Rooms | An Art Collector’s Pop Up Exhibition
A couple of weeks ago, I met art collector and curator Avi Gitler who runs Gitler & _____ gallery, through which he organizes various pop up exhibitions in New York City. Mr. Gitler has a great eye for artwork and his shows consist partially of works on consignment and of works from his own collection. Each one of the artists on view, many of whom are virtually unknown in the art world, are people with whom he has developed a close friendship. He not only collects their work, but has in-depth knowledge of their practice and understanding of the struggles they endure to create their work. His is a labor of love that he’s been carrying on for many years now.
Erin Hall | Frames
His current exhibition entitled Rooms is brilliantly installed in a series of empty office spaces in New York’s TriBeCa district, an area known for its lavish and huge loft-style living spaces. Each room contains the work of a different artist, giving the viewer an intimate experience of the work. Arriving on the 4th floor at 11 Beach Street, one is greeted by Mr. Gitler and can hear him enthusiastically describe each work, the artist’s history and how he met them. Works have been sold, but many are still available.
I did a quick interview with Mr. Gitler, published below. You can ask him more questions yourself and perhaps make a purchase by visiting the exhibition this week – hours are late, running from 6 to 10pm. There will be a closing reception this coming Thursday night, March 14th, from 6pm to 10pm. Again, the exhibition is on the 4th floor at 11 Beach Street (b/w Varick and W. Broadway) in New York City. Beverages will be served.
Boy Kong | Untold Stories of the Unheard
Samantha Levin | When did you start collecting art?
Avi Gitler | I started collecting art when I was 18 with money I had earned working in a take out deli on 72nd st. during high school. First works I bought were an aboriginal painting I bought in Australia and some naive-style prints I bought in Hawaii. I still have the prints rolled up in the canister they were originally transported in, and my former sweet tastes in art shock me now.
SL | It’s wonderful that you show your collection. Tell me how this helps your artists.
AG | It helps them in a number of ways. I am a very enthusiastic promoter for one. Second, most of the artists are relatively unknown – even if they have MFAs from good schools – and often the exhibitions I organize are among their earlier shows. As most of the art I collect is international, it is the first time that a lot of it is being seen outside of its home country.
Theresa Marchetta | Teddy Roosevelt’s Skins (Lion)
SL | Describe one thing about artwork that’s important to you – a quality that you look for in an artwork
AG | It should agree with my eye and mind. I don’t care if it’s pretty in the traditional sense or if it is grotesque, but there should be some resonance. It does not need to have the deepest concepts supporting it, but at the same time, I’d rather it not be entirely simple and straightforward.
Theresa Marchetta | Untitled
Boy Kong | Unheard Prayers