An art gallery in an apartment in Brooklyn
A new relationship without barriers with the art world
In 2016 Scott Indrisek and his wife Ariela Gittlen launched a very unconventional project: they turned their living space into an art gallery. His small apartment in the Brooklyn neighborhood of New York began to house small displays of art by established artists in a somewhat unusual way. Teen Party, that's how they decided to call this exhibition space, little by little it became a successful initiative, breaking the standards of the art world.
Despite being a rare method of artistic exhibition, the New York couple had the inspiration and instruction of other semi-professionals in the sector who were already running similar venues in the cities of Los Angeles, Berlin, Milan and Mexico City.
From a somewhat privileged position (since both husband and wife had remained in constant contact with artists given their job positions in the editorial press sector), the couple launched the proposal to one of these artists without quite knowing what to expect. But the responses were not long in coming and, moreover, were more than positive.
During the inauguration they had the presence (both personal and artistic) of Petter Halley and Tracy Thomason (from which, in a completely unexpected way, they sold two works). Little else had to be done, as the exhibition space was none other than the modest guest room that until then had functioned as a home-office.
Last winter, the couple decided to end this beautiful project due to the arrival of their first child, but throughout the three years that Teen Party was underway, it hosted all kinds of shows and events in collaboration with great artists.
Scott himself (Artsy's collaborator) wanted to explain how this project has changed his perception of the real value of art and also everything he has been able to learn on the go.
The first aspect, and probably the most important, is to find a balance between the function that space should have as a gallery and as a home. The vast majority must wonder how such a space can even exist and function on top of it. We must bear in mind that we are not talking about a conventional gallery and, therefore, the flexibility in any detail is much broader. The people who are usually in charge of these spaces have their own full-time work and, therefore, their role as gallery owners is nothing more than an addition to their day to day. Most of them manage to find balance by opening access to the public only during weekends, or on very few days by appointment or at private events.
This at the same time greatly conditions the way of relating to the visitor, since many of them may feel violent when invading a private space. So people who run these kinds of galleries often treat visitors as their own guests. The question is to break the institutional barrier that exists in conventional exhibition spaces and open doors to people, not only for a new approach to art, but also for a new way of relating to it.
The buying / selling system is also usually very different. These types of galleries arise more "for the love of art" than for the interest of selling. What's more, in these spaces sales are usually made very occasionally and the large percentage of the profits are taken by the artists. And it seems fair, don't you think? Since there is no rental cost for the space or added management for the exhibition space or its staff.
But without a doubt, the most significant (and at the same time motivating) aspect of this type of exhibition is that the physical space is not a “white cube”. You have to learn to take advantage of the conditions of the house and not try to break with its environment and its home function. Although it is an obstacle, it is one of the great challenges that motivates artists to decide to participate in this type of exhibition, since they usually enjoy absolute freedom to experiment beyond conventional limits.
Finally, Indrisek has wanted to reflect on the importance of art in people's lives and has wanted to break a bit with the topic that art is only for the rich. Despite the fact that both he and his wife own some works of moderate cost, he has recognized that living for a few weeks surrounded by works that are probably never within his financial reach, has made him rethink the value that art really has. He wanted to remember that very often the art market absorbs all the prominence and the value of the works ends up being measured in numbers, when in fact what really matters is how that piece (regardless of its economic value) makes you feel.
After living with a work by established pop artist John Wesley valued at $ 45,000, both Indrisek and his wife affirm that the greatest satisfaction they have experienced thanks to Teen Party has been the evenings with strangers and the intimate relationships they have created with artists and visitors throughout these three years.