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).

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.

The Conversation Podcast’s first live recording took place on September 9 at Ochi Projects gallery (and was generously hosted by Pauli Ochi).

Along with me, the co-conversationalists included writer and independent curator Katie Bode, artist Stephanie Pryor and writer Matt Stromberg. In a nutshell the conversation covered the artist’s relationship to the market, or vice versa, through the lenses of–New Museum artistic director Massimiliano Gioni’s comment about art being more than ‘visual entertainment;’ the explosion of abstraction in the marketplace; the paradigm-shifted landscape via technology, in particular Instagram; the roles of collectors, and the new types of collectors, impacting the art world; The show Forever Now at MoMA; and how one’s financial background affects, or doesn’t, an artist’s path as far as more traditional or more experimental.