I have always been inspired and motivated by art and, more importantly, artists. That is one of the reasons I pursued a degree from Pratt Institute. I wanted to be a painter. Growing up in upstate New York, my family and I would always come down to the big city to see “art” shows, most often at the better-known institutions like The Met, MoMA, The Whitney, etc. That was my understanding of gallery shows back then — big names, long lines and famous art.
As a student, I steadily became entrenched in New York city and realized that art can come in many forms and in any location, including the street. I quickly fell in love with street art and began following early blogs on the medium, like Brooklyn Street Art. In some ways, I all but forgot about the large institutions. However, as my career has progressed, not as a painter but as a communications designer, I have expanded my art consumption, balancing blogs, small galleries and big museums.
It wasn’t until I started at ThoughtMatter that I realized I was still missing out.
I know I am incredibly lucky to work at a studio like ThoughtMatter, with a founder who brings his appreciation and artful perspective to everything we do. An important element to our open office environment is the art always on display. Because of this access, we are always talking about artists, galleries, formats and context. In my time here, I have been introduced to new, old, famous, contemporary and novelty artists. I’ve also been re-introduced to many ways one can see art.
One of the areas I never really explored as a student or professional was the collection of art galleries in Chelsea. They have always been on my radar, but were never really a destination. That all changed a few weeks ago when I packed up my two children and husband and headed out to 23rd Street and 11th Avenue. Tom constantly reminds us that anyone can and should appreciate art.
Disclaimer: My husband did most of the packing for the trip and handled all of the important logistics, including knowing where the nearest playground was.
Over the course of the day we saw a half-dozen shows, took pictures (including selfies), posted to social media (with the appropriate hashtags) and saw the art world through the eyes of a 4-month old and 4-year-old. They had opinions, trust me. For my “Get Out Fridays” discussion, I shared with the studio my thoughts on the five shows we enjoyed the most.
Magnan Metz Gallery
DUKE RILEY: Now These Days Are Gone
Edward Thorp Gallery
GROUP SHOW: Hold That Thought
Fredericks & Freiser
MARK THOMAS GIBSON: Early Retirement
Mary Boone Gallery
PETER SAUL: Fake News
Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
The 4-year-old was most impressed by the portraits of pigeons at the Duke Riley show. He picked out his favorites, which just so happened to be at his eye level. The sewn individual portraits were like something out of a children’s book, highlighting the personality of each pigeon that was part of Riley’s Fly By Night project. The 4-month-old was transfixed by a religious tapestry of unknown origins in the back of the Edward Thorp Gallery. My husband particularly enjoyed the playground, which allowed us all to decompress and keep going. And my favorite by far was Mark Thomas Gibson’s exhibition. He created what felt like a comic book show, but with an edge. However, an excerpt from the press release for Hold That Thought group show at the Edward Thorpe Gallery perfectly sums up our day:
“Stories are told as an instant in a continuing storyline or as a succession of events unfolding over time. Subjects ranging from political commentary to faith to history are illustrated with graphic invention and distinctive technique. These works evoke emotions and ignite the imagination.”
Art has the ability to expand the mind and asks the viewer to see the world differently. It doesn’t matter if it is shown in a museum, on the street, in a gallery or at an office — great art is a gift. It is my hope that everyone who has the opportunity to visit ThoughtMatter’s offices takes the time to look at and appreciate the art work on display. Each piece will truly ignite the imagination.
This fall at ThoughtMatter, we’re ending every week with a “Get Out Fridays” discussion. During each session, a different studio member will tell us about a recent event they went to that has inspired them, and can in turn inspire each of us here at ThoughtMatter. It can be any event—as long as it involves getting out of the office and thinking in a different space.