Brooklyn-based artist and commercial-studio-building developer Stef Halmos talks about:

How she feels about Greenpoint’s gentrification arc, as a 12-year resident there herself; her commercial development in Catskill, New York, two hours north of the city, where she’s helming the renovation and rentals of a 50,000 sq. foot building called Foreland Catskill for studios, galleries and production facilities; the genesis for starting the project/buying the building, which came out of wanting to join a communal studio situation instead of working from home; what she’s been learning as a developer/project manager in terms of obtaining permits (much easier than it would have been in the city), working with the contractor (Rich, who she speaks about glowingly), and what they need to do to keep the building sustainable for another 150 years; her father, who co-owns the building with Stef and also acts as her mentor and “consigliere,” providing endless advice on the project; her early years as a video artist and photographer, including interning for Annie Leibowitz; losing all the work she had ever made (which had been kept in UHaul storage) during Superstorm Sandy, and how that changed her art-making and career trajectory; and the two-and-a-half years when she wasn’t making any work at all, and how she managed to turn that unproductive period around.

Los Angeles-based sound artist-artist-musician Chris Kallmyer talks about:

Living in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles, where he and his wife just bought a house, with the objective of becoming neighborhood citizens rather than investors; how and why an artist like Chris is able to buy a house (a partner with a more stable job situation than an artist helps), and why they chose El Sereno; the freedom of being alternately a sound artist, a musician or an artist, depending on the context; the importance of hierarchy in his collaborative projects, because ultimately there needs to be a final-decision-maker in order for everyone to feel safe; his musical performances, including Paradise Choir at SF MoMA, and a cheese-tasting with musical accompaniment; some of the reactions to his experimental music/performance work, which he describes as abstract but also often involves the public; how he’s gotten his pieces performed in venues such as SF MoMA and LACMA relatively early in his career; and his side gigs to supplement his limited paid sound art gigs, including video editing for friends and playing guitar for a local touring chamber orchestra.

 

 

 

Legendary East Village gallerist Gracie Mansion talks about the various turning points in her life and career, including:  Her early days in the East Village (9th St. between 1st & Ave. A), when she had an apartment to live, and another for her studio, for about $200 total; the genesis of her first gallery, which she started out of the bathroom of that apartment, and managed to stir up a whirlwind of visitors and press; one of her day jobs, at a SoHo gallery, where her boss had her run a ‘museum’ of art by prostitutes; the changing landscape of the downtown NYC gallery world, as she moved her spaces through the East Village, later to SoHo, and then much later to Chelsea; how she learned how to price artworks from legendary dealer Leo Castelli; what it’s like to negotiate with gallery backers, and how that worked out for her; and how and why she changed her name to Gracie Mansion (the name of the New York City Mayor’s residence).

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Brooklyn and Berlin-based artist Nina Katchadourian talks about:

Her Boerum Hill, Brooklyn neighborhood, which though uber-gentrified is adjacent to an area that is far less so, and includes significant gunshot events; moving her studio from the basement of her house to a dedicated studio space which she and her co-tenants are owners/occupiers of, and what it’s like being a shared owner of the building; her now-second home of Berlin, where she and her husband lived over the summer and will live for a longer stint this winter into spring—what it’s like living there as an American and the various benefits of cross-cultural habitation and relocation; the sense of American-ness which has become heightened with her time in Berlin, and the sense of subjectivity that she in turn is educating her N.Y.U. students about, so they have a sense of how their own backgrounds inform their artistic consumption; her early project ‘Wanted,’ an ad for a tiny fictional apartment which was placed in the Village Voice and received over 100 answering messages, which became part of the installation; and her series ‘Animal Cross Dressing,’ in which she used pet snakes and pet rats; her On Hold Music Dance Party, a series of ongoing performance/parties; and, as a frequent flyer, coming to terms with her carbon footprint.

Co-owners Sara Maria Salamone and Tyler Lafreniere of MRS. Gallery in Queens, New York, talk about:

The origin behind MRS.’s concise and memorable name; what it’s been like running their gallery in the relatively off-the-beaten-path neighborhood of Maspeth,Queens, and how they get consistent traffic despite their location; their rising success at the start of their 2nd season with Genesis Belanger’s show; their slower-paced five shows per season schedule, which is both more manageable and potentially a model that other galleries are considering using as well; sales, and all the things that go into maintaining and growing them as a small, young gallery; why Sara loves art fairs (and Tyler enjoys them as well) and how important they are at this stage for the gallery’s business, since despite being in NYC, their Maspeth location limits turnout, which they make up for at the fairs (they’re doing NADA Miami this Dec.); the importance of social media, specifically Instagram, for their acquiring new collectors, several of whom are buying works virtually, unseen in person; and Sara’s level of connectivity (as the gallery “mama bear”), and to what extent she feels it’s healthy vs. necessary.

Brooklyn-based artist Ellen Harvey talks about:

Her long tenure in the western part of Williamsburg, her experience of the slow but steady gentrification, and how she’s become permanently attached to her live/work loft through the Loft Law, which allows her affordable rent indefinitely; her British roots, which account for the fact that she “can’t pronounce her ‘R’s,” and the accent that has stayed with her even though she moved to Wisconsin at 14, and the pros and cons of having  a British accent in the U.S.; her start in public art doing micro murals (5”x7” paintings over graffiti in Highbridge Park), eventually evolving into larger and larger public projects, including her mural ‘Atlantis,’ a 1000 sq. foot mirrored glass piece slated for the Miami Beach Convention Center, the venue of Miami Basel; Ellen’s highly unusual prior career field as a Wall St. lawyer; and how her parents, despite her tremendous success, still wouldn’t mind if she returned to her law career.

Marin County-based photographer David Maisel talks about:

Moving out to Marin County from New York in the early ‘90s, where he and his wife have remained ever since; how transformative the experience of being in Marin County has been, and changed his life for the better, and meanwhile, how much the area has changed, having become obscenely expensive; his 10-year period going back and forth between architecture and photography before committing to the latter; how he first got into photographing from the sky (via plane and helicopter) via his mentor Emmet Gowin, whom he assisted on a shoot above Mount St. Helens, and how he got hooked from those first Cesna flights, particularly by the “threatening” (stomach-in-your-throat) aspects of the experience; how he grappled with and came to reconcile with the environmental consequences of making his work – from the fuel used for flight shoots all the way through the ink the prints are printed on – as a necessary complicity to being a picture-maker, and how he came to recognize that ultimately, we can’t remain completely pure.

Los Angeles-based artist and writer Maya Gurantz talks about:

Getting out of the staid confines of where she grew up, and what it was (and is) like being an angry feminist from an early age; her ‘accountability group,’ a group of women artists (from various art forms) she organized to hold each other accountable to work-related goals; her teaching and mentoring of students, at U.C. Santa Barbra; making work that is “messy,” as in tending to be potentially less likable than other work;  and three of her epic essays: one on James Turrell related to his retrospective at LACMA, one on Carl Andre and Ana Mendieta (the piece that led us to Maya initially; and here is an Art Practical piece on them that Maya highly recommends), and one as yet unpublished piece on Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead.

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Drawing Restrainment 2011

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