4. & 5. At what age or point in time in your life did you realize that wanted to work in the art world? After that moment, how did you decide upon the artists to show?
I started collecting art about 10 years ago. For me it started with old psychedelic rock concert posters. Artists such as Rick Griffin (who is still one of my favorites), Stanley Mouse, Victor Moscoso, etc. The guys that were doing the early 70s posters for the Fillmore & Family Dog. About 6 years ago I got turned on to this current genre of work (I really hate classifying the work that I show. I find that none of the names given really cover all the bases. The term lowbrow I just refuse to use, others such as Pop Surrealism work for some artists but not others. I sometimes call it urban contemporary but that too doesn’t always fit the bill. I guess we will just have to wait for someone to come up with a better name). I started collecting this type of work and then realized that this is what I should be showing in my gallery. At the time, I was dealing in original prints by artists such as Warhol, Haring, Dali, etc. I was in my late 20s, the idea clicked and it made a lot more sense to be showing more current living artists as opposed to carrying works by artists that were generations older than me, most of which were dead. The transition happened pretty quickly. I had my first group show in 2004 with artists such as Ron English, Jeremy Fish, Scott Musgrove, etc. From there I started working with other artists that weren’t really showing on the east coast that much. The gallery relocated to Philadelphia in the Fall of 2005. At that point I started to work more closely with several artists in solo exhibitions. Artists such as Damon Soule, Shawn Barber, Blaine Fontana to name a few. There were also a lot of other artists that I wanted to work with but I soon found out that Philadelphia wasn’t the biggest draw and New York was where I had to be. Some of these artists haven’t had opportunities for NYC solo shows so when I started to let them know of my intentions to open up in Chelsea there was a lot of interest. Obviously, I am sticking with my same crew of artists that I have been working with but am adding some new names to the roster. Expect to see solo shows from the usual suspects such as Greg Simkins, Kris Kuksi, Shawn Barber, Amy Sol, Pat Rocha, Jeremy Fish, Damon Soule, Blaine Fontana. I also have solo exhibits planned with Robert Hardgrave, Koralie, Josh Keyes, Mike Davis, Oliver Vernon, Yumiko Kayukawa, Travis Louie as well as some others that I will keep to myself for now.
6. Are you and Jonathan Levine starting an initial mafia (JLG)?
I know Jonathan had the JLG initial locked down before me. Jonathan has been a good friend to me over the years. He was always open to sharing info and lending an ear. I am grateful for that. When he could’ve easily said ‘figure it out yourself kid’ he offered advice and I won’t forget that. Of course there are a lot of things I figured out on my own, that’s how I like to do things, I am really hands on with my business in all aspects.
7. What can you be found doing once you have closed up shop for the night?
As of lately there has been no ‘after I closed up shop for the night.’ This isn’t the type of business that you leave at work, it is an all-encompassing career that pretty much takes up all of my time. When I leave the gallery there are usually more phone calls/emails to artists, collectors, designers, etc. At some point in the night there is usually a bottle of wine opened. Depending on the night possibly some TV, especially if Lost is on!
8. If you were to win the $17,000,000 mega millions jackpot, what would you do with it after taxes?
If I won the mega millions I would take a nice, much needed vacation. But only if it didn’t affect the gallery plans. I must admit I am definitely looking forward to the gallery being closed for August and taking some time off. After vacation I would go on a serious art buying spree. Not that I really have any room in my apartment but, I guess I would move into a new place if I hit the jackpot.
Right now we are in the gallery working and we need some upbeat music to keep the momentum. Listening to Death From Above 1979, Fugazi, Mclusky (compliments of Shawn Barber), Moistboyz. I also listen to a bunch of old school Hip-hop such as Pete Rock, Wu-Tang (not feeling the new album at all), Gangstarr, B.I.G. , basically the classics. Some DJs I am feeling now include Diplo and A-Trak (the Dirty South Dance CD he put out is bananas!), other artists i am feeling at the moment include Air, Flaming Lips, Boards of Canada & M.I.A.
10.What can we look forward to at Joshua Liner Gallery?
See the above paragraphs.
Joshua Liner Gallery opens to the public with Locked & Loaded on Saturday, April 12th. Be sure to stop by.
Joshua Liner Gallery
548 West 28th Street
New York, NY 10001