Jesse Greenberg has exhibited with KANSAS, White Flags Projects, The Queens Museum, among many others. He co-directs the gallery 247365 with MacGregor Harp. MacGregor Harp is also an artist and curator who has recently participated in exhibitions at Eli Ping Gallery, Printed Matter, and Family Business.
How did you first get interested in contemporary art?
JAG: I’ve always been interested in art and design. It’s been a natural evolution for me. I went to the Rhode Island School of Design with the intent of studying industrial design. I quickly realized that sculpture could be a far more open course of practice. I have always lived and worked with other artists, so I think my interest in contemporary art is always growing, whether that’s by my own studio practice or through curating exhibitions at 247365. Every show we organize teaches me more about art and why I love it.
MAC: I studied graphic design at an art school. After graduation the coolest jobs you could get were designing books for artists and art institutions. I looked at and collected a lot of these books. I got really into publications like Dot Dot Dot and F.R. David. I started making my own books and selling them in places like Printed Matter and Hennessy + Ingalls. I was making drawings and paintings to put in these books and after a while it just made sense to start putting them onto canvasses. I continue to teach myself how to paint, mostly by asking my friends questions and watching YouTube tutorials.
What kind of artworks do you collect? By which artists?
JAG: I tend to collect work that reflect my interests in the intersection of art and design, such as Travis Boyer’s switch plate covers which I have installed on my actual light switches. Or Lukas Geronimas’ Stools, which I use to prop up my plants. I also have a love for painting. Colorful, abstract, expressive, something I agree with, intuitively. Matthew Fischer, Marley Freeman, Julia Benjamin. As an artist it’s always a great opportunity to build a collection through trades and collaborative projects. I have collected props and art from Ryan Trecartin’s video shoots by working alongside him and Lizzie Fitch. I also collect art by helping fabricate pieces, such as a Josh Kline silicone hand I helped develop in exchange for a piece from the edition. I have started buying work recently as well. I would love a large Brie Ruais wall ceramic or anything by Peter Harkawik. I would also love to buy something intangible, ephemeral or perhaps rotting by Jared Madere or Anicka Yi.
MAC: Mostly paintings and small sculptures. One of my favorites is a Marlon Mullen painting that I bought from White Columns. I buy and trade work with many of the artists we have shown, and sometimes I just work for art. I have a Daniel Heidkamp, an Ajay Kurian, a Julia Benjamin, a Josh Kline, an Al Freeman, a Jamian Juliano-Villani. If I could swing it, I’d buy at least two pieces from everyone we’ve shown at 247. I really want an Avery Singer painting.
Can you tell us about your involvement with 247365, the ideas behind it, and about your upcoming show?
JAG: Our collaboration is very democratic. We don’t do anything unless we both agree or convince one another to do it. I like the idea that we should be ready to morph at any moment. When we first opened it was our intention to simply show work we love, and dig deep to find overlooked affinities between artists. It’s also important to note that the reason we opened 247365 in its current location was to be able to add to something really special that was already happening with the two existing galleries next door: KnowMoreGames and Primetime. Both are artist-run projects that were contributing to the larger conversation about art in NYC right now. Once we joined the self-declared Donut District, it became clear that the power of three in event coordination could lead to a more cooperative way of showing art and building a meaningful community and audience.
The Men and Women of the Donut District. From left: Ryan Waller, Meredith James, Jacques Louis Vidal, Gary Fogelson, Jesse A. Greenberg, Brian Faucette, Miles Huston, MacGregor Harp. Photo Credit: Clément Pascal
MAC: We have a co-everything model. The name of the gallery is the number of hours in a day, the number of days in a week, and the number of days in a year. If you actually say it out loud, by the way it’s spelled, it’s twenty four seven, three sixty five, but some people call it two four seven three six five and that’s OK too. It’s funny to see how many people actually don’t get the name because it’s too dumb for them. They’re understandably expecting something cleverer. My favorite thing about the name is that it can be rearranged to be 234567. That should give you an idea of the level of intellect behind its conception. We are an artist run art gallery that puts all possible effort and resources into supporting artists and ourselves through curating exhibitions and facilitating sales. What’s not interesting about that is that’s what all galleries do. What is interesting about that is we’re doing it next to a gas station underneath the BQE in Carroll Gardens, and it seems to be working out. Our current exhibition is called The Parsippany Incident with sculptures and photographs by Ernst Fischer and Benjamin Phelan. It’s well worth a visit. Our booth at NADA Miami features Benjamin Horns, Nick Payne, and Jamian Juliano-Villani.
The Parsippany Incident, Ernst Fischer & Benjamin Phelan
What’s the most exciting thing that has happened with the gallery so far?
JAG: Honestly, the most exciting thing is that people keep coming out to our openings. Being located where we are –off the beaten path–makes attendance even more meaningful. Our openings generally go very late into the night. The artists feel celebrated and have a chance to engage with others and, hopefully, create a more meaningful dialogue with their audience, which could perhaps be more difficult to do during a standard 6–8 pm gallery crawl night. In the beginning, I thought our shows would be viewed mostly online, but I’m very pleased that hundreds of eyeballs will see a show over the course of the month.
MAC: It’s all exciting and fun and well worth the effort. It’s exciting to see what we can do together in this weird little room, and that people come out to see it and don’t ask for their money back. It’s also exciting to play a small part in helping a bunch of people earn a living by making, showing, and selling art.
An upcoming exhibition you won’t miss?
JAG: I definitely won’t miss Ajay Kurian’s first solo show at 47 Canal. He has been one of the most interesting and unexpected artists I’ve come across. Whenever I think I understand Ajay’s work, he turns a corner and surprises me by pulling in a completely new material or subject into his practice. Its always smart and playful.
Proleptic, Ajay Kurian
MAC: Ditto on that, Proleptic is stupefying. Knowmoregames has a show up right now where you can rent the gallery on air bnb for $25/night. And Primetime, our brotha’s from anotha muffin, just opened some domestic arc by Lars Van Dooren. Definitely go see Maximillion Schubert at Eli Ping. Wes Lang at Half Gallery. Joe Graham Felsen at Stillhouse Group. Raphael Lyon and Jessie Stead at Malraux Place. Where 1 at Where. Daniel Heidkamp at White Columns. Sam Anderson at Chapter NY. Anything that Brian Belott does. P!. Jackie Klempay. Violets Cafe. Bed Stuy Love Affair. OK, sorry, that’s a lot more than one. A lot of things are happening in NYC. Speaking of which, I also “won’t miss” Mike.
Artist quote or words to live by?
JAG: “Once we get back to the gallery; bean bag”
MAC: “I’ll tell ya, art dealing has done wonders for my social life.”
—Jacques Louis Vidal