Elena Soboleva

ElenaSoboleva

As a contemporary art Specialist at Artsy, Elena Soboleva works with collectors, manages art fair sales, and develops curatorial programming. Follow: @elenasoboleva

As a Specialist at Artsy, you’re exposed to a vast amount of artwork. How does it feel to turn around an article like 9 Emerging Artists You Should Buy at Art Brussels? How do you decide who is relevant or what your preferences are under the public eye?

Sharing my opinion is a process of understanding my own taste. By having to distill ideas and commit to them, it forces me to take a stand and resist the transience of the art world. My decisions are based on my own instincts and intuition while determining how the works fit into a larger art historical narrative. The artists are often young so there is limited writing on their practice. Their vision and personality are key.

Elena-Soboleva-With-Work-by-Lucas-Jardin
Elena Soboleva with work by Lucas Jardin

What are your first impressions of the Art Brussels contemporary art fair? Can you describe your typical day at the fair?

Art Brussels is known as a high quality fair that is great for discovering new talent. Belgium boasts the highest number of art collectors per capita and major galleries like Gladstone and Almine Rech have outposts there. It’s certainly no coincidence the Independent Show is opening an edition there in Spring 2016.

For this year’s fair, I will be curating the #ArtsyTakeover, a project series in which Artsy invites contemporary artists to reimagine onsite spaces at art fairs. The installation will pair Betty Tompkins and Lucas Jardin, two artists whose work I greatly admire. Though from different generations and places (New York and Brussels, respectively), they both create paintings which address themes of appropriation, censorship, and how images induce desire.

BettyTompkinsStudio
Betty Tompkins’ Studio

Besides the fair, which exhibitions are worth visiting in Brussels at the moment?

There is so much great art here! Tonight I am excited about Sofia Leiby‘s European solo debut with Levy.Delval and Alex Perweiler’s (of The Still House Group) opening at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen. Other great exhibitions opening include Sterling Ruby at Xavier Hufkens, Chris Succo at Almine Rech Gallery, and Pierre Bismuth at JAN MOT. Institutionally there is a Gareth Moore exhibition at La Loge (a great experimental art space) and the CAB Art Center has a current exhibition which presents works by artists in and from Chicago–including a huge new Tony Lewis piece and a William Pope L. video.

TonyLewisatCAB
Tony Lewis at CAB

In the age of the Internet, art is increasingly purchased online. Where do you think that the future of art consumption is headed?

It’s a timely question: just this week the 2015 Hiscox Online Art Trade Report announced that the value of the online art market has risen from $1.57 billion in 2013 to an estimated $2.64 billion in 2014. Online viewing won’t replace seeing art in real life–that’s not the point. Instead, the online market opens up a world for new collectors to learn and discover art. In general, our experience of art is expanding online and offline.

ElenaSoboleva-DanielHeidkamp
Elena Soboleva as the subject for a Daniel Heidkamp painting

What artists should we be paying more attention to? How do you keep yourself informed?

Many of the artists I’m excited about now are friends of mine, or are people I’ve discovered through Instagram and mutual friends. I am really into Nick Farhi who just had a show at United Artists, Ltd. and Jessica Sanders who has a solo booth with KANSAS at Art Brussels. I have been a big fan of Daniel Heidkamp for a while, though he’s hardly under the radar now. There is also Letha Wilson, Lucas Blalock and Kate Steciw who are all doing awesome things. Chloe Wise is a riot.  I am also very intrigued by the conceptual practices of Elaine Cameron Weir and Carlos Reyes.

Nick-Farhi-paintings
Nick Farhi paintings

Do you live with any artwork? If you could add anything to your collection regardless of price, what would you choose?

My collection is still in the very early stages, but I have small pieces by Justin Adian and Larry Clark. I have a couple works by younger artists including Lucas Jardin, the #ArtsyTakeover artist and “one to watch”, and Krista Smith, who just finished her MFA at NYAA. I have fun editioned pieces including a Korakrit photo and the first Exhibition A print that Richard Phillips did, which is a favorite. As for the future, I’d love to own works from the artists who surround me and maybe a Laure Prouvost video and Richard Prince Nurse painting if I get lucky!

David Hollander

DavidHollander

David Hollander is Co-Director of CineMarfa. He is a filmmaker, writer, and collector from Los Angeles, California. Along with partner Jennifer Lane, he has produced films for artists including Mathias Poledna, Stephen Prina, and Justin Lowe and Jonah Freeman.

You just announced your line-up for CineMarfa 2015. What was the inspiration for making this year’s focus science fiction?

We see our programming at the CineMarfa film festival not as separate individual programs, but as one continuous program that unfolds over time and expands rhizomatically. An evolving dialogue about the nature of cinema.
So often we revisit certain ideas that we have established earlier in the conversation. Science Fiction, something we know and love dearly, has been explored in material we have previously screened, like Peter Watkins “Punishment Park”, or the films of Jordan Belson.

MarkFlood

Painting by Mark Flood and new age objects by David Hollander

CineMarfa focuses on films made by visual artists rather than studios. What do you find unique about the artist-made film?

My partner Jennifer Lane and I have been producing artist-made films for the past 15 years. Part of the initial impetus for doing the festival was to screen in a single channel context films like the ones we produce, which rarely get seen outside of the museum or gallery context.

DavidHollander

Collages and a monoprint by Jennifer Lane, with a collection of 19th-20th Century aboriginal digging sticks on the floor

When did you meet Dustin Pevey? Do you own any of his work?

I’ve known Dustin since he moved to Marfa. We do own one beautiful painting of his. He is one of the brightest stars on the Marfa horizon.

DustinPevey

A painting by Dustin Pevey

Do you collect anything else?

In addition to collecting art, I do collect 16mm prints of artist-made films, with an emphasis on dada, surrealist, and visual music, and records. I also collect oceanic and aboriginal art, from Papua New Guinea and Australia.

DavidHollander

16 mm films in David's collection including some of his collection of ethnographic film, image courtesy Vincent Dillio and Chris Wallace for T Magazine on nytimes.com

AnaMedieta

Photograph by Ana Medieta

What other projects are you working on at the moment?

The most recent project: Producing (and shooting) Mika Rottenberg‘s new film, which will be included in the 2015 Venice Biennale. I am also working on a book which surveys alternative spirituality in the US from the 60s to the 80s and is essentially a discography of new age music, so I am always listening to that stuff, which runs a gamut from mellow to strange.

JeffElrod

An early 20th century Gope board from Papua, aboriginal items from Western Australia circa 1960, and a painting by Jeff Elrod

Cameron

Drawing by Cameron, ca. 1970s

What’s the art scene like in Marfa? There’s been a lot of hype lately.

Marfa has always attracted creative people. I don’t think its over-hyped – Marfa is as great as people hear it is. Obviously Judd was the groundbreaker but the scene now is more diverse…there are many different types of art and artists, and that’s a good thing.

Nicelle Beauchene

NicelleBeauchene

Nicelle Beauchene runs Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York City and is the president of the New Art Dealers Alliance.

You had worked in Chelsea galleries for several years before opening your namesake space in 2008. In what ways did your prior experiences inform your new space, and what did you want to do differently?

My first experiences in the New York art world were shaped through my tenure at Marianne Boesky Gallery. At Boesky I learned about the importance of building strong foundations for young artists, strategizing, while at the same time taking risks for them. I continue to incorporate these ideals into my own workings with artists, and feel grateful to have had the experience at Boesky.

LouiseDespont

Louise Despont, "The Host", 2012

How do you go about choosing the artists you represent? What are you looking for when compiling a solo show?

For me, it’s really important that the artists we show and work with have their own unique vernacular or vocabulary that comes through in their practice. In a market where there is a lot of aesthetic cross over, and so many artists are making work which looks similar and is influenced by each other, it is more rewarding to be working with someone that retains a specific vision/vocabulary within their work. Also in terms of our program at large, it’s important to me to keep it as dynamic as possible, for example, not showing too much of one medium or type of work.

AlexanderTovborg

Alexander Tovborg, "Bocca Baciata LXXI", 2014

What’s it like sharing a space with Jack Hanley? Am I right that sometimes the galleries switch floors? Is it a sort of collaboration or are the galleries completely separate entities?

Sharing the building with Jack has been a very collaborative experience for us— we are completely separate galleries, however we switch exhibition spaces and offices every month. There are definitely more pros to the switching than cons, as essentially we’re able to offer artists a choice in exhibition space. So instead of our artists making works specific to the architecture of one space they are able to choose the gallery space that makes more sense in terms of what they will be showing.

NicelleBeaucheneGallery

Installation view of "A Friend is Only A Human Body" at Nicelle Beauchene

You are also the president of the New Art Dealers Association. Can you tell us about the work you do at NADA? How has the organization evolved over the years?

With the rest of the NADA board, I oversee the various fairs that we put on as well as the different levels of membership that we have. Throughout the past five years, the organization has really broadened internationally with collaborations such as Art Cologne/NADA Cologne as well as expanded membership. Both the Miami fair as well as the NY fair have become more international as well in the past few years, which has certainly been a strong focus for the current board.

This was the sixth year of NADA Miami, right? What should we expect from the fourth edition of NADA NY this May?

This was actually the 11th year of NADA Miami, the first year was 2003 when the fair took place in a vacant space off of Lincoln Road near the Convention Center. The fair then moved to the Ice Palace, and again to the Deauville Hotel, where we’ve been now for six years. The move to the Deauville was a game changer for the fair. For NADA NY 2015, you’ll see us at Basketball City again with a lot of new, international exhibitors and the continuation of our project booths, which has been an important addition to both our Miami and New York fairs.

NicelleBeauchene

A drawing from Nicelle's collection of American Indian ledger drawings

Describe your personal collection for us.

My husband (artist Kent Henricksen) and I have been collecting together for almost 15 years. Before making the move to NYC we lived and worked in San Francisco and bought mostly young Bay Area artists- Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, Chris Johanson, etc. We still have all of these works in our collection, and have since expanded it to include a lot of our NYC artist friends as well as artists within the gallery’s program. We also have a great collection of American Indian ledger drawings, mostly from the Plains Indians which we’ve been collecting for about 10 years now.

RJ Supa

IronMan

"Iron Man" by RJ Supa a part of the 2014 Summer Performance Series

RJ Supa co-owns Louis B. James Gallery with David Fierman in New York City.

How did you become interested in contemporary art?

During my film class the first semester of college, my professor showed an image of Robert Venturi’s Guild House and told us that it was specifically designed to be ugly to fit in with the neighborhood. This was the first post-modern building in the mid-’60s. I was taken by how a concept could manifest itself physically. A few years after that I went to see Sensation at the Brooklyn Museum and my mind was blown. I remember walking through Damien Hirst’s formaldehyde animals and Tracy Emin’s bed and Jake and Dinos Chapman and Jenny Saville and being in awe, all the while David Bowie narrated the experience. It was incredibly transformative. It took me out of my head and into another space.

RJSupa

RJ Supa performing "Iron Man" at chashama

When did you decide to open Louis B. James on the Lower East Side? Has the space or the work shown evolve over the years?

We opened LBJ almost four years ago after co-curating shows around the city. It just made sense in terms of a natural progression to open a more formal space. I think that our program has become more formalized during this time. Perhaps because of that I want to take more risks programmatically. I want to incorporate more performance and installation and do things outside of the four white walls of the gallery. If we’re a fair model now I want to evolve with that and make the best booths, the most interesting booths. It’s an evolutionary, very slow process.

LouisBJames

Diff’rent Strokes: Small Paintings and Intimate Performances, 2013

What about the vibe of the area?

I think I’ve grown and evolved since opening the space so I imagine that effects the outcome of the shows, the artists we work with, how we work… The area has changed but that’s been the constant. I think we’ve developed a decent reputation and more and more people find us. I guess that’s how I think of the area changing.

LouisBJames

Off White Desert installation view: Nora Griffin, Ann Greene Kelly, Matthew Kirk, 2014

What projects are on the horizon for Louis B. James?

We have a great artist, John Miserendino at the ADAA for the Henry Street Settlement. A really stunning work. I’m curating – with Erin Goldberger – a booth at Spring/Break. Two new shows opening: Nikki Katiskas and Mariah Garnett and then after, this spectacular show by Jeremy Couillard, a virtual reality, out-of-body experience. Incredible! NADA New York, more shows, more fairs.

RJSupa

Erin Goldberger and RJ Supa at Material Art Fair

Why did you decide to participate in the Spring Break Art Show?

Erin and I have been friends since NADA Miami Beach in 2011 and we do studio visits together and hang out and know lots of artists and are artists and our friends are artists and we just came up with an idea and started talking about artists, probably at Beverly’s. Then it just happened organically. It’s a great opportunity to work with our friends, non-gallery artists and just another outlet for ideas, manifesting thoughts.

JeremyCouillard

Jeremy Couillard, My Time In the Cult of Melting Ancestors

What’s concept behind the booth?

The concept is Green, for monetary and environmental reasons and also for the color. It’s apparently the least salable color of art. I think Erin had the original idea and then we expanded it, collapsed it, made it perfect. I love working in non-traditional spaces. I think it’s a real challenge to activate space in a meaningful way. I believe in experiences and I want the viewing of art to be engaging. Death to passivity! So I think getting to do a show like this allows for a freedom, for an experimentation.

Kaya Yusi

KayaYusi

Kaya Yusi runs Sunday, an exhibition space in Los Angeles.

Tell us about Sunday. What inspired you to start an exhibition space right after finishing your BFA?

Our focus was to have a comfortable environment for young artists to show work and keep the conversation and community alive post-grad. In December 2013, my friend Ada Rajkovic, who I have been collaborating with and living with since we were paired as roommates in the dorms at CalArts, found the space in east Hollywood. It was a sad, old office space on the second story of a commercial building. We saw the space and immediately signed the lease.  Along with Ryan McGuffin and Teryn Brown we ripped up all the carpets, finished the floors, added a kitchen and a shower, tore some walls down, put some walls up and threw some art on them. We had our first show in April 2014–a group show with about 40 artists called No New Friends. Since then we’ve had endless amounts of events. Our last show was a pop up Greek restaurant.

KayaYusi

Kaya Yusi getting ready for Yung Jake's Furniture show

What do you think is unique about artist-run spaces?

The fact that we have to live with the show that’s up means we really have to like looking at it. My favorite professor at CalArts always said, “the best art is art that you would be willing to hang over your couch”. We started the space so that our peers could continue to show work after graduating but also to show art that we actually like. I think 90% of the time I go to art shows I leave feeling totally unaffected and depressed.  If the place that we love to see art and music doesn’t already exist, we have to create it.

SofiaArreguin

Sofia Arreguin, My Pet Project

Sofia Arreguin‘s show “My Pet Project” opened at Sunday last November. When did you first meet Sofia? What draws you to her work?

I met Sofia at CalArts when she was curating the group show for the 40th anniversary of Woman House. It was an all female group show that turned out beautifully. She had just moved in to a studio down the street from Sunday and works for Ryan Trecartin. Sofia’s rad and super inspiring and lovely. Her show dealt with the idea of humans projecting their feelings onto animals. One piece in the show was a video of an interview with someone who got a pet snake because it’s supposed to help with lack of sex drive.

SofiaArreguin

Sofia Arreguin, My Pet Project

Do you live with any artwork?

I have two Terry Richardson photos hanging above my bed and the rest of my walls are covered in things that I’ve collected over the years.

What’s coming up for Sunday this year?

Albert Samreth has an art show called Spirit on March 21st and Alexander Uhrich has a photo show called Roadkill on March 26th.

SofiaArreguin

Sofia Arreguin, My Pet Project

Edward Givis

EdwardGivis

Edward Givis (@givis) is a Graphic Designer out of Southern California.

How do you see graphic design as a part of (or separated from) contemporary art?

This could be answered in so many ways. Graphic design without a doubt draws inspiration from contemporary art. It’s the job of the graphic artist much of the time to “make it feel like…” or “give it a look that resembles…”. It’s the nature of the game. Contemporary art sets many of those visual standards, and they move very rapidly. As a designer you need to adapt and figure out a way to blend these visual standards while selling a product and integrating your personal style.

BradPhillips

Brad Phillips at Louis B James

Art is becoming more and more accessible online and through social media, most notably through Instagram. How do you use social media to keep up with what’s going on in the art world? Who do you find to be the most innovative Instagrammers?

What I personally love is the connection aspect. Being a transplant in Southern California from NYC, I miss the communication and involvement aspect of going to openings or visiting a studio. Instagram can’t completely replace that experience but it definitely helps to fill the hole. The way some artists’ posts bring you into their studio and their process of working is very voyeuristic. Many artists announce their prints or books going on sale through social media. As a younger collector with limited funds, engaging in conversation and writing directly can definitely help facilitate being able to afford originals. I’m certain that would not be as easy or even possible without social medias help in my case.

As for Instagrams, @willnyc without a doubt, I’m constantly on his feed. I also follow someone many people don’t love so much, and the Sith-Lord himself @stefansimchowitz. I’ve really enjoyed following @chicojefferson over the last year, his feed really brings you into his studio. @LIZNY3, @elenasoboleva and @mollygottschalk are awesome, and I follow @brad__phillips and @jesse_a_edwards for art and entertainment. I really like how @halfgallery and @harpersbooks use their feeds. There’s too many, and you always end up finding more.

GenieveFiggis

Genieve Figgis, "The Swing after Fragonard", 2014.

You’ve collected several Exhibition A editions, including Kasper Sonne, Genieve Figgis, and Matthew Chambers. Who else would you like to see Exhibition A do an edition with?

Arnold Daniel, Todd Bienvenu, Brad Phillips, David Benjamin Sherry, Mark Delong, Paul Insect, Jim Mangan, Daniel Johnston, Torey Thornton, Michael Staniak, Cleon Peterson, Caramel Bobby, Marilyn Minter, Josh Jefferson, Robert Heinecken, James Ulmer, Raymond Pettibon and a brownie sized small edition by Justin Adian.

MatthewChambers

Matthew Chambers, "A Silent Rueful Toast", 2014.

You’re based in the Los Angeles area. What are your favorite spots to check out new work?

OHWOW, Steve Turner Contemporary and Cherry and Martin show great artists. I’m still relatively new out here so I’m still getting to know the lay of the land. I find a lot of new work on the Internet and Instagram honestly– when it comes to new work you often see a piece or the process long before a gallery opening. It’s also a lot easier to find new or undiscovered talent that way as well… look at Genieve Figgis who Richard Prince found on Twitter and was recently one of Artsy’s ’15 artist to watch in 2015′.

ToreyThornton

Torey Thornton at OHWOW gallery

If you could add anything to your collection, regardless of price, what would it be?

I think I’d be more than content with a Cy Twombly painting, the complete works of Dieter Roth and a Bill Traylor drawing. Those would work for me…

Rus Yusupov

RusYusupov

Rus Yusupov is a designer and entrepreneur based in NYC. He’s best known as the Co-founder and Creative Director of Vine, a mobile service that enables its users to create and share short looping videos. His passion for the arts is grounded in his education at LaGuardia Arts High School and the School of Visual Arts, from which he holds a BFA in Graphic Design. As a designer, he’s always been passionate about the creative process, and finding ways to improve it for both himself and others.

How did you first become interested in art? Didn’t you study at SVA?

Indeed I did. The world of art is great because you make up your own rules. I was born in the USSR, a place where you had to follow someone else’s prescribed system.

SophieCalle

Sophie Calle, North Pole / Pôle nord, 2009

How did you begin collecting art, and what frames your approach as a collector?

Each individual piece makes some kind of statement, and I hope the collection as a whole is able to do the same. I’m not interested in building a collection of video art from the 80s or political work from a specific region – to me that’s just indexing. Ultimately I try to pick individual pieces that tell a larger story when seen together. I’m interested in space themes, beach culture, tech, hyperrealism, appropriation, forgery, and the inherent concept of value.

RusYusupov-collection

Picasso (fake), Figures by the Sea (The Kiss), unknown

How did you find out about Michael Kagan’s work? What draws you to it?

Space travel is about thinking big, not playing by earthly rules. Astronauts are escapists – and I respect that. I’m still waiting for Elon Musk to work out the kinks in SpaceX, so until then, I vacation in Michael’s paintings.

MichaelKagan

Michael Kagan, Contact Light, 2014

What’s your favorite piece in your collection?

I recently got some great pieces by Richard Prince, Robert Longo, Sturtevant, Thomas Demand, Carole Feuerman, and Richard Mosse. That said, I think the point of having a collection is not to have one favorite piece. If I found one, I would just keep that and get rid of everything else – where’s the fun in that? For example, I have a few Picasso fakes, and love the bad ones as much as the good ones. There’s a great quote from Bruce Chatwin’s book Utz: “The collector’s enemy is the museum curator. Ideally, museums should be looted every fifty years, and their collections returned to circulation.” Museums protect art from meaningful critique, because you’ve already been told to think highly of it. I collect to find out how to feel on my own.

CaroleFreurman

Carole Freurman, Miniature Serena (Yellow Swarovski Cap), 2014

Do you follow any video artists? Or do you view that as a separate form of expression?

I follow 670 people on Vine. Seriously though, I do look a lot at how the post-internet artists are using online video, but my interest goes all the way back to people like Nam June Paik and Pipilotti Rist.

Favorite quote to live by?

“If nobody quotes you, quote yourself.”

AdamMysock

Adam Mysock, Powerless Without, 2014

Richard Kern

RichardKern

Photo of Richard Kern by Olivier Zahm.

Richard Kern is a photographer, filmmaker, and regular contributor to Vice and Purple. His work has been exhibited at MOMA, The Whitney Museum and in more than 50 solo shows around the world. Kern lives and works in New York City and collects Duncan Hannah’s work.

Both your work and Duncan Hannah‘s work functions as a sort of time capsule, documenting the world around you (but in very different ways). What draws you to Hannah’s work?

I like that Duncan paints cars, ships, airplanes, women, etc. in a reverential way–the way men look at and think about these things. The first painting I got from Duncan was of a ship run aground next to some cliffs. I was really excited to have a painting of a boat on my wall. I now have more paintings by him: a Penguin book cover, Tarzan and Jane riding an elephant, a train coming out of a tunnel and numerous women. I need to get a car or airplane.

DuncanHannah

Duncan Hannah, "Art in England", 2008.

What other artwork do you collect?

I like to trade with people I know or hang out with, so over the years I’ve collected paintings by Rita Ackermann, Dan Colen, Walter Robinson, Lucy McKenzie, Bjarne Melgaard, Dan McCarthy, Dana Schutz, Leo Fitzpatrick and a bunch of other people. I’ve got lots of photos, drawings and prints too.

DuncanHannah

Duncan Hannah, "Chanbrol", 2011.

Do you collect anything besides art?

My old gallery in Paris (Jousse Seguin) had a lot to do with making Jean Prouvé collectable. After my first show there in 1996, I traded for a bunch of Prouvé furniture. Over the years I’ve sold some of it, but I still have a few tables. I was collecting mid-century stuff and watches in the 90′s but quit around the time I had a kid.

JeanProuve

Jean Prouve, "Metropole No. 305 Chair", circa 1950.

You’ve lived in the same East Village apartment for almost 27 years, I’m sure you’ve watched the neighborhood change drastically. How has the art scene in New York shifted for you since the late 80′s?

Yes. I like that art is creeping back into the Lower East Side now. I also like how NYC has three distinct art areas to visit for day trips–Chelsea, LES and Uptown. It’s funny how SoHo isn’t really on the charts these days, ’cause it was the main deal when I moved here in the late 70′s.

RichardKern

Richard Kern, "Lung With Lizard", 2012.

What are your thoughts on contemporary portraiture within the current state of photography now?

My thoughts are all over the place. About art in general I will say there is a lot of crap out there now. Tons. More than there’s ever been. And I’m probably contributing to it.

Any upcoming books, projects or films on the horizon?

My book New York Girls is being reissued by Taschen as a “director’s cut” for it’s 20th anniversary next year. It will contain outtakes from the original sessions. I also have a show at Cabinet in London that opens Feb. 12, 2015.

Andrew Black

AndrewBlack

Andrew Black is the Press Liason at Petzel Gallery.

Petzel represents a stable of prolific artists such as Wade Guyton, Adam McEwen, Sean Landers, and Dana Schutz. What have been some of your favorite exhibitions during your time at Petzel?

Given how closely I work with all of our artists, picking a favorite exhibition at the gallery would be nearly impossible. Each of our artists represents an important place in the narrative of art history and it has been a privilege to work with each to help amplify their message in the press.

In terms of our artists’ shows outside of the gallery, I think the standout of 2014 for me was the Maria Lassnig retrospective at MoMA PS1.  Sadly Maria passed away soon after the show’s opening in March, however it had always been her dream to show at MoMA, so in many ways this was a happy and very well deserved ending to a long and dedicated career.  Above all, Maria’s perseverance will hopefully inspire other artists to continue plugging away regardless of immediate critical or market validation.  If you’re on to something in the end you will be noticed.

ParkMcArthur

Park McArthur, "Untitled", 2014.

What skills are required as Press Liason?

First and foremost, having great material to work with is crucial – and working with Petzel’s incredible stable of artists gives me plenty of material. In terms of personal skills, working in PR your most valuable assets are your relationships and contacts in the press and your ability to craft a compelling pitch.  This means understanding which details about an upcoming show or an artist’s broader practice will resonate with a particular publication or writer.  Something which might be a great fit for Art Forum might not necessarily be of interest to T Magazine.  Knowing your audience and being able to tweak your pitch accordingly is important!   In regards to being a PR professional working in the art world, or specifically with artists, it’s a huge advantage and I would argue even necessary to have some meaningful background and/or understanding of art history.

AnickaYi

Anicka Yi, "Fever and Spear", 2014.

Sean Landers’ North American Mammals was on view at Petzel through December 20th, and was reviewed in publications such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. How did the public respond to this exhibition in particular?

During the show I stumbled across a very cute Instagram of a young child lying on the floor of the gallery staring up in wonderment at Sean’s 40 foot wide painting of Moby Dick.   I love this photo because it shows the huge range of people who were able to connect with and enjoy this show.  The seemingly playful, tartan covered animals and the exquisitely executed library and tree paintings pulled visitors into a bewildering and beautiful fantasy world.  At the same time beneath this very lush, visual presentation, for knowledgeable collectors and critics, Sean’s practice offers a very strong conceptual backbone.  In addition to being a formal reference to Magritte’s Vache Period, the tartan motif is rife with other meaning and there is an almost poetic continuity to way the Tree, Library and Animal paintings all tie back to dominant themes in Sean’s practice.

SeanLanders

Sean Landers 'North American Mammals' at Petzel Gallery.

How do you keep up with what’s going on in the contemporary art world? What are some of your favorite publications?

I find the best way to keep up with what’s going in is to attend as many gallery and museum shows as possible.  Beyond that, the Internet and social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram are incredibly helpful when you can’t see a show in person.  Of course I also do a lot of reading, both art focused and lifestyle publications that cover art.  It’s very difficult to pick favorites because all of them have their own unique point of view and editorial objectives.  With that caveat I would say Exhibition A is certainly required reading!

MargaretLee

Margaret Lee, "Cucumber Phone", 2012.

Do you live with art?

I couldn’t live without it! I tend to collect more conceptual work from artists of my generation like Anicka Yi, Carissa Rodriguez, Merlin Carpenter, Margaret Lee, Israel Lund and Park McArthur among others. I also have a killer Joyce Pensato Batman which I recently installed. Her show with us in February is going to be spectacular. Stay tuned!

JoycePensato

Joyce Pensato, "Prince of Gold", 2013.

Paul Bright

PaulBright

Paul Bright owns Bright Lyons, a modern curiosity shop located in downtown Brooklyn.

When did you start collecting contemporary art?

I started collecting art as a teenager in high school. At the time, most of my friends were either illustrators, comic book artists or graffiti artists and I tried to buy their work whenever I could (we’re talking about twenty dollar drawings here). By the late 90’s / early 2000’s I was getting into stuff like Raymond Pettibon, Larry Clark and some of the “Mission School” Artists. I guess the first thing I was really proud of was a pair of paintings by Margaret Kilgallen.

BrightLyons

What are some of your favorite pieces in your home?

I have a beautiful painting of a gum ball machine by Eddie Martinez at home, and I have some great work by Andrew Jeffrey Wright– you’d be crazy not to work with him immediately.

What artists would you like to see Exhibition A work with?

Do you guys know Dave Hardy? He’s pretty rad. Actually you know what would be cool, remember that little metal sculpture edition that Karma did with Sam Falls? Y’all should do something like that with Dave Hardy.

BrightLyons
An Eero Saarinen Womb settee from Knoll inside Bright Lyons.

Tell us a bit about Bright Lyons. How do you decide what to buy and sell? How do you determine the value?

The shop is somewhat unique in the New York antiques world as it sells almost exclusively Knoll and Herman Miller furniture. It’s pretty much just the original versions of what you would see somewhere like Design Within Reach. Most of the pieces I sell are pretty iconic and have been bought and sold on the secondary market for decades so there is an established market value.

Where do you find the collectibles and furniture that you sell? Is there a specific place you can always count on for interesting objects?

For about ten years before I opened the store, I traveled around the country as a picker looking for things. In that time I met a lot of other dealers and pickers, especially in the midwest, who I still keep in touch with. Other than that, you can find things anywhere from Craigslist to Sothebys.

BrightLyons
Inside Bright Lyons.

Any advice for collectors (of fine art or furniture) just starting out?

Buy slowly and diligently. Don’t be afraid of asking for long installment plans. Most galleries are cool with this. Also, if you’re an artist or have some sort of tradable skill, try and barter when you can.

Steve Turner

SteveTurner

Steve Turner owns and directs his eponymous gallery in Los Angeles.

What do you find unique about showing work in Los Angeles? How does the contemporary art world in LA differ from the scene in New York?

The Los Angeles contemporary art scene has numerous micro-systems. It’s like the weather in San Francisco. It varies from block to block, gallery to gallery. Success can be elusive. There are far more artists than there are galleries, and not enough collectors for the galleries. As such, each gallery must develop a strategy to attract collectors to support its program. Mine was to develop a strong international program that would appeal to both local and international audiences. With artists Pablo Rasgado (Mexico City); Camilo Restrepo (Medellín); Michael Staniak (Melbourne); Jonas Lund (Amsterdam); Rafaël Rozendaal (New York); Deborah Grant (New York) and Yung Jake (Los Angeles), I have done that. It really has more to do with the artists, and what I do outside Los Angeles, than it does with the local scene.

MichaelStaniak

Michael Staniak, 'Image DNA', Installation view.

You’re opening a new space in Hollywood, right? How did your upcoming group show, Space Program, come about?

Our new space is in a refurbished 1920s warehouse building with 15 foot ceilings. It is just west of the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Highland Ave. Our closest neighbor is Regen Projects, and LAXART is opening one block away on the same day that we are—January 10th. Space Program came about as I brainstormed with my staff about the nine artists we were showing (those mentioned above plus Luis Hidalgo (Cuernavaca) and Maria Anwander (Berlin). I wanted to highlight our unusual space (we also have a roof deck that abuts a huge white wall (30 x 80 feet) where we will project videos) and I wanted to show a range of artists from our program. The title summed up my objectives perfectly. The show will introduce our new space and it will give greater meaning to the program that we have carefully developed over the last seven years.

SteveTurner

Steve Turner booth at UNTITLED.

How was your experience this year in Miami at UNTITLED compared to other years? What is your favorite part about participating in art fairs?

We did very well at UNTITLED in Miami. We showed works by five artists (Yung Jake, Staniak, Rozendaal, Lund and Hidalgo) and we sold multiple works by each artist and also sold works by other artists in our program. Our experience was comparable to that of other years when we introduced Parker Ito in 2012 and Petra Cortright and Camilo Restrepo in 2013.

YungJake

Yung Jake, 'New', Installation view.

How did you come to represent Yung Jake? What do you look for when procuring new artists?

I met Yung Jake in May 2013 and I liked him instantly. I had a very good studio visit with him and first thought I would wait a while to see how his practice developed before I offered him an exhibition. Six months later I did a second visit and since I was even more impressed with this meeting, I decided to offer him not one, not two, but three opportunities in 2014. He had a project room show; a main-room show; and then, a solo booth presentation at Art Berlin Contemporary (ABC). All three presentations were different. All three were great. All three were successful.

In finding artists, I look for rare talent; extreme commitment; good character; and general compatibility with me and my staff.

YungJake

Yung Jake, 'Drawings', Installation view.

What do you have planned for 2015?

Our first solo exhibition in the new space will introduce a new artist to Los Angeles and to our program—Hannah Perry (London). She just arrived in Los Angeles where she will live and work for the next six weeks, both for her show here and her solo project at Art Brussels in April. We also have solo shows planned for Jonas Lund, Pablo Rasgado, Michael Staniak, Camilo Restrepo and Yung Jake, all of whom will also be prominently featured in art fairs in Europe and in Latin America. Two newcomers deserve special mention. Ivan Comas (Buenos Aires) is a brilliant young conceptual painter who will have a solo show with us in June, and a solo booth at a European art fair in September. We are also providing him a studio in Los Angeles for three months starting in mid-January. In October, William Pope L. will have a solo show inspired by the legacy of Joe Gans, an African American world champion boxer who fought and won the longest bout in modern boxing history—42 rounds in Goldfield, Nevada in 1906.

RafaelRozendaal

Rafael Rozendaal, 'Almost Nothing Hardly Anything', Installation view.

What trends in collecting should people pay attention to (or avoid)?

I don’t recommend following trends. The best collectors use their eyes, not their ears.

Jessica Silverman

JessicaSilverman

Photo courtesy Margo Mortiz

Jessica Silverman owns and directs her eponymous gallery in San Francisco, CA.

What drew you to Shannon Finley’s work? How did you meet and decide to represent him?

During my undergraduate days at Otis College, I worked on Michael Ovitz’s art collection. I would often give tours of the art in his office. One visitor was a dealer who worked for a European Gallery and later opened his own space in Berlin. He represented Shannon Finley and told me to check him out. I was immediately entranced by the kaleidoscopic nature of his work and the poetry of his geometric forms. In 2010 I offered him an exhibition after seeing images of his paintings online.  When the work arrived, I knew we had made the right decision, and we have represented him ever since.

AmikamToren
Amikam Toren, Of The Times and Other Historic Works, installation view, 2013

Your gallery is known for discovering emergent artists. How do you find new talent?

I don’t define emerging by age but by where the artist is in his or her career – their degree of exposure. The gallery’s roster includes artists that range in age from their twenties to their seventies. In November 2013, we presented Amikam Toren’s first solo show in America. He is a British-Israeli artist in his late sixties. We also presented a solo booth of Toren’s work at Frieze New York in May 2014. Since then, there has been tremendous response to his practice. In April 2015, we will present an exciting solo exhibition by the godfather of the Vancouver art scene, Ian Wallace. Other contemporary artists we show are Hugh Scott-Douglas, Dashiell Manley, Hayal Pozanti and Ruairiadh O’Connell, who were all born in the 1980s.

HughScottDouglas
Hugh Scott-Douglas, Untitled, dye sublimation on linen, 2014

Who are some other artists that we should keep an eye on?

Alongside the gallery program, I also curate shows at fused space, an exhibition space at Yves Behar’s fuseproject, which allows me to invite artists that we do not represent to participate in group or solo exhibitions. Upcoming shows include some great artists to keep an eye on: Lucie Stahl, Cooper Jacoby, Erica Mahinay, Egan Frantz and many more!

TammyRaeCarland
Tammy Rae Carland, Live from somewhere, installation view, 2014

How is the San Francisco art scene different from the New York art scene?

San Francisco has a rich history of philanthropy and a lot of support for its museums and arts institutions. Unlike New York, San Francisco also has a lot of new collectors who come from the venture capital and technology sectors.

In 2015, the new Berkeley Art Museum will open and in 2016 the new SFMOMA will open, a museum that will be nearly as large as MOMA, New York. Amidst the rent increases, we are still seeing many thriving artist-run and project spaces including: Et Al, Will Brown, Kadist and Kira Koula.

JoseLeonCerillo
Jose Leon Cerillo, Ejemplo Inestable 15, steel and enamel, 2014

Can you tell us about your current show with Sean Raspet and upcoming projects?

Sean Raspet’s current solo exhibition Residuals has a fragrance formulation of the gallery in the form of a “scratch n’ sniff” that has been sprayed onto our gallery walls. Visitors have been able to scratch the walls to release the scent. During the show, as scents are released, Raspet will use equipment to capture the smells which he will transform into a cleaning product. This cleaning product will eventually be used to clean the “scratch n’ sniff” off of the walls at the end of the show. It is a groundbreaking show for the artist and takes his work to a new and exciting place.

Our upcoming show with Dashiell Manley is titled “Time seems sometimes to stop” and focuses on the daily and meditative practice of reading a newspaper. With a new series of paintings, Manley focuses on the front page as both a significant marker of time as well as an iconographic symbol of information exchange.

HughScottDouglas
Hugh Scott-Douglas, Untitled, dye sublimation on linen, 2014

Do you recommend getting an MFA in Curatorial Practice? How did this affect your process?

With most education, you get out of it what you put into it. I really took advantage of the access that my Curatorial Practice MA gave me at the California College of the Arts (CCA). I met great curators and have stayed in touch with many of them. I opened the gallery while still working on my MA at CCA and found that I really benefited from the dialogue I had with teachers and visiting curators, who helped me understand how to develop my programming during the first year.

StraussBourqueLafrance
Strauss Bourque-Lafrance, Babe, just do it, plexiglas, polyethylene mesh and spray enamel, 2013

Do you live with art? What artists are in your personal collection?

Yes! My girlfriend, Sarah Thornton, and I love to live with art. Right now we have many amazing works in our house by artists such as Hugh Scott-Douglas, Lorna Simpson, Julian Hoeber, Strauss Bourque-Lafrance, John Baldessari, Lucie Stahl, Francesca Woodman, and many more.

If you could acquire any work of art in the world for your own personal collection, what would it be?

A couple of artists I always want to collect are R.H. Quaytman and Gabriel Orozco. Recently at Art Basel Miami Beach, a few things I saw and wanted were a sculpture by Simon Denny, a painting by Jaya Howey and a lot of works by David Hammons.

Allegra LaViola and Meredith Rosen

AllegraLaViola-MeredithRosen

Allegra LaViola and Meredith Rosen founded Sargent’s Daughters in November of 2013.

Tell us a little about Sargent’s Daughters, which borrows its name from John Singer Sargent. How was his practice an inspiration for the space? Didn’t you have an all female exhibition this summer?

The gallery opened in November 2013 and Sargent was an inspiration for a number of reasons. He was a traditionalist who could not help but be innovative, which was appealing as we are working with contemporary artists, but still interested in the historical and formal qualities of art. Also of importance to us was the dialogue between different generations of artists– historically and contemporaneously.

We did have a 40 woman exhibition this summer entitled “Sargent’s Daughters”, in which we asked the artists to contribute a work that was, in some way, inspired by Sargent. We were curious about the influence of someone so well known for his paintings of women– and how that translates to female artists today.

JesseMockrin

Jesse Mockrin's painting from "Sargent's Daughters"

You focus on artists whose work combines qualities of tradition and cutting edge. What do you find interesting about exhibiting traditional techniques in a time when the art world is very focused on the Internet and new technology? Who are some new or emerging artists who are taking an interesting approach to classical technique?

What is most of interest to us is the quality of work– not necessarily being about traditional techniques. Someone like Petra Cortright or Cory Archangel (both of whom work in new technology) are fascinating because there is the common art historical thread that weaves through their work. An artist making very traditional, but dull, oil paintings would not be of interest simply by virtue of his technique. I am also not sure the art world is actually that focused on new technology– people still love paintings!

There is an abundance of emerging artists who are approaching classical techniques in their own ways. Jesse Mockrin, Jordan Casteel, Brad Jones (an ongoing collaboration by Brandi Twilley and Jennifer Rubell) are artists whose works have captivated us recently.

BradJones

Brad Jones (an ongoing collaboration by Brandi Twilley and Jennifer Rubell): Diptychs

Your current exhibition, Brad Jones (an ongoing collaboration by Brandi Twilley and Jennifer Rubell): Diptychs, is both a performance and an exhibition of traditional portraiture. Who is “Brad Jones” and what drew you the project?

Brad Jones is the name of an ongoing collaboration between Brandi Twilley and Jennifer Rubell, initiated in April 2013. The artists meet three times a week for two hours at a time to engage in live portrait painting sessions in which Twilley always paints and Rubell always poses. As a conceptual frame around their portrait practice, they named the collaboration “Brad Jones,” conceived as the quintessential great American (male) painter.

What drew us to the project was both the paintings themselves, which are beautifully done, and the concept of the project. We are used to looking at nude women painted by men. The women are often anonymous and, even when they are famous, are eclipsed by the man who paints them. What if the sitter were just as active a participant as the painter? What if she also had ownership of the body of work that is, literally, her own body? Brad Jones both asks and answers these questions- and that was of deep importance to us as active participants in the art world.

BradJones

Brad Jones (an ongoing collaboration by Brandi Twilley and Jennifer Rubell): Diptychs

Rolando Jimenez and Ednita Colon

RolandoJiminez
Rolando Jimenez and Ednita Colon founded the Jimenez – Colon Collection in Puerto Rico, which contains 850 works of art by 250 different artists.

What draws you to contemporary art today?

In terms of art trends now, we are fascinated by process-driven work and abstract minimalism. Over the last five years, we have shifted our interests from primarily aesthetic to a more conceptual standpoint. For us, the experience of being surrounded by art should provoke thought and emotion. Of course, since contemporary art has proved to be a sound investment in recent years, collecting presents us with the opportunity to enhance our cultural and financial legacy. Having our daughters grow and be involved in our collecting ‘adventure’ has proved to be a powerful force in how we approach the ever-changing world as a family unit.

BruceHighQualityFoundation

"Self Portrait (Venus, Venus, Verdi)" by The Bruce High Quality Foundation

What was the first work of art you purchased?

In 2006, we started our collection mostly with Puerto Rican art. Our first piece was from Olga Albizu, considered among the most important women of American Abstract Expressionism and probably the movement’s most outstanding representative from Puerto Rico. By 2011, we shifted our focus towards international contemporary art, namely, figurative works. The first legitimate work in our international collection was a large work by Romanian artist Mircea Suciu, titled The Good Catholic. We added Julie Heffernan shortly thereafter, along with Ruby Neri and some of the artists featured in Phaidon’s Vitamin P2 book.  In retrospect, we’ve had a rather intense experience over the last 45 months!

MickaleneThomas

"Untitled - Portrait of Din" by Mickalene Thomas

Is it important for the works you’ve purchased to have been exhibited before? Do you loan your works to exhibitions?

We do our best to collect contemporary works that are representative of an artist’s style.  We also like to collect artists in depth when we feel moved by their conceptual approach. That being said, the exhibition curriculum and documentation of a specific work definitely creates added value.  That alone can tilt the balance when presented with a tough choice between two works.

We’ve had several works acquired for museum exhibitions.  Our Mickalene Thomas works were shown at the Brooklyn Museum and in Santa Monica. Two of our Ruby Neri sculptural works were shown in Los Angeles at different museum exhibitions before coming home to Puerto Rico.  Similar opportunities happened with Allison Schulnik and a few others.  We are certainly open to loaning our works and are hopeful that the future will bring more inquiries from institutional exhibitions as our collection grows and matures.

KadarBrock

"deredemisloreulpii" by Kadar Brock

How did you learn about Exhibition A and decide to purchase Kasper Sonne, Eddie Martinez, and Chris Succo prints (and more)? Do you add them to your collection?

We learned about Exhibition A while researching Art Basel Miami Beach and NADA Miami Beach 2011.  You presented a Nate Lowman print in your NADA 2011 booth.  That was a great introduction and I knew right away that Exhibition A meant serious business and would continue to present our art community with very collectible editions from top artists.  There have been varied reasons for us to move forward and collect your editions.  We love Kasper Sonne and Chris Succo, who are both emerging forces in process driven abstraction.  We have always experienced a very positive vibe towards Eddie Martinez and his work.  It’s also very likely that the Bruce High Quality Foundation represents our favorite collective in the whole world.  There will always be a very valid reason for us to indulge…

We officially add a good portion of the acquired Exhibition A editions to our collection, but some have been presented as great gifts to a group of friends that we have initiated in this contemporary art collecting adventure.  These special works have certainly triggered their curiosity and have enriched several aspects of our group experience.

DavidOstrowski

"F (Gee Vaucher)" by David Ostrowski

What artists would you like to see create an edition with Exhibition A?

David Ostrowski, Christian Rosa, Wyatt Kahn, Angel Otero, Israel Lund, Dean Levin, Jonas Wood.  There is a long list…but I am sure you have most of them in mind.

NickDarmstaedter

"Sammy's Camera" by Nick Darmstaedter

Which artist’s work are you pursuing for your collection currently?

We have recently added work by Christian Rosa, Nick Darmstaedter, Lucien Smith, David Ostrowski and Alex Hubbard, among others.  We are now after Wyatt Kahn and Jonas Wood.  We are also always on the lookout for Andy Warhol Polaroids and 8 x 10 format photographs to add to our collection.  We have been very active in collecting those Polaroids since 2011.

Natalia Sacasa

NataliaSacasa
Natalia Sacasa is a Senior Director at Luhring Augustine.

How did you originally become interested in contemporary art, and how did you get involved in art professionally?

I have always been a creative person. I was a ballet dancer in my teens and then became a visual artist, and I love to cook and craft. I attended Carnegie Mellon’s School of Art and earned a BFA; after art school I moved to New York and got a job as the receptionist at Luhring Augustine. I was made aware of the position through one of my best friends, the artist Matt Keegan, who was vacating it, and the director Claudia Altman-Siegel, who’s sister had also attended CMU. This is emblematic of how small and familial the art world was at the time–I’ve been with Luhring Augustine since 1999 and have been a witness to this amazing transformation! There has been an incredible expansion of the art world. I think the internet has a great deal to do with this…its more like an art universe now.

BThomStevenson
A painting by B Thom Stevenson

The artists who you show at Luring Augustine usually have pretty developed careers. Who are some younger or emerging artists you are following and why?

I recently have been looking at a lot of younger artist’s work through the internet, and of course, Instagram…. #Bushwick led me to the work of B. Thom Stevenson. His work owes a lot to the visual language of advertising, graphic design and the nostalgia for the printed object itself. He is also a painter who brings a broad range of symbols together for visual interpretation. His work has a sharp graphic quality, and I also want to unpack and churn it over in my head.

I became fascinated with photography early in my career. I never studied it formally, I learned through my work and became obsessed with it. I began to wonder about and seek out ways the medium was being used differently, beyond the traditional classifications of landscape and portraiture. My friend, the remarkably debonair Olivier Renaud Clement, introduced me to the work of Barbara Kasten, and that opened a set of floodgates for me. And though Kasten has been making her photographs since the 80′s, her work is only just now getting the recognition it deserves. Photographers like Kasten and Sarah Charlesworth have had a significant impact on artists of my generation who are using the medium; through their work I came to appreciate and collect the works of Eileen Quinlan, Sara VanDerBeek, and Liz Deschenes.

BushwickMural
Mural in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

What has been your experience of Bushwick since the gallery opened its exhibition space there in 2012? How has your gallery used that space as part of its program?

It happened that my husband Enrique and I moved to Bushwick around the same time that the gallery bought the building and decided to make part of it exhibition space, so I’ve had a multifaceted experience of the neighborhood. My co-worker Donovan Barrow recommended Lawrence and Roland look for space in the area for storage. The building was large enough to accommodate an ample gallery/viewing room and the space was designed so that we could have the option to be open to the public. At first we didn’t think we would have a year-round program, but our projects were getting such good public reception we kept inviting artists to do exhibitions there.

There was a well established community of artists and galleries in Bushwick before we opened and they were very welcoming to us. The first opening of Charles Atlas’s The Illusion of Democracy was packed! And unlike openings in Chelsea, people came and hung out rather than moving onto the next gallery, Bushwick has the feeling of community that I think we have lost in Chelsea. People spend time with the work there, so we have endeavored to make it worth their while. We have treated the space not as a “secondary space,” but as an equal counterpart to our Chelsea program. We’ve done an important historic exhibition, artists have shown new works, and we have also done screenings and overviews of earlier works by our filmmakers.

It feels like the development of the area is accelerating. There are dozens of new apartment buildings, bars, coffee shops and restaurants opening up between the Morgan and Dekalb stops on the L. The area also has a vivid display of outdoor murals–you can walk through the neighborhood and see so many different styles–from the traditional graffiti mural stylings to paintings and paper murals. I have been “collecting” murals too… I have a Facebook album going.

NataliaSacasa
Part of Natalia’s mural “collection”

What projects are you focusing on or excited about this coming year either at LuA or other spaces?

I’m working with Jeff Elrod who will have an exhibition with Galerie Max Hetzler in Paris. To sum it up, I think his work is radical and he is making his best work right now. I am looking forward to that exhibition, and of course I’ll be in Paris–I love Paris! Janine Antoni is another artist I work with; she too is making some of the most compelling work of her career. She has been engaged with movement and dance as well as making sculpture; the symbiosis of which is profoundly poetic. This work will be exhibited in the spring ’15 at Anthony Meier Fine Art in San Francisco and at Luhring Augustine in New York; she is also working on a series of performance pieces for the Fabric Workshop. She received a grant to develop the work over the next two years with Anna Halprin and Stephen Petronio!

EileenQuinlan

Eileen Quinlan photographs.

Art collecting advice no one else is giving?

I don’t think I’m alone in this assertion, but it doesn’t hurt to restate: buy what you love not what you think is a good investment. There are no “mistakes” if you buy art this way. Make an attempt to connect with the artist, make it meaningful and the value will be there.

Joshua Abelow

JoshuaAbelow

Joshua Abelow is an artist represented by James Fuentes Gallery.

You and MacGregor Harp were both in a show with Sadie Laska that just closed, right? When were you introduced to him or his work?

Yes, yes and Adrianne Rubenstein.  The four of us had paintings intermingling at David Petersen Gallery in Minneapolis last month.  I don’t remember the first time I saw MacGregor’s work, but the first time I heard his name probably had something to do with 247365.

Last winter, Emily Ludwig Shaffer and I curated a group show inspired by Twin Peaks at The Suzanne Geiss Company and we included a large wall painting by MacGregor.  One of the things I like about MacGregor’s work is that it is stylistically diverse. Yet, there is something soulful and thoughtful in all of it.

JoshuaAbelow

What Was The Question group show at David Peterson Gallery

How do you balance creating artwork, curating shows, and posting to ART BLOG ART BLOG? Is balance even the right word? I imagine it’s an integrated life.

Have you ever read Paul Feeley’s “Bennington Art Policy,” which was written in 1959?  It’s a list of twenty objectives.  The last one reads, “To emphasize the notion of the study of art as a way of leading to a way of life, not the study of art as the acquisition of a vocational technique leading to immediate success.”

BeckyHowland

A Becky Howland piece from Joshua's collection.

You’re pretty stringent about documenting and archiving your paintings. Why is this important to you? Do you see it as a separate component to the art-making? Do you encourage other artists to do this or is it more of a personal habit?

I do it out of necessity – the only way for me to keep track of my life and my work is to be organized.  My approach to art is, in a lot of ways, analytical.  I’m interested in the relationship between things.  How does painting relate to blogging for instance?  How does writing relate to photography?  How can a group of drawings change the interpretation of a group of paintings?  What is the difference between the documentation of an artwork and the original artwork?  How does the circulation of images and text on the Internet inform or alter meaning?  The blog is an extension of my interest in organization, documentation, daily ritual, and communication with an invisible, ever-present audience.  There are over 12,500 posts on the blog and each post marks a specific moment in time.  I’m interested in marking time in a variety of ways.

JoshuaAbelow

Joshua Abelow and Gene Beery's two person show at Bodega

I loved your book, Painter’s Journal. You also write poetry. How is the writing thought process different from visual art – say, a line drawing? Or is it?

Thank you.  I worked on Painter’s Journal, off and on, for about four years before it was published.  Although my style is simple, everything I write goes through several iterations before completion.  My drawings, on the other hand, are immediate and I never edit or revise.  Painting is a combination of the two.  All these activities occupy different parts of my brain, but they are interconnected.

JoshuaAbelow

Joshua Abelow and Gene Beery at Bodega.

Your show just opened with Gene Beery at Bodega in New York and also at Freddy in Baltimore.  Can you tell us a bit about these exhibitions?

I discovered Beery’s work about three years ago.  Since that time we have become friends and he has been actively contributing photographs, text, and paintings to my blog on a weekly or monthly basis.  We did some art trades, which lead to a conversation about a two-person show.  Rather than a straightforward painting exhibition, we thought it would be more interesting to do some collaborative works.  So, in addition to showing our paintings at Bodega, we made about 100 black and white photographs – I shot the photos in New York and then Gene added text in response to each image from his home in California.  Ten of these photographs are on view at Freddy in Baltimore.  The show in Baltimore presents photos of the show in New York – a Dada inspired gesture that is intended to be somewhat confusing.

JoshuaAbelow-GeneBeery

Joshua Abelow and Gene Beery collaborative photograph.

Do you purchase and/or live with artwork? If so, what?

I’m the proud owner of two “Lung Cancer Ashtrays” by Becky Howland – wonderful ceramic pieces from 1984.  They were in a show with MacGregor and Robert Loughlin at Freddy a few weeks ago called Freddy’s Addiction.  I don’t hang much in my apartment – my entire art collection is at my mom’s house.  Some good stuff on the walls – Keith Mayerson, Eddie Martinez, Katherine Bernhardt, Tisch Abelow, Michael Berryhill, William Crawford, Gene Beery, Cheryl Donegan, MacGregor Harp, Van Hanos, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Nicholas Buffon, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Joe Bradley, among others.

Ethan Suplee

EthanSuplee

Ethan Suplee is an actor best known for his work in American History X, Blow, and Cold Mountain, among many other film and television roles. He is an avid art collector based in New York and Los Angeles.

How did you first become interested in contemporary art?

I’ve always been drawn to the idea that artists change the way we see the world. I’ve also had an affinity for history for as long as I can recall. It’s been the last ten or so years that I focused on work that’s being made now.

KonTrubkovich

A piece by Kon Trubkovich.

When did you start collecting? Do you remember the first piece you bought?

I have works that I acquired back in the mid ’90s, but my clearest memories of purchasing art with the intention of collecting are from the early 2000s, when I bought work by JP Munro and Rob Thom from China Art Objects.

KikaKaradi

From Kika Karadi's OPM series.

When were you first introduced to Kika Karadi? What drew you to her work?
A friend named Mike Densen told me to check her out about a year ago. I was immediately taken with her haunting style.

JeffElrod

Jeff Elrod

How do you stay engaged in what’s going on in the art world?

I try to go to as many openings and fairs as possible. In LA, I like OhWow, Steve Turner Contemporary, Roberts and Tilton, Anat Ebgi, Cherry and Martin, Night Gallery… There are a lot more galleries in NYC, too many to list. I read Art Forum and like Art Observed, I really enjoy Adam Lindemann’s op-ed pieces.

IsabelYellin

Isabel Yellin.

Who are you collecting right now? Which new artists should we look out for?

Right now I’m really excited by Torey Thornton, Ross Iannatti and Isabel Yellin.

Alberto Chehebar

AlbertoChechebar

Alberto Chehebar works in the textile distribution business and has been collecting art for over 25 years. Originally from Bogotá, Columbia, he recently moved to LA to explore the art scene.

How were you first introduced to Eddie Martinez’s work?

We had a studio visit, and it was love at first sight!

LucienSmith

Pieces by Sam Moyer, Kyle Thurman, and Lucien Smith.

What was the first piece of art you purchased and why?

My first piece was a Keith Haring in 1989. I was studying in NYC and was exposed to his work all over the city. He was a huge influence and a true master. It’s still probably one the most important works in the collection.

KAWS

A painting by KAWS.

What other artists are you collecting (or seeking to collect?)

I collect anything that moves me, from Cindy Sherman to KAWS, George Condo, and Jonas Wood. The spectrum has no limits. Recently it’s been women; Lucy Dodd and Petra Cortright, amongst others.

AlbertoChechebar

Chehebar's collection.

How do you keep up with current trends in contemporary art?

I do lots of studio visits and travel to fairs all over. Both are key. I love seeing the work in the studio and then seeing how it speaks in context to other work at fairs and galleries.

CoryArcangel-RobertIndiana

Pieces by Cory Arcangel and Robert Indiana.

Simon Franks

SimonFranks

Simon Franks founded the Franks-Suss Art Collection with Robert Suss in 2001.

The Franks‐Suss Collection first focused primarily on Chinese artwork. How has the collection evolved since it was founded in 2001? What do you find unique about work being produced in countries that are undergoing social, economic, or political change?

When we started collecting in China, it was by far the most exciting country in terms of producing wonderful and original art, at prices that we could afford. China was at the vanguard of the emerging art scene, and also, as it happened, one of the catalysts for the creation of the Collection. As time went by, China became hot and as the prices of Chinese work rose and indeed our own resources grew, we widened the net and started looking for the other countries that were also not focussed on by the collecting world. It is hard to imagine now that in 2001 almost no Western collections had Chinese art works. What is so exciting about China and indeed most countries that are undergoing change be it social, economic or political is that it provides a catalyst for artists to say something to tell a story, to protest. From my perspective, some Western art from the most developed countries had become crass, shallow and lacking in any poignancy. That is not always the case obviously, but I still find countries like China, Angola, Zimbabwe or Brazil create exciting art.


BradKahlhamer

Brad Kahlhamer, "Marianetta, Wife of Geronimo", 2013

There is some overlap in your collection with artists we’ve collaborated with: Brad Kahlhamer, Kon Trubkovich, Andisheh Avini, and now Kasper Sonne. How did you discover Kasper?

Part of the Collection’s raison d’être is the highlighting of exciting talent trying to do something different. The artists you mentioned are all doing that, including one of my absolute favourites, Brad Kahlhamer. In regard to Kasper, I cannot take credit for discovering him. It was actually Rob who started following Kasper’s work after an introduction and became a big fan very quickly.


BradKahlhamer

Brad Kahlhamer, "Hair and Skin", 2013

Many artists you’ve collected go on to have long, vibrant careers. What’s the biggest success story you’ve seen over the past twelve years?

Yes I am very proud of this fact. I think our curators have been exceptional in finding artists that are committed and for the long term and have the X Factor, the Magic Dust that helps their work consistently evolve and stay on as the zeitgeist. To answer your question directly about the biggest success story, you would have to first define success for me. I suspect you mean in terms of value of the work having grown. In today’s world where art has become so commoditized and is treated as an investment product, rather than a work of beauty, this seems to be the most focused on. According to this metric, I would have to highlight Zeng Fanzhi. We first bought his work, of which we have many, in the low tens of thousands. As you know, today his work trades in the millions. Zeng is the real deal and on a comparative basis he is still not fully valued as an artist, by Western collectors.


ZengfanZhi

You’ve said your collection is about a shared passion for art and those whom create it rather than investment. Can you expand on why you think this is important for the long term?

I cannot speak for Rob but when I started the Collection I knew nothing about art, but I have always had a passion for people who create art in all its forms whether it be poetry, writing, painting, film making or music. There is something beguiling about watching an artist at work, artists consumed by their passion and skill. But as the Collection has grown and the numbers become bigger and more meaningful, it is hard to not consider art in an investment sense. The media is so full of investment articles about art and a whole eco system has developed to monetize and commoditize art. We at the Collection really try to resist seeing art this way.  Ultimately we’d like the Collection to function as a global beacon which calls a wider community to engage with the arts and expands the engagement with the art and the artists we care about. That is our goal.


Yonamine

Yonamine, "Once You Go Black, You Never Go Back", 2013

Tom Weinrich

TomWeinrich

Tom Weinrich is the founder of Interstate in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Interstate is a staple of the Bushwick art community. How has it evolved since it first opened?

The central idea behind Interstate from the beginning has been to connect artists and curators who are doing exciting new work around the country and internationally, and give them the freedom, space, and support to produce ambitious shows without the pressures of the market. When the gallery moved from the 56 Bogart building to our current location at 66 Knickerbocker, our programming was able to expand greatly with the massive increase in space. In addition to that, last year I was joined by Jamie Sterns, who has brought in an incredible energy and an astute eye for emerging artists.


InterstateProjects

Melissa Sachs and Cameron Soren at Insterstate

Tell us about “Beyond the Pale”, which opens at Interstate in October. When did you first see B. Thom Stevenson’s work?

Beyond the Pale is a group exhibition curated by artist Sam McKinniss. Sam was actually who introduced me to B. Thom Stevenson’s work, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what works of his will be included in the show.


RacheldeJoode

Rachel de Joode at Interstate

You’ve worked with guest curators before. Can you tell us about the U.L.O. project at Interstate this past summer?

U:L:O is our annual six week long summer program where we invite six curators or spaces to organize shows for one of the unique spaces of the gallery : upper, lower, and outside. The aim of the program is to create a dialogue of what is happening “now” in various art groups and art production centers around the country.


ULO

U:L:O: Part II: Inside Out, curated by Ben Gocker

Which artists are you watching right now? Who should we be looking out for?

I’m really interested in the austere pseudo-historical work that Jason Metcalf is making out in LA. Body by Body and Sara Magenheimer are making great work here in NY, so is Michael Hilsman (who has a stellar two person show up right now at a new space in Williamsburg called Moiety). I also always keep an eye on what Jonathan Hartshorn is doing out in Albuquerque.


JeffBaji

Jeff Baji at Interstate

Any other exciting projects coming up?

We’ve got a really strong schedule for the fall and winter, with solo shows by Daniel Leyva, Oskar Nilsson, Nick DeMarco, and Sara Magenheimer, and group shows organized by Sam McKinniss and Seung Min Lee.

Joel Mesler

JoelMesler

Joel with his son, Lev. Courtesy Siobhan Bradley.

Joel Mesler runs Untitled in New York City and co-owns Retrospective Gallery in Hudson, NY with Zach Feuer.

How did you meet Matthew Chambers?

Matt and I met while he was working at the Art Center Library in Los Angeles, through a mutual friend Dr. Von Schlegel. I fell in love with him immediately. He began helping me write a script about my childhood called ‘Mesler vs. Mesler’. The movie has not yet been made, as we are obviously still looking for backing.  I first showed Matthew in a four person group show at my previous gallery, Rental.

RentalGallery

Installation view of An Activity So Pure at gallery Rental

What was the first artwork you purchased?

A piece by Eric Wesley.

What artists are you personally collecting at the moment?

I collect the artists I work with in depth as well as Käthe Kollwitz.

MatthewChambers

Matthew Chambers flocking pieces at Hezi Cohen Gallery

There is a sense of humor and lightness to Retrospective Gallery, shown in the recent Jesse Stecklow press release and even the design of the gallery’s website. Is this a goal for the space?

I think of Retrospective as a space where artists can step outside the pretense of an exhibition in the city. As such, the gallery fosters a level of experimentation not as likely in the city.

MatthewChambers

Installation view of Matthew Chambers at Untitled

After nine months of exhibitions at Retrospective Gallery, what has changed?

The commute has gotten longer. We just opened show with Jessie Stecklow and a show curated by Lauren Christiansen titled “My Chemical Romance“. It will include new works by Mikkel Carl, Eric Davis, Rachael Milton, and Santiago Taccetti.  Eric Davis, for example, makes what he calls “durational” paintings,  whose surface is altered over time. We also have upcoming solos shows by Haley Mellin and Jean-Baptiste Bernadet.

Does Lev have any art?

Lev is a work of art.

Lucy Mitchell-Innes

LucyMitchellInnes

Lucy Mitchell-Innes co-founded Mitchell-Innes & Nash with her husband, David Nash. Prior to opening the gallery in 1996, she worked at Sotheby’s and was the president of the ADAA from 2009-2013.

Do you remember the first piece of art you purchased?

The first piece of art I purchased was a very early linocut by Ben Nicholson of himself and Barbara Hepworth intertwined. I had studied him in college and felt very lucky to find something that I knew was so special.


BernhardBrungs

Nicht näher zusammen wie Brüder, Bernhard Brungs. Photo courtesy Produzentengalerie.

How did you begin collecting Bernhard Brung‘s work?

I first came across Bernhard’s work at Produzentengalerie in Hamburg in 2008.  I was immediately interested in his style of painting and I purchased one from the show. This particular work is titled Nicht näher zusammen wie Brüder, which roughly translates to “Do not dwell together as brothers”.  I was drawn to the way he combines literature, painting and sexuality quite mysteriously. I have had this work hanging in my home for several years and it never ceases to interest me, so in the past few years, I have purchased four or five more paintings.


JustineKurland

How do you discover emerging artists? What current or upcoming programming are you excited to present this fall?

The gallery directors and I spend time visiting studios and seeing as much as possible in whatever city we are traveling in. We are always looking.

I am very excited about our two fall exhibitions – in September we will show a new body of work by the photographer Justine Kurland at our Chelsea location, and Justine will curate an exhibition at our 1018 Madison Avenue location.  After that, we will have a survey exhibition of work by the painter Julian Stanczak, which will be his first exhibition with the gallery.


JustineKurland

Is this the first time you’ve presented concurrent shows at both locations or had an artist curated show?

This is first time we’ve presented concurrent shows at both locations.  We’re very excited about Justine’s new body of work, which she has photographed all over the US during the past three years.  The show, titled “Sincere Auto Care”, features roughly 35 documentary-style photographs of cars, mechanics and the ‘open road’, which present a complicated and slightly uneasy reading of the American Dream.  Justine is also an extremely talented curator, so we’re very lucky to have her curate Days Inn at our uptown location.  This will be the second time Justine has curated a show for the gallery, the first was a 2006 exhibition titled A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts.


JustineKurland

Advice to young collectors and those just beginning to purchase art for the first time? Do you have any guidelines that you follow specifically when collecting art?

Do your research! Get to know the artists’ work and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  And at the end of the day you have to follow your instincts, which will be honed by looking as much as possible. Also don’t be afraid to make mistakes, we all do!

Karen O

KarenO

Karen O is the lead vocalist for the alternative rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2014 for “Best Original Song.”

Who are some contemporary artists you really like?

I love Urs [Fischer]‘s work and I love Darren Bader‘s work. I guess I like a healthy dose of the absurd in art. I went to school with Darren, lost touch and then reunited with him when he was working under Urs in 2008 when Urs was working with YYYs on our It’s Blitz record art. Now Darren’s one of my favorite contemporary artists.

UrsFisher

You’ve said in the past that Christian Joy has been your partner in crime for over 10 years. How did you originally meet and decide to work together?

I met Christian when she worked at the Daryl K store in the East Village. I used to stop in the store and chat with her, we’d get to talking about boys mostly. Then at some point she brought in a couple of pieces she was working on; one was an army green t-shirt that she had lined the collar with plastic green army men and the other was a deconstructed prom dress that I think she called “teenage car crash dress”? Yeah Yeah Yeahs had just started playing live shows around that time and I thought to myself, “that dress sure beats what I’m wearing on stage,” so I asked her if she’d make me a dress to wear on stage. She agreed and the rest is history.

ChristianJoy

Tell us about the evolution of your costuming and stage presence. Does one costume stand out as being particularly brazen, challenging for the stage, or perhaps just a favorite?

Our partnership = female trouble. We’re up to no good: we will crash the party and trash the living room. There’s something intrinsically sadomasochistic about our working relationship, there’s a lot of provocation in our sensibility. Christian once put me in a dress that was SO heinous and SO ridiculous, which I’ve dubbed the “pepperoni pizza dress.” It was bright yellowish-green covered in these 3D polka dots that looked like slices of pepperoni and jutting from the sleeves were black-and-white striped, stuffed, penile-looking appendages. I wore it for one show and felt like a chicken pocked Carmen Miranda up there, yet I chose to wear it, no one forced me to. I’m pretty sure that with many of the costumes she’s made for me there’s an unspoken challenge like, “I dare you to wear this one in front of thousands of people” and I’m like, “You’re on. I’m going to wear the shit out of that thing that looks like a Day-Glo diaper.” All the best collaborations have some chafing, some push and pull, some love and some hate.

ChristianJoy

Outside of that aspect of our relationship there’s a deep love and childlike enthusiasm for the glamour of cult idols. We love cult everything in music, film, and the avant-garde, which we reference heavily. We always have a lot of fun conspiring about what our next conquest is going to be.

How has your costuming affected your music or vice versa?

I can’t imagine myself in the YYYs without the contribution of Christian Joy. It’s an impossibility. There’s no fantasy in rock stardom without the presentation of style and persona. When I’m getting ready to tour behind a record, my redemption from the perils of the road is that I get to wear Christian’s costumes and be a new character in a new story on that stage. When I think back and review all the costumes throughout the evolution of our careers, one thing remains the same and that’s that Christian makes stuff that’s fun to look at and pleasure-inducing. She’s the queen of fantastic, feel-good designs. Whether she likes it or not, it is truly a joy for me to wear her costumes, like the name Christian JOY.

KarenO

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Glastonbury

Do you ever wear the costumes more than once? Where do they live after you’ve performed in them?

I generally wear Christian’s costumes to their costume graves. I like them shiny and new but I love them all weathered and war-torn. The beloved studded black leather Zero jacket lives with me in my closet at home, and my heart literally skips a beat whenever I uncloak it from its garment bag. The rest are in a costume cemetery of big plastic bins in a storage space in Los Angeles.

Look for Karen O’s solo album debut, Crush Songs, out Sept. 9th.

ChristianJoy

Karen O's favorite leather jacket

Jon Lutz

JonLutz

Jon Lutz directs SARDINE Gallery in Bushwick with Lacey Fekishazy and has run the project, Daily Operation, since 2008.

How did you first get interested in contemporary art?

Probably from seeing Bruce Nauman’s “World Peace” at the St. Louis Art Museum when I was in high school. It was so grating and awkward, but super engaging. But my interest in contemporary working artists really solidified when I moved to New York and worked around artists. Visiting their studios made me realize what I wanted to do with myself, to get their work out there. This is when I started my Daily Operation curatorial project, which preceded my joining Sardine.

HollyCoulis

How did you meet Holly Coulis, and what work do you live with by her?

I met Holly in the early 2000s and have followed her work since. In her case, I feel like no genre is too passé or overdone. I’m impressed by her ability to delve into the still life, landscape, etc. and find much more within it. I think she might be attracted to and challenged by it, pulling something off that is earnest, insightful, beautiful and witty without an overtly ironic wink to the viewer. I own a beautiful drawing called “Lemons”.

Sardine

Tell us about SARDINE Gallery. Who you are you showing?

At Sardine we focus on solo shows of artists who have rigorous and dedicated practices with a distinct personal vision. Some of our most recent shows were by Holly Coulis, Jamison Brosseau, Gabriel Hurier and Mitchell Wright. Our intimate space is a perfect place to show how they work through ideas in the studio or to do some experimentation. For example, in Brosseau’s show, we presented 4 of his “Tropical Spiders” paintings on a new particle board wall where each work initially appeared the same but were executed individually and had different colored frames. We are really excited to show of Leah Tacha’s ceramic sculptures in September and have a really strong schedule beyond that.

Sardine

People have been talking about the art scene in Bushwick, Brooklyn for a while. What’s your perspective?

I’m excited by the energy in Bushwick and it’s proximity to artists and spaces. In general, I think you can find a great many quality artists and exhibitions happening. From what I can tell from the last Bushwick Open Studios, I think it’s getting more critical attention. The first NEWD Art Show, where we also showed J.D. Walsh, Leah Tacha, and Holly Coulis, was also pretty important for us. We were able to connect with a new audience of collectors, press and peers who just haven’t had the chance to see one of our shows yet. We have a event organized by Jaime Gecker called “Haus Party” this Saturday, July 26th.

Mark Flood

MarkFlood

We spoke to the artist about his friendship with Cole Mohr and his new exhibition space, [MARK FLOOD RESENTS].

How did you first meet Cole?

When I met Cole he was working the counter at Amy’s Ice Cream in Houston. He was art-obsessed. Then he went away to NYC to be a model, so I assumed he was dead. Then I ran into him at a Cold Ones concert at Santos Party Room.

ColeMohr

Do you own any of his work? It seems like Texan artists are having a moment right now.

I own about a dozen great Cole Mohr paintings.

ColeMohrCole Mohr

What are you up to this summer?

I’m opening my own gallery [MARK FLOOD RESENTS] in July, next door to Zach Feuer, to show off my art collection. It will have Cole Mohr paintings in it. Cole Mohr in person may be there too. That’s what I’m doing this summer…

ColeMohr

Michael Densen

MichaelDensen

Michael Densen with a Sergej Jensen

Michael Densen is a contemporary art collector and entrepreneur based in New York City.

How did you first become interested in contemporary art?

I’ve been interested in contemporary art since I was in my teens. I grew up in New York and was lucky enough to be exposed to museums with great contemporary collections, such as the Guggenheim and MOMA from early on. I remember seeing the work of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Jasper Johns and dreaming of collecting art one day. As I achieved more success in my professional life, I was exposed to remarkable collections that belonged to friends—clients and a partner of mine in a vineyard property. Then it was Cy Twombly, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman and, dare I say, Damien Hirst that caught my attention. There was a moment when I realized that if I continued to work hard and excel professionally that what was once just a dream might become a reality, and that I could have a collection one day. In retrospect I wish I had started earlier.

ChrisSucco

Chris Succo

What’s the most exciting art purchase you’ve made?

I remember a morning several years back when a dealer in London called me at 6 a.m. and asked me to fill or kill on a package of four paintings we had been negotiating over for two weeks. It contained three significant works by an artist whose work I was trying very hard to accumulate at the time and remains one that I still collect—Sterling Ruby. The fourth work and the linchpin of the deal was a 1994 Damien Hirst spot painting. The Rubys were relatively inexpensive—as his meteoric ascent was just beginning—but the Hirst (the trade bait) was not inexpensive and did not really work well in the context of my collection. After weighing the options one last time I threw caution to the wind, bought the four paintings and from a collecting standpoint have never looked back.

SterlingRuby

Michael Densen with "Double Vampire" by Sterling Ruby

How do you decide where to hang your artwork? Do you rotate your collection?

Lets just say that when hanging work in one’s home, the easy choices—such as size, color palette, subject matter and lighting—are made more difficult when you include context in the decision making process. When hanging paintings I aspire to create a narrative between the works that speaks louder than decoration. Over the past few years my collection has grown to the point where much of it is in storage, so I try to rotate works frequently and unfortunately I’ve found myself making compromises when a painting arrives to be hung that does not work perfectly in a spot that I have chosen for it. I’ll usually hang it anyway and live with it for a while rather than send it back to a dark storage room. This is one of the main reasons that I am in the process of renovating a large warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn which will be my family’s future home but will also function as a gallery space for works from my own collection.

GeorgeCondo

Michael Densen with wife, Rosemary Ward Densen, and daughter, Clover, with George Condo's "Untitled", 2013.

What emerging artists are you following?

That term “emerging artist” is becoming confusing these days. Social media, particularly Instagram has changed how we process new art. It’s an amazing study on just how powerful social media can be when it comes to achieving critical mass. It used to take years for an artist to “emerge” with quality work, curatorial support, reputable gallery representation, and loyal patronage from important collectors. Today, an Instagram post or two by the “right” people can create such a supply and demand discrepancy that suddenly paintings from virtually unrepresented artists— that should be selling for reasonable prices—are selling for around 100K per canvas. Is an artist whose work is selling at those levels still an emerging artist? I’m following a long list of young artists, but I’m confused as to who is emerging! In any event I’m particularly excited about my friends and neighbors at the Stillhouse Group, Grear Patterson, Gus Thompson. Just about every artist featured in the group show presently up at Venus Over Manhattan, curated by Michael Nevin’s Journal Gallery. Ayan Farah, Brent Wadden, Ross Iannatti, Andra Ursuta, Will Boone. The list goes on and on.

KikaKaradi

Kika Karadi

AlexPerweiler

Alex Perweiler

What older artists would you like to see make a comeback?

I’m glad that Sergej Jensen seems to be getting broader recognition for the greatness that so many seem to be imitating. Matthew Barney seems to have been pushed out of the limelight for a moment but seems poised for a comeback. Adam McEwen’s market has been insanely soft for no good reason and he’s one of the most intelligent and funny artists out there.

JoeBradley

"Untitled" by Joe Bradley

Advice to young collectors and those just beginning to purchase art for the first time?

The politically correct thing to say here is: Buy what you like, what you want to live with, listen to your inner voice, blah blah blah. Of course, in the real world those edicts will always hold true to a certain extent no matter what, but as a young collector purchasing art for the first time it’s difficult to know what you like; the experience isn’t there and it takes time to develop an eye. It was that way of thinking that made me miss Wade Guyton several years ago. My advice would be to study. Immerse yourself in emerging art. Immerse yourself in the emerging art market. Find galleries that have well respected rosters and start a dialogue with them. Find a great advisor that specializes in emerging art. Talk to other collectors with more experience than you do and gather as much information as possible. And last but not least, exhibit discipline as a collector and search out A+ examples from the artists that you decide to collect.

Daniel Heidkamp

DanielHeidkamp

We spoke to the artist about his solo show opening tonight from 6-8pm at White Columns, Little League baseball, and painting from life. Look for Daniel Heidkamp in group shows at Zach Feuer and Jack Hanley later this summer.

What are the new paintings hanging at White Columns like?

The show is comprised of oil paintings inspired by the grounds behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Many of the paintings were made live on the spot and from direct observation, and others were developed later in the studio. I chose this setting because in addition to it being beautiful Central Park terrain— blossoms, tree canopies, modernist and classical architecture—I’m interested in the idea of the museum as a symbol.  It is the safe house of our finest art—painting on these grounds suggests how the landscape can never escape the weight of history.  While painting there I’m outside of the institution, removed, but still communing and connecting with the masters. The image of the Met—the walls and glass—seems impenetrable, but in the paintings there is slippage, moments that break through.

DanielHeidkamp

Tell us about your slugger paintings shown at NADA. What was the genesis of these; what inspired you?

I have a wild two-year-old baby who runs all over the place. I had the thought that if he’s in Little League when he’s older, I could make great paintings of him and his friends playing ball. The vision of the slugger kept popping into my mind, and I realized what I was picturing was my own experience playing as a kid. I found early Little League pictures at my childhood home, dug through my old baseball card collection, and made some observational paintings of friends posing as “the slugger”. As this series developed, I realized that the slugger is less about baseball and more about the stance, a gesture, a pose, and the energy and humor that is required to move through life. In some of the paintings all the signifiers of baseball—the stirrups, the bat, the hat—are removed and all that’s left is a guy sluggin’.  Sometimes he strikes out.

DanielHeidkamp

Would you speak about scaling your work? You had one particularly large painting at Marlborough Chelsea and we imagine that would change your process a good deal.

When painting small I have a sense of freedom, flow, and fearlessness.  My goal is to have that same energy on the big scale.  It’s tricky, and it requires a lot of preparation, big brushes, more paint, and most importantly an idea or image that holds up.  I enjoy the illusionistic possibilities of going big.  Painting a person that is larger than life creates a physical reaction, and painting a landscape that is as expansive as your actual focal range can be beguiling—the viewers can put themselves in the picture.

What about working en plein air? Would you tell us why this important to your paintings?

Painting from life is the central core of my project. As a representational painter, it’s important for me to see my subject unfiltered and unmediated.  When painting “en plein air” I feel the atmosphere on my skin, I can see in every direction, and unexpected nuances appear in the art. There is an adrenaline feeling that happens while working “live” and that energy can translate directly into the painting.  I don’t use an easel, I put my canvas on the ground, in the grass or dirt, and I dig in.

Keith Mayerson

KeithMayerson

Featured Works on Exhibition A

KeithMayerson_AnnieOakley KeithMayerson_Superman KeithMayerson_TimesSquare


Keith Mayerson is a painter and teacher at the School of Visual Arts. We spoke with him about his work in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, his personal art collection, teaching Nate Lowman and more.

What has your experience been like with the Whitney Biennial? What exactly is your American Dream?

“My American Dream” is the title for the narrative of the installation, but it’s also performative: being in the Biennial is my American Dream! Ever since I saw my first Biennial in 1987 when I was in college, I have always wanted to be a part of it and influence others in the way that the artists in that show inspired me. Showing in galleries to a limited audience has always been a source of some frustration. It’s great to reach a general public this large and to have my voice be heard.

For me, the “super salon”—there are forty-two paintings hung literally floor to ceiling on two walls in the show—is a giant comic composition that’s merely posing as a salon-style installation. The works are partially organized in horizontal installations that have paintings one next to another with space in between, like horses in a stable, that tell stories in more of a 20th Century format. But I grew up with salon-style posters on my wall, I live in an apartment with salon-style hangings of my work and others, and I think it’s an excellent way to create comic compositions that allow the viewer’s eyes to flow more freely from one image to another.

This is one of the biggest achievements I hope I’ve accomplished in the installation. These aren’t just paintings on a wall, but are specifically designed in their spacing and arrangement, like a maze or a waterworks, to guide the viewer through the story, no matter from what direction they begin.

KeithMayerson

Installation view of Keith Mayerson's "My American Dream" in the 2014 Whitney Biennial

Do you think of your work as a narrative of your own  life?

In recent years, I’ve been been painting from my own photos. I value having total autonomy over the image—rather that appropriating pre-existing images—and find that when I’m very close to the subject matter, something extra slips in through the conscious hand and brings out transcendent feelings and emotions that go beyond language.

I’ve spoken through avatars for much of my twenty-year year career. My breakout show was my graduate thesis at UC Irvine, which was called “Pinocchio the Big Fag” and based on a Cole Porter-esque musical I wrote. It had different pieces in different styles, as if my version of the story existed along with the original–except employed actors portrayed different characters; Keanu Reeves was Lampwick, John Wayne was Geppetto, Jodi Foster was the Blue Fairy, and so on.

Though I paint cartoon images, I also paint icons from our real world. We can all relate to people in popular culture, and they can become a meeting ground for relatable themes and allegorical content while also being portraits of those people and carrying the weight of their cultural influence.

How did you begin collecting art?

As an artist you get to trade, and I’m very fortunate to have been able to do this with my famous and “soon to be famous” artists friends. I love seeing their work everyday. The works are so important to me and my husband that if there was a fire, we’d grab the work first (that is…after we saved our pets).

KeithMayerson

Mayerson's art collection, including works by Catherine Opie, Richard Hawkins, Aura Rosenberg, and Travis Hutchensen

What’s your relationship with Dana Schutz and the other artists who are hanging on your walls?

Dana I came to know in one of the most wonderful ways you can get to know a fellow artist: the first painting she ever bought was one of mine and she subsequently bought even more work before we ended up trading. It is the deepest honor when an artist you respect wants your work and even more so when they actually want to spend their hard-earned money on it!

Like most of the artists I’m friends with, I feel my simpatico with Dana, Ryan Johnson, her husband, and the whole crew of friends they share studio space with. Painters who still use brushes are like the “last of the Jedi knights”. I feel like we are all on the same team.

KeithMayerson

Mayerson's collection, which includes work by Dana Schutz, Jacob Kassay, and Nicole Eisenman, among others

So you currently teach cartooning and illustration at SVA. What’s your relationship to Superman and Annie Oakley?

Though I exhibit in the context of galleries and museums, as a fine artist, I really think of myself in many ways as an avant-garde cartoonist. All my exhibits are non-linear narratives—almost like comics on a wall—where the juxtaposition of images tells an open-ended and somewhat ambiguous story. Since I don’t have recurring characters appear in each individual image, they’re more like avant-garde comics, theater, or film, where the sequences ask the viewer to think a little more and hopefully by doing so, become more involved. Part of the power of comics is that they use icons, which can be literal figures from culture that people relate to or allegorical models of people.

Superman is a painting appropriated from the very first comic strip that Siegel & Shuster created. I grew up loving Superman, and like many iconic avatars that children suture into, he helped to form a non-religious model of what it takes to be a good person.  I feel that post-Warhol, instead of just appropriating comics in a Duchampian mode, it is my job to bring emotion to the image. Like a method-actor, I try to step into the shoes of the characters I’m portraying, to help to bring them to life.

It was really amazing painting Annie Oakley. I always advocate, especially with my cartooning students, for “strong female protagonists,” and Annie was certainly that. Way before Lady Gaga and Madonna, she was internationally known as not only the best sharpshooter of her day—when shooting was a way of life for many—but as a kind, smart, self-educated woman.

For me, “high” and “low” culture are equally important. Pop culture has influenced me so much, and is able to breach the boundaries of class and race, but I also love fine art and more eclectic ideas and tastes that perhaps popular culture doesn’t realize it has access to. As an artist, I hope to do my part to make the world a better place, and as an artist who also teaches, I hope to bring to bear all the comics, pop culture, and media that are intertwined with my life.

Weren’t you Nate Lowman‘s teacher?

When Nate walked into my sophomore class, he had that aura, that confidence in the way he carried himself, and his work was so good, that I knew he would be one of those students you know the rest of your life as a colleague and friend, which turned out to be true. After mentoring him during his senior year, he was included in a group show organized by my senior NYC students, which was named “NeoIntegrity” after the art movement I always wanted to start. I have many other students from SVA and Columbia whose careers are about to become big. I’m as proud of that legacy as anything else.

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Installation shot of "NeoIntegrity" at Derek Eller Gallery

The “NeoIntegrity” show sounds interesting!

When I curated “NeoIntegrity” in 2007 at Derek Eller Gallery, I sent a out a manifesto—which is also printed in my essay in the Whitney catalog—to all the artists I admired, including my great student N. Dash and some of my terrific SVA comic kids, like Dash Shaw, asking for pieces that weren’t necessarily for sale, but that they loved. Sometimes artists carry around from studio to studio pieces that were key to them, and if they agreed and wanted to be in the show, I had them bring their piece to the gallery and choose where to hang it.

This was before Facebook hit our generation, but the show was a little like that: circles of artistic families. It was really Post-postmodernist—a “have your cake and eat it too” plan—where you can make work that is about something, that has content, that’s smart in that it knows how it relates to a broader culture and art history, but also has room for beauty, transcendence, and emotion.

What projects are you working on next?

“My American Dream” at the Whitney is part of a larger cosmology and project that I would love to continue to build upon, and hopefully will be able to travel around to museums and galleries. That would truly be a dream come true!

Nicolas Daudin

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Nicolas Daudin with pieces from his collection

Nicolas Daudin is the founder and Editor in Chief of Guillotine (www.glltn.com). Follow Nicolas on Instagram: @nicododo

Tell me about the genesis of Guillotine and how that venture has melded with your interest in contemporary art.

Guillotine started in the summer of 2006. At that time there were few to no daily news blogs about fashion and art in France, so my friend Julien Landouar and I decided to fill the void and start our own website.  We basically write about designers and artists that we love. We’ve been really interested in Japanese fashion for the last few years, so that became one focus for Guillotine. I’ve always had a strong interest in contemporary art and photography, too, so the website became a fantastic way to share these passions with my readers. In the early 2000s I was going to many gallery openings in Paris and you just couldn’t find pictures of them on the web. So I recruited a whole army of friends and contacts from every major city in the world to shoot photos at various openings. To this day we have published close to 500 posts about exhibition openings all over the world and around 150 interviews—we plan to continue expanding.

What was the first piece of art you purchased and what about it spoke to you?

Twelve years ago I purchased my very first print from a French artist—“Alert: System Infected” by Space Invader—at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. It’s a limited edition of 120 copies. At that time the artist was omnipresent in the streets of Paris. You couldn’t walk downtown for more than a mile and not see one of his famous works composed of square ceramic tiles. He was a real icon for the city and he still is, all over the world. It felt nice to have one of his invader characters hanging on my wall. I got lucky that day. The sales person couldn’t find the price of the print and let it go for something like 30€. It’s probably worth a lot more today.

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Space Invader “Alert: System Infected” (2001)

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Futura “Fornax Alpha” (2008)

Have you seen any shows lately that you found particularly exciting or challenging?

Two months ago, the ARoS museum in Denmark invited me over to Wes Lang’s new exhibition, “The Studio”. Wes is one of my favorite artists so I was excited to go. The show was huge with so many old and new paintings, a customized motorbike, a 24k gold sculpture, and more. I was so impressed. But what really blew my mind was that he actually moved his entire studio from Los Angeles to ARoS. He brought literally everything there so it was a fantastic opportunity to get a feel for his personal and creative environments. I also got to interview him there and we spoke about many different subjects. The exhibition is up until September 7th, anyone able to go should.

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Damien Hirst & friends with Wes Lang (far right) at the opening reception of his new exhibition “The Studio” at ARoS in Denmark.

What art books would we find on your shelves?

My book collection is getting totally out of hands. I must admit: I have OCD when it comes to my books. I never have enough and I always want more. My Amazon wish list is 15 pages long. Luckily, I receive many amazing books from publishers for reviews. To this day we have reviewed close to 300 books on Guillotine. So on my shelves you’d find many books by the Beautiful Losers. I’m a sucker for books and zines by Barry McGee, Ed Templeton, ESPO, Todd James, Thomas Campbell, Futura, Mark Gonzales, Eddie Martinez, Dan Colen, Neck Face, KAWS, Faile, Murakami, Cy Twombly, Raymond Pettibon, Christopher Wool, etc. I always try to get them signed when I have a chance to meet the artists. I also collect photography books from artists like Dash Snow, Bruce Davidson, Larry Clark, Ari Marcopoulos, Ryan McGinley, Daido Moriyama, Anders Petersen, Alex Webb, Nobuyoshi Araki, Juergen Teller, etc. Then I’ve got all these big coffee table books about fashion designers and many reference books about vintage menswear, denim history, Japanese crafts, etc. One of my most prized books would have to be The Paradise Club by Wes Lang, published in conjunction with the exhibition Carry On at Eight Veil in LA, in 2009. It’s limited to only 50 copies and comes with a signed and numbered poster. I brought it with me to Denmark to have it signed and doodled, too. I just can’t help it! One book I’m looking for right now is Joe Bradley’s Drawings, published by PictureBox. His first publication—it’s got to be really good!

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Wes Lang’s books: “The Paradise Club” (2009), “Skulls and Shit” w/ Donald Baechler (2010), “Wes Lang” (2013)

Would you close with a favorite quote that is arts-related or speaks to creativity?

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” —Pablo Picasso

Isolde Brielmaier

IsoldeBrielmaier

Isolde Brielmaier is a curator, writer, creative consultant, and Visiting Professor at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

You maintain a creative engagement by so many different channels. Can you speak about one or two curatorial, writing, consulting, or teaching projects you’re currently working on or have recently finished?

I have a multi-layered practice that encompasses curating, program development, special projects, writing, and teaching. I have always worn, and very much enjoy wearing, many different hats. It keeps things fresh—new people, new ideas, new ways of seeing, thinking, and engaging—and allows me to hone multiple skill sets simultaneously. And the collaborative and creative aspect of working with wonderful artists and art is the thread that stretches through it all.

I am currently working with the team of the next Prospect 3 Biennial in New Orleans, which opens Oct 25th, and I am developing a extensive contemporary art program, with many platforms for a prominent company in Lower Manhattan. I’m very excited about this. I am also doing some research on the relationship of contemporary artists to collectors, as well as the notion of patronage. Recently, I organized conversations, talks, and other events for the New York Armory Show’s Open Forum program—which I actually founded for the fair many years ago. And I also recently curated an exhibition with artist Wardell Milan at OSMOS.

What is the first work of art that you bought? How did you go about selecting it?

I haven’t really bought much art but do have what I happen to think is a wonderful art collection with works by Rashid Johnson, Jeffrey Gibson, Wangechi Mutu, William Cordova, Lalla Essaydi, Wardell Milan, Hank Willis Thomas, Carl Pope, Deborah Grant, Raphael Zollinger, Duron Jackson, Sean Higgins, Xaveria Simmons, Zander Blom, Hector Acebes, Blanche Nettle Powers, Derrick Adams, Jenny Laden, among others. Most of these works were gifts to me from the artists, whom I met years and years ago when they were just starting out. It has been such an honor to work with them and see how each has grown and developed in their practice. About 10 years ago I did purchase a beautiful print by Mickalene Thomas. It is so rich and detailed.

What exhibitions have you seen recently that felt powerful to you?

Martin Wong’s Collection on view at the Museum of the City of NY felt powerful to me. I also loved the Doug Wheeler installation at David Zwirner and Ingrid Calame’s recent installation at James Cohan Gallery. Richard Mosse at Jack Shainman Gallery was pretty unbelievable, too. It completely envelopes you as the viewer and places you squarely in a sadly forgotten, but highly relevant, realm.

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Installation shot of Wardell Milan’s show as OSMOS

What advice would you give to someone interested in beginning their own collection, but approaching this world without an extensive art education?

I will create a VERY short to-do list: Get out and see as much art as you possibly can. There is nothing like experiencing contemporary art “live.” It develops the eye and feeds the soul…and you may even develop a sense of your own “taste” in the process.

Any words to live by, perhaps a quote that speaks to creativity?

Wherever you go, there you are… This speaks to being grounded in the present. There is always so much around you to draw inspiration from—if you just look.