Establishment Icons and Agitprop Action Paintings Certify Tribeca as Gallery Mecca
Three relocating or expanding galleries and a significant new retrospective have the collective effect of certifying Tribeca’s status as the epicenter of the New York art scene. The galleries are Alexander Gray Associates (which is leaving Chelsea after almost 20 years), Marian Goodman Gallery (moving from Midtown after nearly half a century), and Nino Meir (adding an outpost to augment its SoHo location). All three are locating to within a few steps of each other, at 380 Broadway (Nino Meir, pictured), 384 Broadway (Alexander Gray), and 385 Broadway (Marian Goodman), clustered near White Street. They join stalwarts such as the Andrew Kreps, James Cohan, James Fuentes, and Almine Rech, who have also recently decamped to Tribeca, or announced plans to.
In a separate (but related) development, the anonymous street artist and guerilla political activist Banksy is the subject of a new show in Tribeca, at the exhibit space within 378 Broadway, also near White Street. The show features works from his October 2013 “residency,” during which the graffiti stencilist strove to create one new public art piece each day.
“Banksy in New York: Defaced,” on display now through May, honors the tenth anniversary of Banksy’s New York commorancy, and displays more than 80 original works. But many pieces from his time in New York have been lost due to the ephemeral nature of Banksy’s art. A case in point is his piece depicting the destruction of the World Trade Center, spray painted onto a wall at Jay and Staple Streets in Tribeca. It was covered by other graffiti taggers within 24 hours.
During the same month, Banksy (who was then already widely acclaimed) sat at a table in Central Park and sold original canvases for $60 each, but had few takers because even passersby who had heard of him doubted their authenticity. (The provenance of his paintings is confirmed or repudiated after the fact via Banksy’s website, and his company “Pest Control Office.”) The handful of pieces Banksy sold in the park were worth tens of thousands of dollars at the time, and would likely fetch many times more that amount at auction today.
The artist’s office has confirmed all the pieces on display at the “Defaced” exhibit are genuine. Banksy, whose identity remains unknown, was unavailable to comment.