We featured this Lower East Side gallery and its show last January 7, 2011. This space features a unique selection and showcases art with a definite point of view. Here we get an insight into the personal side of Cindy Rucker, a gallery owner, who balances a hectic but fulfilling life one foot in the art world and the other planted deep in her family. What gems can she share with us? Let’s find out!
1. Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to do this Q & A. First the proverbial question, what made you decide to open a gallery on the Lower East Side?
The intersection of the conceptual and the commercial has always been a big interest of mine. When I opened in 2007, the LES art scene was in the beginning stages. What appealed to me about the neighborhood wasn’t its proximity to the New Museum or low rents, it was what these things could bring to running a commercial gallery: higher visibility and the freedom to show more difficult work.
2. What is your main criteria for choosing an artist to show at your space?
Like many other galleries, I mostly find artists through referrals. Artists, curators, collectors that are familiar with my particular aesthetic advise artists to approach me and I get to know work that I may not have seen otherwise. Since I’m not tied to a particular media, I look for the overall approach to art making, how strong the concept is and how its interpreted, and its execution. I tend to shy away from work that’s overly intellectualized. I want what I show to have soul.
3. With a family, how do you balance it out with your work at the gallery and having it all?
After my daughter was born, people would ask me how I manage to get everything that I have to do in a typical day done. I would simply say, “You don’t think about it. You just do it and it all comes together.” I’ve been lucky enough to say that it’s still true.
4. A favorite book that you can read on a deserted island.
I could say I would want to read something deep and intellectual so your readers will think I’m philosophically driven, but what I’ll answer honestly is a children’s book by Salman Rushdie called Haroun and the Sea of Stories. I cannot wait until I can read this to my daughter.
5. A dearly departed artist that you would have liked to shown at your gallery.
Ooh, good question. There’s so many, but I’ll say Gordon Matta-Clark. He was taken way too soon.
6. “PLACING” art to the right collector, is it much like being in an adoption agency, finding a good home for the art?
Somewhat, yes! There are artists that view their pieces as their “babies”.
7. Is there anything that you won’t feature in your gallery or all’s fair game?
My dear departed friend, Ron Keyson, started a company called Wallpaper LAB that features artists’ wallpapers. He curated a few shows for me and after my first wallpaper experience, I’d really rather not show it. Its so hard to put up and take down in the tiny amount of time between shows. But I always get cajoled into it somehow.
8. What makes a gallery successful in your opinion?
Good shows and good business.
9. On your day off from the gallery, what do you enjoy most doing?
I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I love doing crafts with my daughter and baking. We’re both looking forward to Easter so we can do pastel craft projects and bake things that are egg-shaped!
10. Any sage advice for any aspiring Gallery Owner.
Know that this is a business, so you will have to do boring administrative stuff and bookkeeping. Things happen at their own pace, so try not to get discouraged. Otherwise, go for it. We’re all waiting to see what you’ve got.
Visit Cindy at her space: number thirty-five gallery.141 Attorney Street. New York, NY 10002. Gallery Schedule: Wednesday to Sunday, 12 – 6 pm
SAME BUT INDIFFERENT
Robyn Voshardt/Sven Humphrey
February 18 – March 25, 2012
During Armory Week number thirty-five is also at:
VOLTA NY Art Fair – Martin Schwenk
7 W 34th Street NYC – Booth E8
March 8 – 11, 2012
Q & A by: Oscar A. Laluyan