Stylishsarah’s Q & A with Kathy Grayson: Co-owner of The Hole

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Stylishsarah's Q&A with Kathy Grayson: Co-owner of The Hole

Grayson Finds and Fills "The Hole" Gallery

SSP: Briefly describe your professional and personal history with the Deitch gallery and your relationship with Jeffrey.

KG: Jeffrey is the most interesting person in the art world. he is the only art dealer who is a true historian. thus the best person to blaze the trail from art dealer to museum director. He has the best spirit and energy. He has shaped my approach to art exhibitions and, more generally, art and life.

SSP: How do you you feel when you read or hear yourself described by the press and public as Jeffrey's "deputy," "protege," and even "legacy" or "beneficiary?"

KG: Jeffrey treated me like a curatorial and intellectual protege, I treated him like a mentor, which he was. We had lots of discussions about curatorial approaches, art practice and art criticism. He was the only person I would show my essays and articles to for feedback, and he would show me his essays to get feedback. We would cook up shows projects, and he would events together. Beneficiary: I certainly have been the luckiest girl in the world to have gotten to work at Deitch and to learn all this from him, and then to have his support and assistance transitioning to being a gallery owner myself. but it makes it sound like a will and Jeffrey is certainly not dead! He is going to have an even bigger impact on art history as the head of a museum.

SSP: How did your time at Deitch develop your viewpoint and how you critique art? How do you define art, and more importantly, how do you characterize "great" art or art that really "matters" to you?

KG: I share a sensibility with Jeffrey, whether innate or developed in conjunction with working at Deitch, that the best art is art that comes from lived experience. Neither of us have any patience for art about art. We love when someone's lifestyle or being and experience is really crammed into the artworks and they are about something real and important as oppose to self-reflexively closed down academically or emotionally. I may be a lot of things but I am certainly not boring, and I will never show boring art!

SSP: What makes an artist's work attractive and exciting for you? Is discovering the "new' important to you?

KG: It is a very old avant gardist idea but I still think that each new generation has its unique set of experiences and those experiences inform their artworks, and thusly that the best and most exciting new artworks are those that cut straight to this and what it means to be here and now. It can manifest in all different ways though!

SSP: How did you decide and manage to co-launch "The Hole"(partners Meghan Coleman & Suzanne Geiss) and how is it similar and different from Deitch Projects? How do you make it your OWN?

KG: All the articles about Jeffrey leaving talked about "the hole in the downtown community" or"the hole in the art world" that he was going to leave. So we decided we would fill that hole! There used to be this great lawless club called THE HOLE that many of the our artists, and we ourselves, used to hang out at that closed a few years ago. plus we thought it was weird and post-feminist gross to have ladies running a place called The Hole. THE HOLE! Open for business! Our art operation will share the great spirit of Deitch Projects and I guess if anything, things might get even weirder!

SSP: How would you describe The Hole's aesthetics; as a gallery, as a community, and as a collection? How would you describe your artwork? Your artists?

KG: Its hard to make general terms for things but our community of artists, the staff, the supporters,we are all just downtown creative types, on the weird side, hardworking open and enthusiastic. The vibe is like a COMMUNITY CENTER and everyone is welcome.

SSP: Tell me a little about your new blog artfrombehind. Is it your personal blog or the official blog for The Hole?

KG: I had a blog on myspace for years and finally decided to move it to a real website. but now that I find myself opening a gallery I thought that it would be fun if the gallery had a blog and now the blog has become the gallery blog. I don't know! I like posting photos of great art on the internet and making fun of bad and butts and parties and funny looking people. Its FUN!

SSP: What was it like spearheading your first show; "Not Quite Open for Business?"

KG: Like the press release reveals, this ha been an extremely stressful and difficult time. The first show will reflect our struggle to get a gallery going and open the doors with art so quickly after Deitch's closing.

SSP: With the opening only a few days away, what are you most excited about and hat is your biggest worry?

KG: I am worried the opening will be too crowded for anyone to see the great artworks we have!!! I am most excited about everyone seeing the show and loving it.

SSP: If you could buy any artist's entire collection to decorate your home, who would it be and why?

KG: If I could hang one artist's work it would have to be Ben Jones because he is so versatile: he makes paintings, drawings, videos, video paintings, sculptures, rugs, ladders, benches, furniture, and clothing. TOTAL PACKAGE!

interview by Sarah Sulzberger Perpich