Over the last couple of months a number of New Media artists seeking representation in New York have asked for my feedback on possible gallery matches for their art. Given the fact that there appears to be a budding market for this kind of work, these inquires make sense, though generally speaking as a net artist your options are still limited at best. I’ve compiled a list in no particular order below of the commercial galleries I usually mention to people, explaining what I see as their pluses and minuses. If I’ve missed a gallery, let me know in the comments section.
Foxy Production One of my favorite galleries in the city, Foxy consistently shows great work, manages their artists brilliantly, and defies the diva dealer stereotype, by being approachable and down to earth (this by the way should not be read as an invitation to send them unsolicited work.) Based on their stable of artists, I would guess that their collector base tends not to be interested in overly conceptual work so it’s doubtful you’re a good match for their stable if that’s what you do.
artMovingProjects and Vertexlist These galleries are amongst my most admired working with the medium, a conclusion based on the high quality and diversity of work that they regularly exhibit. They take risks and show a lot of art known to be difficult to sell. That said, artists typically worry that these galleries don’t have the connections to place them in museums and prominent collections, and there’s some legitimacy to these thoughts. ArtMovingProjects and Vertexlist don’t have the budgets to participate in the larger fairs, and are pretty far off the beaten track. They have however seen a rise in profile over the last year, so hopefully these struggles will become less of an issue for them in the future.
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery If you make a lot of blinky light art this gallery may be just for you. I was never overly thrilled with the programming prior to the arrival of Caitlin Jones, as they tend to favor form over content, and now that she’s no longer there (she just had a child) there may be less reason to pay attention to them. Unless of course you make blinky light art.
Bitforms This gallery shows a lot of crap, the most recent example being Michael Najjar’s, Bionic Angel. They’re still in business so they must be doing something right, but I find their aesthetic judgments troubling. Yael Kanarek represents one of the few decent artists showing at that gallery, though I say that guardedly as I’ve never fully understood the purpose of worldofawe, a work showcased in the 2002 Whitney Biennial.
Postmasters I used to use this gallery as a place to meet friends before trucking through Chelsea, but stopped after a while because they were too often closed during regular business hours. Not a good sign for a Chelsea venue. Also, it’s hard to take a gallery that deals with new media seriously when they maintain one of the worst websites in the city. And yet, their artists are often placed in prominent museums. For instance Jennifer and Kevin McCoy’s Every Shot/Every Episode, a work which collects 10,000 shots from the Starsky and Hutch T.V. series and arranges them by descriptive category, is now owned by the Metropolitian museum of art. The piece is okay, but I’ve never been able to give it a whole hearted two thumbs up, as it owes a little too much to Christian Marclay for my taste. Incidentally, to the best of my knowledge, Marclay is not in this same collection.
Deitch Projects In a lot of ways I think Deitch Projects represents the best option for conceptual net artists because they’re a high profile venue willing to take a hit on sales to exhibit work they’re interested in. The result tends to be mix mash of programming that often represents the latest cultural fad as opposed to anything substantial, but occasionally they really get it right. Probably the best example of this in recent memory comes from the Cory Arcangel and Paper Rad exhibition in 2005 which debuted their Super Mario Brothers movie. At this point, I think there’s enough new work in new media circulating to warrant another show.
Team This gallery represents artist New Media art star Cory Arcangel and therefore requires some mention, though his work is not typical of their programming. Founder Jose Freire has a PHD in film studies, so he naturally carries a larger number of video artists than most galleries. It seems to me that this is a more accurate indication of where the galleries interests lie.
LMAK Projects I actually know very little about this gallery except through the various new media related press releases that I’ve uploaded for ArtCal. Anyone who wants to add something to this non description may do so in the comments or send me an email.
Pace Just kidding. One show in 2006 doesn’t make a gallery new media friendly, and since they have a habit of squeezing the life out of anything good, I’m not exactly a fan. Anyone else seen the new James Turrell show currently on display? More on that disaster tomorrow.