Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

At Jack Shainman’s Upstate Space, a Venice Golden Lion Winner Has Room to Spread Out

The New York gallerist Jack Shainman loves a fine spectacle, especially when it surrounds one of his artists. Recently, El Anatsui’s retrospective show debuted at Shainman’s massive upstate space, The School, where a crowd of more than 1,000 flocked to take in the Ghanaian-born sculptor’s large-scale metal works along with early painting and pottery projects.

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Inside Artist Misaki Kawai’s Colorful Studio

Japanese artist Misaki Kawai radiates positivity. Over a decade-long career of performance, paint, and sculpture she has maintained a voracious appetite for the new, not to mention a quirky optimism. After a winter residency in East Hampton, snowed in with her husband, the photographer Justin Waldron, Kawai will unveil her latest experiments at the NADA art fair next week in a solo booth with the gallerist Eric Firestone.

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Provocateur J.J. Brine Stirs Up New York Art Scene

Vector Gallery, playing host to exhibitions, parties, is a place ‘where anything could happen’


In 2010, Jonathan Friel moved to Manhattan’s East Village, settling on a St. Mark’s Place apartment mainly because Nico, the onetime Velvet Underground singer and a favorite of his, once lived there.

Mr. Friel didn’t know many people in the city, having spent the past few years wandering around the world, he said. “I was going where I felt compelled to be.”

It was the beginning of a reinvention to the downtown provocateur he is today: J.J. Brine, an artist and gallerist known for his use of religious imagery, decadent parties and friendship with Amanda Bynes, a former child star who has become a tabloid fixture over the past year.

Vector Gallery is his neon-and-silver space on an otherwise standard Chinatown block. Inside, mannequins, dolls, bright lights and ladders are strewn about, and young artists gather there in the evenings for wine and Ouija sessions.

Last December, one of his more esoteric installations—a naked performance artist, Lena Marquise, charging cellphones with her body—went viral when an Instagram photo showed the R&B star Usher checking it out at Art Basel Miami Beach. The singer declined to comment on the work for this article.

In April, Mr. Friel exhibited at Silent Barn, an art-and-music venue in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood.

“To me, he is just the prince of darkness,” said Alison Sirico, a curator at Silent Barn. “I don’t know anything about him, but at the same time I am not really interested, because I feel like his persona is really who he is.”

Mr. Friel, 31 years old, didn’t always run in these circles. About a decade ago, he worked for former national-security adviser Brent Scowcroft—“probably not the target audience for my work,” Mr. Friel said—at the American-Turkish Council. A letter of recommendation Mr. Scowcroft wrote for him in 2007 said the “substantive speeches” Mr. Friel helped write “required no substantial editing.”

A spokeswoman for Mr. Scowcroft confirmed he signed the letter. A spokeswoman for the American-Turkish Council said Mr. Friel interned there.

Now he joins a long line of artists who have remade themselves in Manhattan, said Bruce LaBruce, an independent filmmaker who also works under an alias.

“I invented an alternate persona that was deflecting all kinds of personal issues, and keeping my work separate from my family,” Mr. LaBruce said. “Now people call it branding, I suppose.”

Mr. Friel seemed to thrive in his previous career, but he had other plans for himself. “No one feels one way about something for a lifetime,” he said.

New York seemed to be the right “empty canvas” for his next act, he said. Plus, there was that long-held love for Nico.

Mr. Friel overhauled his life and moved to the city five years ago, working as an electronic musician and using the name J.J. Brine.

He found a devoted if niche audience. A review of his second album, “The President of Mozambique,” on the music blog Symbiotic Reviews hailed it as “extraordinary,” and in a nod to Mr. Friel’s often-confusing background, it incorrectly referred to him as a reclusive Icelandic actor.

All of this was leading up to a new project: “a gallery,” he said, “where anything could happen.”

“I have a tendency to go on long rants about religion, business, education, government, politics,” Mr. Friel said. “I think that’s what’s happening at Vector—that complete synthesis of all things. It’s really an all-sweeping paradigm.”

He opened Vector in its current location last year, hosting exhibitions and parties. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Friel said, he met Ms. Bynes at a McDonald’s restaurant in Brooklyn, and they became fast friends. They have been photographed together leaving nightclubs, strolling around Los Angeles and grabbing takeout.

“There is a carnival under the banner of her name that serves all sorts of purposes, and I have been absorbed into the media carnival,” Mr. Friel said.

Ms. Bynes appeared in movies such as “She’s the Man” and became a social-media phenomenon last year when her Twitter account took a lurid turn, earning her comparisons to everyone from “Prozac Nation” memoirist Elizabeth Wurtzel to the outré filmmaker John Waters.

She is now in Los Angeles keeping a low profile, said people familiar with her whereabouts. A family attorney for Ms. Bynes declined to comment on her relationship with Mr. Friel.

Bynes fans and celebrity-gossip outlets have questioned if Mr. Friel’s friendship with Ms. Bynes is in her best interest. A Life & Style article on the subject concluded with a quote it attributed to one of her former friends: “Amanda’s in real trouble.”

Others see them as the perfect artistic pairing.

“Here’s this totally mysterious person, and you don’t know where he comes from or what his background is,” said Whitney Kimball, an art critic who used to live near Vector. “And Amanda Bynes is someone who seems to have, one day, totally transformed from her Nickelodeon image. So their friendship makes sense to me.”

Either way, the paparazzi attention has brought Mr. Friel wider exposure.

“I love that Amanda Bynes is hanging out in the art world!” said Cat Marnell, a writer and fixture on the downtown party scene, who counts herself among Mr. Friel’s fans.

“I love J.J. Brine,” she added.

The fashion designer Andre Landeros Michel bought one of Mr. Friel’s lightbox collages, he said, and hung it in his kitchen, adding that the artist is a “genius.” (Mr. Friel said his lightbox collages retail for around $3,000.)

In Miami, “he upstaged virtually all of Art Basel,” said Mr. LaBruce, “which is funny, because the most high-profile artists in the world were there.”

Now Mr. Friel is growing weary of the spotlight. Or, at least, tired of his latest act. In April, he said he was planning to close Vector for good this summer.

For now the gallery is “alive,” he said, “but I won’t be running it or going inside anymore.”

He left New York for vacations elsewhere and said he hopes to open a new gallery in Los Angeles soon.

For the young art-world operators Mr. Friel associated with in New York, he will leave much how he arrived: enigmatically.

Ms. Sirico, the Silent Barn curator, was touring Vector when Mr. Friel invited her into the gallery’s backroom. A sign on the door read that her soul was the cost of entry.

“There was a little voice in me that was like, ‘Maybe I’m actually going to lose my soul, and this is the devil’s playground and I’m not taking it seriously enough,’ ” Ms. Sirico said

After that, she was sure she should book him. “It was so inspiring,” she said.

Write to Mike Vilensky at

Thursday business meeting at Louisiana and then poop by artist Peter Doig’s works. #art #arte #meetings #business #museum #louisiana #artworks #instagrammers #fab #follow #naturelover #instamoment #dk #gallery #europe #peterdoig #gallerist #agent #sharingiscaring #invest #success #marishagulmann #stayontop (her: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art)

#Repost @thedealermovie with @repostapp.
Don’t miss this great Conversation between @homa.taj & Olivier Antoine of Art : Concept Galerie #Paris ~ #moodboard #indiefilm #artgallery #gallerist #Paris #parisien #france #french #français #Kunsthändler #kunst #art #contemporaryart #artworkers #zeitgenössischekunst #artecontemporanea #artdealer #artconceptgalerie #olivierantoine #homataj #museumviews #artmarket #artcollecting cc @homa.taj @museumviews

The 12th Havana Biennial #CubaInsider

The 12th edition of the Havana Biennial is starting! Many artistic activities will be organized in the entire city during one month. It’s one of the major international event in Cuba.

For the occasion, the city dresses in the blue and pink colors of the 12th Biennial.





What does the Havana Biennial refer to?

The first Havana Biennial was established in 1984. This is a meeting of artists from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa and it is increasingly international. This year, following the merger between Cuba and the US many Americans related to the world of art world are excepted.



The Havana Biennial focuses its attention on the arts, opening up activities to a wider public. It generates curiosity among passersby, attracting a lot of attention from Cuban people and foreigner. The first goal of this initiative isn’t commercial. In the words of one of the organizers, the Havana Biennial isn’t “for collectors or gallerists, but rather to make a connection with the city”. It’s not a commercial fair.


The program of activities is rich and varied, including performances from the worlds of dance, theatre, music, film and literature.



I’m lucky enough to be in the euphoria of the Havana Biennial for one month!


Clémence #CubaInsider

i translate your life

I translate your life
with feng shui, receipes,  

I glue back your vocal cords
I tune the voice you had,
the tongue
written in your body

washed away by bleach, wind, the water of

i can read it                     still
in those x-rays you carry around
as your portfolio for gallerists,

and in the dust at the bottom of drawers
and in that one left inside gloves

during all these years of acid rain,
that have cleaned your bones like silverware.

© 2004, Elisa Biagini
From: L’Ospite Go

Cape Town redux: had to leave painting in a parking lot to dry but due to thieves Marc, curator/gallerist at Stevenson Gallery parked his car on top of it so if they tried, it’d be a struggle. Fuck.

Gallerist | Lançamento Foffa Bikes

Novidades meninas…

O e-commerce Gallerist tem a honra de fazer o lançamento, com exclusividade, da marca Foffa Bikes em sua chegada ao Brasil.
A loja online será a única multimarca de moda a representar a marca inglesa, além de ser, também, o único ponto de venda online.
São três modelos disponíveis: a IRIS, favorito das irmãs, nas cores vermelho ou azul; a Urban, em preto e a Single Speed, em amarelo ou verde - os valores variam entre R$3.480,00 e R$4.980,00.

Amei a novidade… ;)


This is my awesome boss, friend and gallerist Eden Stein of @secessionsf. Please take a moment to help us out with your vote so the gallery might win a small business grant. Cut and paste this link into your browser: and THANK YOU!!! #SFart #artSF #artgallery #vote (at Secession Art and Design)

Parinaz: “How did tramps start? Well, I was interested in an exhibition model that’s primarily objective and works with the artist first rather than the sort of commercial objective model.  

I’m not looking to be a gallerist. Why would you have to commit yourself to a specific address? It’s nice to be able to exhibit where you want. If you have connections with people from other places in the world with interesting spaces or interesting situations surrounding them why not take it on the road?  “