The Hole

©Susan Pittard

The Hole in question is the nascent gallery that the two 29-year old women opened this past June in New York, on Soho’s Greene Street. Until their former employer, Jeffrey Deitch, shuttered Deitch Projects – his contemporary art gallery known for its innovative, often provocative shows – to take a job as director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, they never anticipated opening their own gallery. “I was really happy working at Deitch,” says Grayson. “Meghan made these crazy art exhibitions actually happen and I got to dream up crazy things and curate wild stuff and Jeffrey paid for all of this by working really hard and selling art.”

“And now we have to do all of it!” Coleman adds. Not that the two young women are complaining. In addition to the abundant amount of additional work that comes with running a business, owning their own space allows them to plan their shows with unlimited freedom and creativity. They’ve recently had an exhibition with artist and musician Cody Critcheloe, and are currently running a Mat Brinkman show that features pen and ink drawings displayed in rooms that are flooded with different colored light. They’re also working with well-known New York artists like Barry McGee and Terence Koh. Clearly, The Hole is keeping the professional spirit of Deitch Projects alive, while also taking the opportunity to focus on young and emerging artists.

Grayson and Coleman explain, completing each other’s sentences, that they’ve also brought with them some of Deitch Projects’ reputation for wildness.

“People sometimes think, you guys are having too much fun to be serious!” says Grayson. “Which is not true at all. These are real shows. Just because they look awesome…”

“Doesn’t mean they’re not serious!” Coleman jumps in.

“If anything, we want to be a little bit weirder than Deitch even,” says Grayson.

“But we don’t want to be a circus,” Coleman emphasizes.

And, like their predecessor, they’re managing to walk the line. To balance creative experiments such as rooftop performances by Critcheloe’s band SSION and performer No Bra or a fashion show in a school gym, the duo has also taken on some larger-scale projects, like expanding the Wynwood Walls murals that Deitch Projects orchestrated in Miami. They hope to curate a benefit show every year in order to raise money for a select cause. This year their charitable event will impact education reform.

The Hole’s next show, opening November 4th, is a long-anticipated collaboration between Dearraindrop, a Virginia-based artist collective that creates exuberantly colorful installations, and Kenny Scharf, whose cartoonish paintings first brought him to prominence in 1980s downtown New York.

The ability to collaborate with artists operating in different modes – from drawing, painting, and video to performance and music – is part of what Coleman and Grayson love about having their own gallery. It’s also what’s setting The Hole apart. “There’s something really exciting in the art world right now,” says Grayson. “Underground and emerging artists are doing all of this interdisciplinary activity. If you want to reflect what’s really happening, you have to cover these bases too. The Hole, with its newborn energy, is working to cover all the bases one gallery can.

Guests : Peggy Noland, Guillaume Boulez, Matthu Placek, Avery Newman, Kathy Grayson, Teddy Willoughby, Matt Moraner, Spencer Sweeney, Michael T. Jackson, Suzanne Geiss, Jaimie Warren, Meghan Coleman and Rosson Crow.

Photograper: Susan Pittard
Creative Direction: Guillaume Boulez
Hair : Jillian Halouska for WT Management
Make-up : Andrea Helgadottir @ The Magnet Anegncy
Assistant stylist : Eduardo Venguer
Installation credit : Cody Critcheloe / SSION Boy Installation at The Hole, NYC
Food : Boomba on Youmba

text by: Joseph Isho Levinson

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