If you don’t know anything about art but you know you wanna go for someone—pick Nate Lowman, he is the best on all counts, plus his name rhymes with a bunch of other words like “mate” and “late,” which is good for fun text messages like “Nate, me ol’ mate! I’m running late. Had to masturbate. Don’t be irate. Can we meet at the gate? Great!”
Vice: You going to the fair this year?
Yeah, I’m curating a big show there.
What is it?
It’s called “The Station.” You know Shamim Momin? She was one of the two curators of the last Whitney Biennial?
Before we go any further, you should know I know nothing about art.
OK, good, well, she got approached by some people who wanted to do this project that’s in a soon-to-be-renovated gigantic retail space with, like, luxury lofts and shit. It’s like a luxury apartment complex with massive retail stores on the bottom.
But it’s unfinished?
Yeah, right now it’s practically a death trap. Part of it has no floor, it’s just dirt. It’s a really cool-looking space. So we’re having a big exhibition there and events. We’re doing a five-day exhibition with 50 artists.
And you’re curating?
Two of us are, yeah. I don’t know how people curate alone, it’s so difficult. There’s no one to talk to, no one to ask, “Is this a good idea?”
And Shamim must be a great partner.
Yeah, she’s really smart and we get along good, we haven’t had a single argument. If one of us doesn’t like a certain artist and the other does, we talk about it and work it out.
What’s you favorite thing about Art Basel?
What’s your second-favorite thing about Art Basel?
Lots of champagne.
What’s the worst thing?
The worst thing… is… the fact that it’s an art fair. I mean, I used to really perv out and enjoy art fairs because they’re weird and kinda shocking… and, like, you don’t know if these people are impulse buying on a giant level. It’s over-the-top and kinda grotesque, gluttonous… it’s money, art, and parties.
People just go mental.
Yeah, but this year it might be different.
To Be Titled (Installation view of Wet Pain, Maccarone, New York City), 2008, aluminum rims, straps, rope, screws, and helium balloon, courtesy of the artist and Maccarone, New York.
With the financial crisis?
Yeah, I don’t think people are going to be spending money. They were spending so much fucking money last year.
Have you noticed any changes brought about by the crisis yet? Like galleries closing?
I don’t know, they seem to be opening! I swear to God! Every time I walk to my studio from Ludlow Street there’s a different gallery on every block. I don’t even know where they find the artists!
It’s weird, but people said things didn’t go so well at Frieze.
When was that? October?
Yeah. I’ve always had this suspicion that the people who can afford to spend their money on art will always just get richer, even when everyone else gets poorer. There’s all these other markets coming in, apparently, everyone keeps talking about the Russians.
Yeah, what I’m hearing is they’re on like a catch-up curriculum.
They’re catching up?
Yeah, there’s this really funny quote I heard, Larry Gagosian just did this big show in Moscow, some friends of mine went and told me Larry was talking to some magnate of some fortune and he was like, “So who is this de Kooning? He is young guy, no?”
That’s a good Russian accent!