The contemporary art scene with curatorial expert, Jessica Hodin
THE BLEECKER STREET ARTS CLUB IS AN INNOVATIVE GALLERY SPACE AND EXHIBITION PLATFORM FOR BOTH EMERGING AND ESTABLISHED ARTISTS. FOUNDED BY STEPHEN WERTHER AND DANIEL BENEDICT, BSAC SUPPORTS A CREATIVE COMMUNITY OF ARTISTS, ART COLLECTORS AND DEVOTEES BY OFFERING AN EXCITING AND ORIGINAL PROGRAM OF EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS IN A RELAXED, SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT. HOUSED IN A LANDMARK BUILDING AT 305 BLEECKER STREET, NEAR WASHINGTON SQUARE IN NEW YORK, THE EXHIBITIONS ARE PRESENTED IN AN INFORMAL SETTING WITH INVITING PLACES TO SIT AND CHAT AND SPEND TIME WITH THE ARTWORK. THE BUILDING, FLOODED WITH NATURAL LIGHT, IS ART DECO IN STYLE AND OFFERS ITS AUDIENCE TWO FLOORS OF EXHIBITION SPACE AND A PRIVATE ROOF TERRACE. IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE IN THE THINKING OF ART CURATORS AND DEALERS WHO ARE INSIGHTFUL ABOUT FRESH WORK BY THE BEST NEW ARTISTS IN THE CONTEMPORARY ART WORLD AND KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE WORK OF ESTABLISHED ARTISTS WHO INFLUENCED THEM.
IT IS NO SURPRISE TO ME THAT JESSICA HODIN, CURRENTLY MANAGER OF THE CROWDFUNDING INITIATIVE FOR ART BASEL, HAS ORGANIZED SOME STELLAR GROUP EXHIBITIONS AT THE BLEECKER STREET ART CLUB AND WAS ITS MANAGER AND CHIEF CURATOR.
JESSICA, WELCOME BACK TO THE LRFA BLOG. AS WELL AS ADVISING ART BASEL’S CROWDFUNDING, YOU WORK ON CURATORIAL PROJECTS. ONE EXHIBITION YOU CURATED I FOUND COMPELLING WAS ENTITLED Meet Your Maker IN WHICH YOU INTRODUCED THE WORK OF FIVE ARTISTS WHOSE INSPIRATION STEMS FROM POP CULTURE, COMIC BOOK REFERENCES AND THE LEGACY OF MODERN PAINTING.
WHO ARE SOME OF THE ARTISTS YOU SUPPORTED AND EXHIBITED AS DIRECTOR OF THE BLEECKER STREET ARTS CLUB?
As Director of the Bleecker Street Arts Club I tried to strike a balance between showing established and emerging artists, keeping in mind that the best way to promote emerging artists is to show them alongside a program of established ones. For example showing Joyce Pensato alongside Todd James and then newcomer Devin Troy Strother. At the beginning of their careers I showed Matt Mignanelli, Violet Dennison, and Dean Levin. Mid-career artists included Ryan Wallace and Agathe Snow. And I was very lucky to have been able to include works from Paul McCarthy and John Chamberlain in a group sculpture show.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY THE WORK OF EMERGING ARTISTS AS ONES THAT HAVE STAYING POWER AND MAKE A UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION TO THE CONTEMPORARY ART MARKET?
I think the artist has to have a perspective that is clear in their work. Doesn’t matter what that perspective is, but the work needs to be coming from a conceptual place, and not just an aesthetic one. Once you have that as the groundwork for an artistic practice, the rest is entirely subjective and there’s no telling who or how many people will like it.
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE THE PRICE STRUCTURE FOR YOUNGER ARTISTS WHO MAY NOT HAVE GALLERY REPRESENTATION AS YET AND NO SECONDARY MARKET TRACK RECORD?
Well to be fair, I’ve never exactly been in a position to do this. Most of the artists that I showed at BSAC had prior sales upon which to base their pricing or had gallery representation that determined their prices.
If an artist is introducing their work into the market it is important to keep the prices low in order to move the pieces into collectors’ hands, but the most important thing to consider is placing the work in the RIGHT hands. We all know that the prices for contemporary art in the market these days are somewhat ridiculous but as a young artist you have to be able to resist the temptation to take advantage of that. I think that the key is using relevant market comps to find the humble balance between offering up your art as a “luxury” good and devaluing it by basically giving it away.
WHO ARE SOME OF THE ARTISTS THAT ARE PARTICULARLY EXCITING?
Too many to even name! Right now I’m really into the work of Haroon Mirza, Anna Betbeze, Jonas Lund, Petra Cortright, Joseph Hart, Mira Dancy, Sean Raspet, Devin Troy Strother, Letha Wilson, Adriana Minoliti, Jon Raffman, Elaine Cameron-Weird, and Alex Chitty.
IN OUR NEXT POST, IN ANTICIPATION OF MIAMI ART BASEL, JESSICA WILL INFORM US OF THE UNIQUE AND STELLAR SUPPORT THAT THE ART BASEL CROWDFUNDING INITIATIVE AND KICKSTARTER HAVE ESTABLISHED. THE INITIATIVE CELEBRATED ITS ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY AND ALREADY SUPPORTS 25 NON-PROFIT ART PROJECTS.
YOUR PARTICIPATION IS WELCOME – LEARN ABOUT THE ABCI AND ASK ANY QUESTIONS THAT WILL INSPIRE YOU TO SUPPORT THIS VERY WORTHY ENDEAVOR.
UNTIL THEN…THANKS FOR READING!