Platform Art Fair Curator Terrence Sanders on How PLATFORM is for Artists by Artists!

Terrence Sanders with his daughter Maya at the Makeshift Museum in Los Angeles 2016

Jessica Barroso-Gomez: So what’s the meaning of ‘For Artists, By Artists’?

Terrence Sanders: I am an artist. The curators and writers I work with are artists. Every aspect of Platform is for and by artists. No one is going to understand the needs and wants of an artist except another artist.

JBG: Why launch Platform as a stand alone fair?

TS: We were scheduled to launch during Armory week but changed because of the unpredictable weather. Then we were scheduled to launch during Frieze week at the Lexington Avenue Armory but had to postpone to due to their ‘asbestos’ contamination.

We met with Deputy Director of the Armory show Deborah Harris about a possible collaboration between the Armory and Platform. We believed that their audience could be a great foundation for a collector base for Platform. During our meeting Ms. Harris shed light on a number of relevant issues. She advised us that we should be a stand alone fair in September when the art season begins and the weather is predictable. We agreed and here we are with our inaugural show opening September 29th through October 1st 

JBG: Can you tell us how you’ve assisted artists? 

TS: Too many examples to speak of in this interview. 

I’ve assisted artists in securing a home, art supplies and scholarships. Inclusion in group and solo exhibitions at my galleries and pop ups in LA, Chicago, New York City and New Orleans. Offering artists a display space at art fairs Worldwide. Securing gallery representation for artists in the US and Europe, editorial spreads in Artvoices Magazine, and publishing deals with Artvoices Art Books to name a few. 

Artvoices Magazine launched while I was living and working in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina. No one was covering the New Orleans art scene and I viewed it as an opportunity to celebrate, recognize and create a greater awareness for artists nationwide who are off the radar, under recognized and under represented.

Michael Pribich ‘Labor Your Culture’ 2015, 30 x 8 x 17
Laser-cut cutting board and stainless steel

JBG: If you were in a position to change certain aspects of the art world what would you change?

TS: Artists living in poverty. Artists living without health insurance. Artists working out of their homes. Artists being discriminated against.  Eliminating an age limit for an artist to be represented. I would have no voice left out of the conversation.

JBG: What’s the difference between you and other art business professionals?

TS: I am an artist and art professional. My business ventures are an extension of my artistic expression and practice. They are all works of art from my perspective. My vision, passion and my art.

Stephanie Keith ‘Killing the Black Snake: Standing Rock, 2016.

JBG: Do you think anyone cares about your contributions?

TS: Yes, I do. And a majority of the artists I’ve collaborated and celebrated. I’m still a work in progress. I’m 50 years young and I still have a lot left on my plate to finish.

JBG: Do you ever find it difficult balancing being an artist and art professional?

TS: Hell Yeah. I rarely have time for my art! The business aspect consumes me entirely and then I’m papa to a 2 ½ year old Maya, a 6 year old Lucy Anne and my fiancée Lady Jess. I’m not complaining. I love and hate different aspects of my life like everyone else. After Platform I decided to dedicate a substantial portion of my time to artwork. In addition to creating, I’m going to publish a book on 33 bodies of my work due out winter 2019.

I am a native New Yorker from the Lower East Side and my work ethic is bar none.

JBG: What’s the biggest public misconception about you?

TS: That I’m angry, disrespectful, a hustler, a scammer.  It comes with the territory of being an African American male-a minority in a homogenized art world.

JBG: What’s your biggest fear about Platform?

TS: That the average artists who has dreams of making it ‘big’ and dreams of Art Basel are too blind and conditioned to see this is a ‘real’ and ‘tangible’ vehicle for change that directly affects him or her.

I’m hopeful that we as artists can show a sense of community. Be a part of something greater than our selves. Put our differences aside and support for the greater good.

I’ve always been a champion of artists but Platform will not only celebrate and recognize artist and their contributions that address the issues mentioned above. Make no mistake, nothing can be done until we realize something is wrong and open a dialog. Not just talk about it and point fingers but a solution and or solutions that are brought to fruition.

Platform is the catalyst and connective tissue of like minds that could manifest that change.

JBG: Gracias.

TS: De nada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica Barroso-Gomez is an artist-writer-mother living and working in Los Angeles.

 

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