Month: July 2017

5 Things to Read This Week

5 Things to Read This Week

Happy Monday Atmos! Want to ease into your week with us? Grab your coffee and extend your weekend a little longer. Here’s what we’re reading this Monday morning:

When an Artist Calls the Shots: Mark Grotjahn’s Soaring Prices

Condo, the Popular New Art-Fair Alternative, Will Launch in Shanghai and Mexico City in 2018

Houston Awards Nearly $3.5 Million in Arts and Cultural Grants

Arts group restages historic civil rights protest in New York

Protesters Call on ICA Boston to Cancel Dana Schutz Show

Image Courtesy of the NYTimes. Paintings by Mark Grotjahn in the exhibition “Forever Now” at the Museum of Modern Art in 2014, from left: “Untitled (Circus No. 1 Face 44.18),” 2012; “Untitled (Circus No. 3 Face 44.20),” 2013; “Untitled (Circus No. 6 Face 44.22),” 2013. CreditHiroko Masuike/The New York Times

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At the Studio: Sally King Benedict

At the Studio: Sally King Benedict

Today at Atmos we’re speaking with artist Sally King Benedict in her Atlanta studio. Read along for a chance to hear about her Southern roots and her feature in Coca-Cola’s “10 Artists, 10 Bottles and 10 Stories” project.

*This conversation has been lightly edited and condensed.

Atmos: Thank you so much for having me today! So let’s talk a little bit about your first experience with art. How you got into this. You studied at Charleston, right?

Sally King Benedict: Yes, but I figured I would go to graduate school or get my MFA one day, but I just had the best professor there and we kind of cruised all the way through. Studio art there was bigger than I expected it to be when I first went there. And then it ended up to be a great place to cultivate it.

A: So did you go into school knowing you wanted to be an artist?

S: Yes, I think since I could remember I always wanted to do art in my parents basement and give it to somebody or let somebody experience it. It was very much a way for me to….I wanted to give it away I think. I always wanted to create something to give to someone else. I did after school art and all that. My mom worked at a gallery here in Atlanta, a contemporary art gallery with Doug Macon. He’s not around anymore, he’s down in Florida. So I got exposed to that scene really young. It’s really different from what I was used to and what all my friend’s parents were doing. It was really cool and fun. They were a big part of it.

A: It’s so important what your parents do. If you’re a visual person, most likely your parents are too. Do you have any kids?

S: I have a five year old. And he’s in here all the time.

A: Does he paint with you?

S: He does. And he’s really into it. As much as a five year old can be. For a boy, he’s really sensitive and really into color. Vs kicking a soccer ball around. So I can see it totally coming though.

A: I love that. So do you remember the first piece you saw that really stood out to you?

S: I think I would say it was in the gallery my mom worked at, Macon and Company. There were a few artists that he had that the scale was huge and it blew my mind that somebody could paint something that big that wasn’t derivative of something real. It was the first abstract experience I think, but I can’t remember exactly the piece. But I remember it being impactful in a gallery space.

A: Do you mainly do abstract work? Have you ever done figurative?

S: I think the figure comes through a lot in the abstract work. There’s definitely figurative work that I do, but they’re abstract. Very intuitive….I have a model occasionally to get me back to square one, but I love to do nudes and figurative work and actual landscapes. I like to be outside and really doing it, but most of it is more soulful.

A: When you’re painting do you mainly do it in the studio?

S: Yeah, I mainly like just being in here. I mean I do it at home too. I do it wherever I am. I’ll travel with stuff all the time with the intention of doing new things.

A: So your professor at Charleston really inspired you. How was he different than any of your other instructors?

S: Cliff Peacock and his partner Barbara Duvall. (She) was in the printmaking department and he was in painting. And so to have those two, I kind of bounced back and forth. They took an interest because they were very critical, but they were very constructive. They weren’t overly positive and I felt like everyone else in my life about artwork has always been too positive. It’s like going to a therapist who only tells you your good qualities. But they truly were harsh and they were no BS. I really needed that because everyone else in my life was just telling me what I wanted to hear. They were the two people who kept me grounded. They kept me trying harder and pushing harder. It was a personality thing. We really clicked the whole time. They watched out for me after I graduated. I check in with them a lot. I also check in with my high school pottery professor here in Atlanta. I keep in touch.

A: Right, if they’re a good influence on you why not continue that relationship.

S: They kept me grounded so it was good. I almost went back to Chicago to get my MFA. I had an apartment, but…

A: Oh you go that far!

S: Yeah, I did. I got accepted, I was going, I got an apartment. And then something just happened up there that I just didn’t think I was going to flourish in the right way and then all of a sudden was like, just because I have the opportunity doesn’t mean I have to take it.

A: Yes!

S: I think my mom had to tell me that. She was like, ‘you don’t have to do this just because it’s a great opportunity’.

A: It’s true. It’s not in everyone’s plan. Everything works out the way it’s meant to and some people who don’t listen to that inner voice or don’t have a wise mom end up doing the wrong thing.

S: Exactly. I can’t imagine how different…I mean I’m sure it would have been a wonderful experience, but I definitely made the right decision right then.

A: And Chicago is an incredible art city. I’ve never been and every time I do these interviews I swear someone brings up how the Midwest is the best art scene.

S: It really is. It’s wonderful and I really thought it would be the right move.

A: So how did you end up in Atlanta? You’re from here?

S: I’m from here, yeah. Charleston was great and College of Charleston was great. I never had a plan to move back to Atlanta but having a child changes things. Charleston did get a little bit small, just tight socially. I was ready for a change. Luckily my husband is from Long Island, I think he missed New York and missed the city and he was into the idea. So we thought we were going to just come here for a little bit and it’s ended up being amazingly different than what I remembered, in great ways. There’s just so many options and so much for me. I need options.

A: Atlanta in the last five, ten years has completely changed. It’s totally different from when I was growing up.

S: Same.

A: It’s really frustrating honestly. Now I live somewhere else and all of my friends still live here. And they’re going to Ponce and they’re going to Krog. There was none of that here!

S: I know it’s really nice.

A: It’s so nice! I’m really happy for this city. I’m nervous for when it reaches the point where everything is expensive. But for now it’s nice. How’s the Atlanta art scene? Do you go to galleries here that you like?

S: I do. I’m not as much a patron because I feel like I’m on the other side of it. I’m sort of under a rock just trying to get the work done. Sometimes too much information, too much stimulation can be a bad thing for me I’ve found. I’m definitely supportive in the arts world and I’ll go to openings. I went to one on Saturday night down in Spaldings. I try to keep up with going, but there’s so much going on that sometimes I just want to do absolutely nothing that’s art related unless I’m actually working.

A: Sometimes there’s too much that it influences you in not the right way.

S: Yeah, there’s a lot. It’s kind of overwhelming to be honest. I haven’t really found my niche outside of what I’m trying to do.

A: Are there artists that inspire you?

S: Of course. Everyone does. Everything does. There’s plenty of living ones.

A: Or even artists whose careers inspire you?

S: Yes, I love the fact that David Hockney is still crushing it on his iPad. There are things that I love about artists that are still going. I would hope that by that time in my life I’m still doing something. Carolyn Carr is huge for me. She’s in Atlanta. I just love how she can jump ship from medium to medium and it still makes sense. She can do these beautiful paintings and then she can switch to pottery. I like how she can show in various places and different galleries. That to me is the most inspiring about certain artists that can be in other spaces and it makes sense.

A: Do you work in any other mediums ever?

S: I do. I always have loved pottery. I always have loved print making. I have a ceramic artist where we might work on some stuff. But I’m just painting it. I’m not exactly doing the building of it. But printmaking I love. Photography…I worked with a photographer to add a different element. There are collaborative projects I’m doing. There’s only so much time for me to try to get good at painting. I’m just trying to get better at that. Maybe one day I’ll have time to kind of play around and experiment. It’s hard to find time to do that.

A: Yeah you have to pursue a single thing right now, I get that. I saw online that you did the Coca-Cola 10th anniversary project. How did that come about?

S: I honestly thought the email was a joke. I was like, ‘Is this real? This is from out of nowhere!’ And it was! I think the creative director was just really researching Atlanta artists. I honestly think it was one of those blind Google searches. They had never known my work before and I think they just thought it was a good fit. It was really cool. Some of the other artists I’ve known, have been around. So it was really fun. One of those things where it was like, “Oh my gosh, someone can actually find me without knowing somebody I know”.

A: I couldn’t tell, it’s a big sculpture?

S: It was a four foot foam coke bottle and they commissioned 10 artists to do whatever treatment needed to be done to make it their own, whatever they wanted to do. So we had no direction.

A: Where is yours right now?

S: It’s there. It’s on display for a year.

A: Oh my god! At the Coke Museum?

S: Yeah! In their pop art gallery. Which is really kind of neat.

A: That’s really cool!

S: It’s in their collection. It’s neat that they own it.

A: It’s really cool. I’m from here so I know that’s a big deal.

S: Being from here, you get it. So that was probably the biggest honor I’ve had. That was really really neat.

A: That’s awesome. Where do you show?

S: I have been showing at a gallery in Charlotte for probably like five years, Hidell Brooks. They’re more of a formal gallery setting. The last three years I’ve done a show locally with Spalding Nix and he’s in the same complex. I do it so I don’t have to do my own thing. I’m from here, he’s from here we have a lot of crossover. It’s been wonderful so I can just show once a year and have an event instead of taking it on myself. But then I do other projects around town. I’m having a show in Quogue, New York this summer for the first time. I’ve shown in Dallas before. It’s been pretty regional. I’d like to get out on the West Coast and up in the New York area, but I’ve been so busy in what’s going on here that someone finally told me it’s okay to be kind of niche. That you don’t have to be everywhere to feel like you’re doing something right. And that’s starting to set in this year.

A: That’s true. Art cities like New York are so overrun a lot. I was just having this conversation with Scott Ingram. A lot of times living there for me are just so constant where nothing looks good to you anymore. So it’s good that you’re not in the mix of that. So you’re offsetting yourself a little bit.

S: Right. I think it would kind of crush me. I can’t be inundated with it all the time. I wouldn’t even know where to begin to be honest. You want to be that right balance and right relationship with a dealer or a gallery but the market has just shifted. Even in the last five years. I do so much more of my direct selling. I’m good right now. I don’t want to take on too much, even if that’s ten years ago what I thought was being at Gagosian….was where I was trying to go. My goals have shifted a lot. Which is not what I expected, but you have to let go.

A: It’s good. It gives you space to work and do your thing. Galleries complicate things. Is Quogue upstate?

S: Yeah, it’s out in the Hamptons.

A: When you’re there, you should take a little time and go to the Hudson Valley. It’s gotten insane. Mass MoCA, in the Berkshires, did an insane expansion. It’s in an old textile mill so it’s cavernous. I was reading about the expansion and it’s all of these pieces that have never been able to show anywhere else because they’re too big are able to show in this space now. You need to go….Storm King is incredible too.

S: I haven’t even been there, it’s so embarrassing.

A: It’s honestly only an hour from the city.

S: Whenever I go up there….I did live in New York for six months so I miss what I miss there so I never get Upstate. There’s so much up there.

A: Any museums that you like to go to?

S: I love going out to LA. LA has been great. My brothers out there. The Getty gardens. Going up there and being outside. I love a great sculpture garden. That to me is insane. The Getty is amazing. I love DC. I love some old school…the Met obviously. I’ve spent a lot of time in Florence and everything there is just…and the Uffizi…I could live there. In Paris…the Musée D’Orsay.

A: The Musée D’Orsay is awesome.

S: I remember just loving everything there. Santa Fe is huge. Ghost Ranch is big for me. Georgia O’Keeffe’s place outside of Santa Fe, where she spent all of her time and where she worked is insane. My mom loves anything out West so we grew up going to Santa Fe or Tucson or Arizona. We would be out there and that landscape to me was really influential. I love Georgia O’Keefe so much.

A: Georgia O’Keefe is amazing.

S: When I come up I’m going to see her exhibit. It’s at MoMA.

A: I think it’s the Met. You know what you should see when you’re there too, if you go to the Met, is their rooftop exhibit right now is so cool.

S: The Guggenheim also..I mean I’ve been to a million museums but I love them all for certain reasons.

A: When you’re in the studio, what kind of environment do you like? Do you play music?

S: It’s funny, sometimes I have it so loud I feel like I can do things. And other times I have it pretty quiet works best for me. It’s weird.

A: Do you like being by yourself when you’re working?

S: I do. Luckily this (studio) is so conducive but sometimes our hours don’t overlap and I’ll have a day here. We get distracted about business stuff and it’s good to have time to just….I’ll turn my phone off and try to do that.

A: Instagram, is it helping or hurting the art world?

S: It’s a double-edged sword for me. It’s obviously helped my business but it’s like right time right place. But now I see it actually hurting me. I feel like I have to. I feel like I have to keep putting stuff out there and continue putting out the effort, but I just want to delete the whole thing every other day.

A: I feel the same way. My personal one I’m constantly back and forth between…I just want to throw my phone out every day.

S: I do too. There are so many positive things to it too. If you don’t see somebody or you don’t see your family it’s nice for people to know what’s going on your life. But then it’s like how much time do I waste just trolling before I go to bed? I mean anyone would say that.

A: It’s great because it opens your eyes to other things. Especially as an artist. If I’m on my discover page and I see your work and I like it it opens me up to you and your work.

S: Yeah and I feel the same way about anybody else.

A: As a consumer I love it, but as a producer I hate it.

S: Me too. It’s tough. It can’t be a thing forever. I’m just wondering how long it’s going to be.

A: I think that’s all I have for you. Thank you so much for meeting with me!

S: Thank you for doing it!

Images Courtesy of: Fernando Decillis

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Bronx Calling: The Fourth AIM Biennial

Bronx Calling: The Fourth AIM Biennial

At the Bronx Museum tonight is the opening reception for Bronx Calling: The Fourth AIM Biennial is tonight from 6-8pm. Featuring the work of seventy-two emerging artists from the 2016 and 2017 classes of the Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program, the Biennial promises to explore “new directions for art making and touch on urgent social issues from gender inequality, racism and xenophobia, to disease, economic disparity, and the Anthropocene”.

The exhibition is open until October 22nd so if you can’t make it to the recpetion tonight, be sure to head to the Bronx before the show closes!

Image Courtesy of: The Bronx Musuem. Bang Geul Han, Through the Gaps Between My Teeth, 2017

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Digital Storytelling and Photographic Practice

Digital Storytelling and Photographic Practice

Got plans tonight? If not, head over to the International Center of Photography for their 6:30 panel, Digital Storytelling and Photographic Practice. This program looks at the photograph and related imaging practices as storytelling devices, with a focus on artists and producers working at the intersection of emerging technologies and social justice. Participants include innovative imagemakers Ziv Schneider and Olalekan Jeyifous, along with Emma Raynes, director of programs at the Magnum Foundation.

This is a free event, but they ask you to register in advance.

Image Courtesy of: International Center of Photography and Robert Capa. 

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Art for Justice

Art for Justice

Back in June, mega-collector Agnes Gund donated $165 million to begin the Art for Justice Fund. It is truly inspiring to watch someone not only use their wealth, but use art as the vehicle, to create positive change in our nation.

“Inspired by the leadership of Agnes Gund and seeded with funds from the sale of artwork in her collection, the Art for Justice Fund offers art collectors and patrons the opportunity to contribute to significant reforms in the criminal justice system. The Fund is a five-year initiative designed to make meaningful progress on key reforms in the U.S. criminal justice system.”

Watch above for a chance to see the Art for Justice Fund launch at the Museum of Modern Art on June 12th. The event featured a powerful array of conversations and performances by: Agnes Gund, Maria Hinojosa, Anna Deavere Smith, Piper Kerman, Glenn Martin, Charles Blow and Toshi Reagon.

Image Courtesy of The Ford Foundation. 

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5 Things to Read This Week

5 Things to Read This Week

Happy Monday Atmos! Want to ease into your week with us? Grab your coffee and extend your weekend a little longer. Here’s what we’re reading this Monday morning:

Three Francis Bacon works stolen in Madrid recovered by Spanish police

Artworks on Loan From the Louvre Destroyed in Fire on a French Island

What to See at Frieze Sculpture Park 2017 in London

Rising Up Down Under: Sydney Neighborhood Stakes Claim as Australia’s Answer to Chelsea

Angela Merkel’s Humanity, Captured in an Elizabeth Peyton Oil

Image Courtesy of: The Art Newspaper. Cecil Beaton, Francis Bacon in His Studio (1960). Gelatin silver print with paint from Francis Bacon’s studio on the recto and verso. Courtesy of Phillips

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At the Home: Fay Gold

At the Home: Fay Gold

Today at Atmos we’re speaking with gallerist and collector, Fay Gold, in her Atlanta home. Read along for a chance to hear about her friendships with art legends, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Robert Mapplethorpe. 

*This conversation has been lightly edited and condensed.

Atmos: Everyone has their own kind of path towards an art career. Do you want to talk a little bit about yours and how you got here?

Fay Gold: I came here in 1966 from New York and four years prior; I’d been studying oil painting with a protégée of Hans Hoffmans. She taught in my building in Riverdale. So my three kids would go to sleep and I would go upstairs on Wednesday nights and take art lessons. She taught us how to do pointillism and surrealism and color theory. So I had all these charts in an envelope when I moved to Atlanta. I had a little studio built in my backyard so I could continue painting when the kids went to sleep and people in the neighborhood asked me to teach their children. I said, ‘well I don’t teach’. But I had a school with me: I had four years of charts and all of the instructions….I decided once I saw what was going on in Atlanta that was so lacking in the kind of cultural I had come from, the restaurants, the food. I created Fay’s world in the backyard and I’ve been creating Fay’s world ever since. I’m too thick skinned to care what anybody thinks of me. I just keep walking through doors as they open. I always say that if I ever figured out what I’m doing I’m in trouble. I don’t have any five-year plans, I don’t even have a five day plan. I see something and I know it’s right and I trust my instincts. Sometimes I’m wrong but most of the time I’m pretty right.

A: I think most the time you’re pretty right too. I think so many people now, especially a lot of younger people; your life is so mapped out for you. You know what your next step is going to be and I don’t think a lot of people anymore really decide with their gut.

A: I had no idea that you were a painter though. Do you have any of your work here?

F: In fact I taught painting in the backyard for the next fifteen years. I had sixty students a week. I had ten to twelve children every afternoon. Ladies on Tuesdays and Thursdays and eventually a men’s class on Wednesday nights. In fact, two months ago MoCA acquired one of my paintings. The archives of my galley are at Emory at the Rose Library. About ten years ago I started writing my memoirs. Right now based on the memoirs I have written, a play is being written about my relationships with the artists and it’s called Basquiat’s Cat. Because Basquiat sent me his cat. I can’t tell you more about it but that’s an interesting project in the works and I’m very excited about.

A: I’m very excited about that. If you get a play, I’m going to go see it.

F: So I taught art for fifteen years and from the age of eleven Amy (daughter) was my assistant. Gina and Jason (daughter and son) painted every afternoon; they had twelve kids coming over. So Jason ended up being an architect.

A: And Amy works with you. What does Gina do?

F: Well Gina is a fabulous artist, but right you know she works on art on her own. She’s married and takes care of her husband… she’s very happy taking care of her home and husband. She has a fantastic garden called Donald’s Garden. And Amy is an art dealer so you can say they all got the bug.

A: Yeah I think growing up around art and your mom being an artist…you catch the gene of being visual I guess. Take my family for example all of us are so visual

F: So I started collecting pop art. I had a ten-foot Basquiat.

A: Where is that now?

F: Probably Zürich. (It was) from the first show. I paid $5,200 for it. I sold it for $750,000 and I didn’t want to sell it. My husband said to sell it. Now…

A: That one that just sold was…

F: $120 million.

A: That’s wild. How big was it?

F: Mine was ten feet. It was beyond. It was the best painting from the first show. $5,200.

A: How did you meet him?

F: What happened was…I made friends with Holly Sullivan, in the seventy’s she was a New York. She started a decorative school. Warhol did a portrait of her and Lichtenstein. She invited Amy, Jason and I to the gallery. It had just opened. She invited us to our house and to the parties of all the artists. I asked to do a group show and she said yes and she was  (going to) come down. I couldn’t believe it. This was 1982. She’s sitting and we’re having coffee. I said, ‘you know, it’s my birthday I’m going to New York. What should I see?’ She said, ‘Well, you should see Keith Haring. Ever heard of him? It’s his first show. You should see Basquiat.’ And Donald gave me five thousand dollars to buy a bracelet.

A: You didn’t buy a bracelet did you?

F: So I said, instead of going to 47thth Street, maybe I’ll drop in to see those shows. I went into the Basquiat show and bought the painting for $5,200. I called Donald and I said, ‘no I think I’m buying a painting and I’ll pay the extra $20.

A: No bracelet for you.

F: That’s how I got my Basquiat and while I was there Annina took me

downstairs to the basement and introduced me to him.

A: What was he like?

F: He…wasn’t overly friendly. He’d knowledge that you were there but it was like painting. And then after he left Annina and after he left Mary Boone I called him and said I want to buy some drawings. I went to New York, it was winter, and he was living Andy Warhol’s little duplex. And the door had graffiti on it, no number. I had on a fox coat and in those days you know, you’d get hit over the head. I had $20,000 in the bank I’d saved. And I said I wanted to buy some drawings. There were paintings on the floor and out came this Maine Coon Cat. So I’m making nice on the cat because I had a Yorkie at home and I had a Persian. And he talked to me, ‘should I cross this list out?’ The drawings were $1,100 each, that he picked out himself. He sent someone out for a tube. $16,500 (all together) and I had $20,000 in the bank. I walked out with a tube of 11 Basquiat drawings under my arm.

A: That’s insane. And over time they’ve just been sold?

F: Yes. I was building a gallery.

A: And it’s art, you never know…

F: I knew.

A: Did you know that about Mapplethorpe too? When did you meet him?

F: Of course I knew that. I’m a founding member of APIAD, The Association of International Photography Art Dealers. There were 30 of us and we met in 1980 and we had a table of photographers….that was the first I had laid my eyes on that work. It blew me away. Did you ever hear of Harry Lunn? He was king the photographer. Lunn did a show and Mapplethorpe did his photograph for the invitation. At that time his photographs were fifteen hundred dollars. I got forty off. And I said I wanted to do my photograph for my invitation and then I met him. It was just the two of us alone on Great Jones.

A: What was he like?

F: Robert was very thin and very wiry. First we talked for a half hour. He told me to wear whatever I wanted to. I still have my dress in the closet. And I wash my hair. Curly hair. Grows this way, what can I do? And we just sort of chatted, just two of us he was….he was jumping up and down changing a light…you know like for an hour or two. He only offered me two pictures. One is a profile, which I have hanging. And the full face. Later on I went through the books and I saw all of the sheets of all the shots we took. That’s a lot of pictures jumping up and down.

F: But then, Robert came here twice. Sam Wagstaff, he was one of the handsomest men in the world. Socialite with great wealth. And he fell in love with Robert. Bought him a home for five million dollars and that’s where I sat with Robert three weeks before he died, in that apartment. As I said came down here first time with Sam. You know I had a long friendship with these artists. For whatever reason. And Haring did his last show with me. Didn’t do it with Tony. Tony had a fit. And he would call when he was coming to Atlanta to do a mural or something and he would say, ‘Wanna play?’

A: Did you go out with him?

F: Oh sure. We used to go to the diner. The Buckhead Diner was new. It was a big deal. And I taught him how to balance spoons on his nose.

A: So you were teaching in your backyard for years and years. How did you start?

F: And I’m buying! Making twenty thousand went far. And so some of the women said, ‘can you take us to New York?’ Most of them had never even been. So I got together a group of twenty-four of them. The first place I took them was to George Segal’s in New Jersey. He made a sculpture in a big chicken coop, a chicken farm. Carol Janice represented him. So you know, they set me up. Unbelievable we went to George Segal’s. And that was successful and they said to me, ‘Can you help us get some art?’ And I didn’t think I was going to be an art teacher or an art dealer or anything. It just became a mission  in a way. It just happened.

F: And so I started helping them. And then I had a client who just wanted photography. There were two photo galleries in the United States…in the late seventy’s. I have owned everything that you can ever name. I used to have a wall just  from ceiling to floor. And then I had these granddaughters and I said, oh my God. Because I had (photographs) the priests with the bloody girl on the ropes and I had the coyote…everything in my house drew tough things. So I sold them.

A: Because you didn’t want to freak out your granddaughter.

F: And you know something? They couldn’t care less. So then before you know it, the kids grow up. And I lived in a brand new house, four bedroom. I could only buy little things. I wanted to buy big things! I have to sell this house or you know get a man to sell this house.. So once I sold the house and didn’t have an art school, I rented a store for the art school. And I rented the front to a guy named Myott, now the biggest framer in the Southeast. Myott worked for the frame circus. He was a young kid with three babies. And I had sixty students and I sent them all to him in the frame circus.

F: So for two years he was in the front until he needed more space and then I rented to a plant shop. And then a nail place wanted it and a guitar school. And I said to Donald, ‘you know maybe I’ll open a little gallery in the front. I’ll keep the art school in the back because I know that’s income’. And he loaned me twenty thousand dollars I we renovated. Who do I open with? George Segal. Who do I follow with? Alec Katz. Third show Rauschenberg. Cindy Sherman, fifteen hundred dollars each. And Kathy Fox, the last line of her review is, ‘As said, Gone With The Wind, personally I don’t give a damn.’  She didn’t like it.

F: That’s all I knew. I only knew the New York school. And that’s what I brought to Atlanta. Nobody did anything like that. That for a first year, Irving Penn. My first big photo show.

A: So how did you how did you pick artists to show?

F: It took three years to show a profit and that’s when I closed the art school. Because I would be in the back teaching then would run up in front to the gallery and then I would run back. When it showed a profit, I needed storage. I have pictures of everything. I’ve been going over to Emory now couple of hours a week. I just gave him the fifteen boxes when I moved and look through them or anything. All the installation shots, all the P.R. books. Anyway so that’s how the gallery got started.

A: So you closed the gallery seven years ago, right?

F: In 2009.

A: And you consult now. Do you have an eye on any emerging artists right now that you really like?

F: I’m on the advisory board at SCAD. There are some unbelievable artists. SCAD is beyond anything in New York and that takes a lot for me to say that. It’s the top fashion school in the country now and it’s the top interior design school in the country. Both. The talent there is fantastic so I’m going to look for talent that people can afford. Because of all of these unbelievable apartment buildings going up everywhere, you need a painting over the couch and a painting over the fireplace. That’s the two basic, you know I’m saying. And every time I see another apartment building I say, ‘wow, wish I had a gallery.’ I know business can be fabulous right here. You know I’m an art fair junkie. I’ve done FIAC, I’ve done ARCO. I’ve been in the Armory Show. I love doing art fairs.

A: You love working them or you love going to them?

F: I love working them. That’s how I got my name out. It’s a bit different. I’m not looking to spend fortunes on art fairs and fortunes on shipping. If I do something, I’m going to discover younger artists without crazy egos. That’s what I’m going to look for. I’m going to look for good stuff for these apartments here. And not try to bring New York in anymore. It’s too expensive.

A: What do you look for when you meet a young artist?

F: I just know. I look at it and you know. After a while, I mean if you never shop, you don’t know what’s going to look good on you. You don’t know what’s out there. You don’t know anything. If you go to a store once a year, you keep up on things. When you see the right thing, you know.

A: Is there a gallery in Atlanta you like going to?

F: I went to Avery when he opened his new space. He has a lot of my artists.

A: Do you have an idea what the next big art city is going to be?

F: Well Miami is big and they’re getting some very good galleries. Chicago was big. Not anymore. When the Chicago art fair was the only one and in its heyday, Chicago was so great. Los Angeles is coming in very strong because it got all the Hollywood money. You know wherever Gagosian has a branch is going to be good.

A: That is really true. We should all live by that rule.

F:  Miami is good but it’s gotten so big; it’s too big Miami. I mean I remember when I did Miami Art, it was one fair. And now just the Miami art is about eight fairs. But I’ve taken clients shopping there. You can not buy at the Miami art fair, it’s too expensive. The main thing when you shop with a client is you can never let them buy what they want, because it’s always terrible. Never.  But if they’re smart enough, I always recommend something that I would want to buy myself.

A: So if your advice is not to buy what you like, what is your advice to collectors?

F: If you don’t know anything, you will make tremendous mistakes just saying, ‘oh, I like this’. You need advice, unless you’ve been looking and educating yourself. Then you can trust your judgment. I buy thing that ask questions. I don’t like people I can figure out. I like people that reveal themselves to you and great art reveals itself to you so that each time you look at it, you see something else. When I pull a painting out from the racks, if it didn’t continue speaking to me, I’d return it.

Images Courtesy of: Fernando Decillis

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Send Me SFMOMA

Send Me SFMOMA

 

Here at Atmos, we love whenever we see the intersection of art and technology (um, hello artcloud). So today we’re featuring an absurdly cool initiative by San Francisco’s MoMA. Send Me SFMOMA, sends people works of art via text message. Anyone in the United States (though they are trying to expand internationally), can send a text message to 572-51 with the request “Send me….(insert whatever image, color, emotion you want to see)”. And in return, you’ll receive an instant response with a photo from the museum’s database that matches what you asked for. Get texting!

Image Courtesy of SF MOMA.

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Joe Bradley at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Joe Bradley at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Open Through October 1 is artist Joe Bradley’s mid-career survey at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Though Bradley is most known for his abstract paintings, the show explores his work across multiple mediums. The exhibition ranges from Bradley’s humanoid canvases to his most recent figurative bronzes. Pro Tip: Admission to this exhibition is free during M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY on July 7, August 4, and September 1, 2017. Check it out soon!

Image: Joe Bradley (American, born 1975). East Coker, 2013. Oil on canvas, 100 x 102 inches (254 x 259.1 cm). Private Collection. Image courtesy of the artist. © 2017 Joe Bradley.

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Alan Vega: Dream Baby Dreams

Alan Vega: Dream Baby Dreams

Opening tonight at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, Alan Vega: Dream Baby Dreams. “A year after the passing of Alan Vega, who I first knew as Alan Suicide, we will present Dream Baby Dream, a memorial exhibition to commemorate Alan’s life and work. The exhibition has two components: video projections of historic performances by Suicide, and a selection of Alan’s sculpture and works on paper from the 1970’s to his last works in 2016.”

Image Courtesy of: Jeffrey Deitch Gallery

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