“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.” Yikes, the number of galleries that are closing (hey it’s just temporary, we’re looking for something cheap on the Lower East Side) becomes unignorable. Over the last six weeks I’ve been collecting images of galleries that have closed. Some are old friends, who I’ll miss. Others were supposed “solid” operations that could weather the storm because of friends with heavy connections and deep pockets. Alas, when the shit hits, you find out how fragile the illusions of the commercial art world really are. But as I always tell my young galleriest friends, “it’s (the NY art world) like the X File, charters you thought were dead show up in the next season” (although, if you stick an ice pick in their neck green foam squirts out). How far this “cleansing” will continue is still to be seen.
James Kalm, in his cruising, has been collecting footage to document the closings of galleries as a result of the current economic recession. With this video, viewers see the buildings left vacant by the departures of over twenty five galleries. While some are replaced with new businesses, the devastation is the worst seen locally since the collapse of the late eighties. And unfortunately, this may only be the beginning.