transported by the imagination, we attain life, life itself, which is absolute art. – Yves Klein
It’s very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present. Do you know what I mean? – Edith Bouvier Beale