Recession Art be awesome. Recession Art be Brooklyn. Recession Art be 2009.
Ani Katz ’08, former photo editor for the News board of ’08 and the orchestrator of “Recession Art,” is opening the gateway to glory for seven young artists this weekend. Economic catastrophes tend to be unkind to new graduates with BAs in the humanities. This show is a venue for exactly these people. People, in Katz’s words, “who do not have the resources to get into the big galleries, people who are putting off graduate school because they can’t afford it right now, who are just continuing to make work while they work their day jobs.”
Ted Gordon ’08 has been translating German opera synopses for the last several months and working as an assistant wedding photographer. At Yale, you could find Gordon most days in the negative center of the Digital Media Center for the Arts. But now, in the real world, negative centers cost at least $60-an-hour to rent. So Gordon has found a way to make and exhibit work without selling his soul to the Art Market Demons. For the next week, Gordon’s photographs will be on display in “Recession Art” at the Brooklyn Artist’s Gym in Gowanus for a potential buying public.
“It’s for people who are dealing with the bust and can’t spend thousands of dollars on a piece of art, but still want to own and appreciate art,” Katz said.
The show has an upward price limit of $500, but many artists are offering works for less; Gordon said he plans to sell his small 5-by-7 prints for five to 10 bucks a pop.
Katz is also exhibiting her photographs that she has taken in Brooklyn in the year since she has graduated. Her photographs are of young people, friends, the type of people “Recession Art” is aimed at; by hosting “Recession Art” in Brooklyn, Katz hopes to offer a ray of artistic sunlight to the younger, up-and-coming crowd, lost in the deep caverns of economic gloom.
The opening on Saturday will feature free food and drink (in keeping, one feels, with the overall charitable feel of the exhibition). And in addition to the nosh, Katz will be offering free tunes: The Acrylics, an indie-pop band (featuring Katz’s boyfriend on drums), are performing.
Is this the work of the Yale mafia, the cohort of talented graduates that leave New Haven every year to dominate the New York artistic scene?
“No,” Gordon said. “There’s definitely a social network in New York, but it’s not sinister or exclusive or anything.”
Indeed, the work has more of a low-key aesthetic; these are not universe-destroying, mind-controlling devices zapping power into the post-Bungalow 8 power brokers. The exhibited work consists mostly of prints and small-camera photography. It is work, Katz said that you wouldn’t find in a normal gallery.
“One woman,” Katz said, “is doing embroideries of robots —”
“Of what?” Niarchos interrupted whilst interviewing.
“Robots,” Katz repeated.
“Oh,” Niarchos said.
The interview tapes made for quite funny listening.
If the show is successful, the “Recession Art” will be repeated, with a more formalized submissions process, Katz said.
In the meantime, Katz just hopes that people come, have a good time, see what’s going on in the up-and-coming art world and maybe find something they like for their living room