There's a Photo Show at the Hole Opening Tonight
There's a new photo show, called Attachments, that's opening tonight at the Hole, the new-ish gallery headed by curator extraordinaire, Kathy Grayson. The show features tons of VICE's favorite photographers, people like Andrew Kuo, Asger Carlsen, Jason Nocito, Jessica Eaton, Jim Mangan, Kate Steciw, Peter Sutherland, Sandy Kim, and Tim Barber (and, we are happy to note, was sparked in part by a copy of our Photo Issue). You should really go check it out. We decided to hit up Kathy and ask her some questions.
VICE: How did this show come about? It features some of the brightest young people making photos and art today.
Kathy Grayson:A few months ago Jim Mangan came in and said he, Asger, and Peter wanted to do an art show together. They gave me a copy of the VICE Photo Issue, and I had it on the back burner for a while. Then I saw the work of Sandy Kim and thought, “Holy shit. This is the next Ryan McGinley here.” Ryan and I talked about this as well and he said her works were “magic.” Then I met with Tim because he is the photo genius. He and I took Jim's proposal, added Sandy and the rest of the group. They are all photographers whose focus cross over with the concerns of other media.
How does employing new, innovative installation practices, instead of the standard, “white cube” style of gallery, affect the work?
I’m often called “unserious” when, in reality, I am deeply serious and dedicated to broadening the audience for art. I want to get all kinds of people in here to have a meaningful, memorable experience with contemporary art. The Giverny show was a great example. People that had never been to galleries before but liked Playboy or liked France or liked gardens came in and were blown away. The gallery is just a hole to fill with different stuff, not a sacred white cube. I love mucking things up and am definitely not afraid to get my hands dirty!
What’s it like running a gallery in New York City? Is it as impossible and soul crushing as I’ve heard? You seem to be doing pretty well in your new space.
At Deitch, Jeffrey was down for any crazy thing I thought up. When Dash Snow and I wanted to make the gallery into a hamster nest, Jeffrey said, “Great!” When I wanted to make a book of all the best young artists in NYC, Jeffrey said, “Great! Here is $20,000.” And when I said I wanted to do a big party and sculpture for Terence Koh, Jeffrey fabricated a huge piece that cost $100,000!
Now that I own my own space, I don’t have someone like Jeffrey. I have to find a way to come up with the finances for stuff. Unfortunately, sometimes I have to say no and that is just the worst thing ever. But thankfully I have been partnering with some brands whose sponsorship allows us to do crazy Deitch-level stuff—like when Playboy gave us money to build Giverny Gardens in the gallery (complete with a lily pond and bridge) for E.V. Day and Kembra Pfahler’s show last April.
I spent eight years as a writer and curator at Deitch, letting the other staff do the sales, so I’ve been shocked this past year to learn that I’m actually good at selling art. Thank god people want to buy art from me! It lets me keep doing amazing art shows and pushing the NYC creative community forward.
What, in your opinion, is the status of art in New York?
New York constantly reinvents itself, and granted, I was pretty unhappy in the downtown art crowd after my friend Dash died. I thought I would never have fun again and everything would suck forever, but new people have come here and have been pulled into the scene. Great new artists come to NYC all the time, and things have gotten exciting again. I may be one of those losers who always talks about “the good ol’ days” or something, but I am ceaselessly interested in the art scene here and am always discovering great new talent.
How do you view the fine art photography world in particular right now? Where’s it at and where’s it going?
Fine art photographers have a shit time right now because everyone has a camera and can take a decent picture. How are you supposed to make a memorable image when millions of photos are being taken a day? Terry Richardson made snapshot photography popular in the commercial world, which is a form essentially anyone can do. Photographers really have to become more innovative if they are going to stay relevant and not be subsumed by amateur instagrammers. I think this show captures nine of them who are doing just that!
"Attachments" will be on display at the Hole in New York City until November 3rd.