Jimi Dams’ letter to his list about the changing status of Envoy Enterprises, and why “It’s Not Fun Anymore”:

New York gallerist Jimi Dams of Envoy Enterprises talks about:

His dissolution with the art world (and particularly the market and fairs); his one-a-day exhibition series, when he observed poor behavior in a curator, an early indicator of unraveling in a way that would continue to unfold through the art world; his story of switching from being an artist – which he had to quit due to health issues – to opening a gallery, despite being a socialist, with the financial support from the late Hudson, former owner of Feature Gallery; how he ran/has run his gallery as a former artist, including having pizza nights where all his artists get together and hash things out openly; his frustration with the priorities of graduate schools today, with an over emphasis on ‘professionalism’ and the like; his (rather firm) advice to younger artists on what they should do, advice that art students he’s spoken to have struggled to hear let alone accept; and how during his gallery’s openings, you won’t find him out in the gallery but in his office.

Brooklyn-based artist and gallerist Ryan Wallace talks about:

Living and working in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and how it’s changed over the 17 years he’s been there, and the precarious rental situation he’s in with his apartment building’s future, and a rapidly rising studio rent; how is exhibition is doing (open for another several days at the time we spoke) at Susan Inglett Gallery- about half sold; art that rises quickly in popularity with certain movements, and the many casualties that result amid just a few artists that stick around; the ‘art fund’ collectors who are looking for the quick score, and how their stock-based buying affects the good collectors, and how collecting is not a get-rich-quick scheme;  the gallery in East Hampton that he co-owns with Hilary Schaffner- their program, their schedule (full-time during June-July-August, tapered to appointment only in the winter), his role in the gallery (he goes into a different mode at art fairs), how much that he had to put up to get the gallery up and running initially (about 17k), etc.;  how he wound up in the Hamptons in the first place, and decided to set up shop there; the difference for Ryan being a dealer at the gallery in East Hampton, where it’s low pressure, very educational about the work, and so on, whereas at the fairs it’s all about commerce, which has taught him that you can’t tailor work to fit the market, because ‘commerce and work cross on their own agenda;’ how some local collectors who have come to 50% of their shows in East Hampton haven’t bought a piece until they were in their booth at a fair; the one time representing at a fair was soul-crushing, when he had to do it alone (which was only at one fair so far); and we have a spirited debate about potential conflicts of interest, as an artist and/or a gallerist, including how Ryan, being an outsider for so long, is now pro-nepotism because he wants to support the artist friends in the scene he’s built around his gallery, and how it’s a case-by-case basis in which, as a business, you ultimately make decisions; and yet how as an artist and a gallerist, he tries to stay away from cross-pollinating directly; and we talk about the Hamptons vs. Montauk, the latter of which has had problems with entitlement mixed with ‘vacation behavior’ which has led to a level of revelry that has had the locals up in arms.