Last night was the Spring 2011 Milk Gallery Underground photography opening at the famously elite Meatpacking District art space. The point of the show, well-curated in the lofty and enormous place, was to provide some up and comers with a little longer than fifteen minutes in the spotlight.
This was a timely showing; among the sixty artists on display, Coco Young, Marc Jacobs' latest favorite model, had work featured, not to mention Sandy Kim, the muse of famous photographer Ryan McGinley.
Art students and fashion people drifted from photo to photo and the modest stage in the front of the gallery was tended to in preparation for the set lists of some musical rising stars. Maluca, quickly becoming a New York icon for her incredible "tropical punk" sounds, rocked the house. New Villager also took to the stage, a West-Coast art -band whose aesthetic matched the youthful interior of the space.
Art director Alexander Kassal, who owns a nearby studio, had some thoughts on the work:
"It's very refreshing and it's lovely to see the young underground is still interested in nature, love and sex. It's slightly patriotic which is interesting. You can feel there's a certain excitement in creating something."
[Girl with a Bamboo Earring via]
Standout pieces included "Girl with a Bamboo Earring," by Awol Erizku, "Untitled (Surf)," by Adam Secore, and "Black Red" by Arian Camilleri. The photos shown had been selected by a big-deal panel of judges- Arthur Ou, Director of Photography at Parsons, Jennifer Pastore, a photo director at Teen Vogue, Song Chong, an NYU photography professor, and David Hemphill, the Milk Gallery director.
Hemphill himself told me,
"Essentially, I've seen very little of other galleries offering this kind of opportunity to young photographers and really felt the need and the importance for us to provide that for them. I'm really happy to do so."