Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn 2003 - 2008
In 2003, John Hobbs, Bill Moulton, Matt Owens, Matt Campbell and I opened
RIviera Gallery in a storefront in WIlliamsburg. We had no idea how to run a
gallery, nor what the art business was about. We just thought it would be great
to have a venue to show artists we loved in a place where we had the freedom
to do whatever we liked.
The first show, Fugitives, opened on a freezing winter's night. As the
temperatures plummeted, we worried people might not come out. Happily, the
place was jam-packed. It was the first of many raucous and fun openings. That
show even got a notice in the New York Times. The second show, a performance
piece with a scantily clad woman dancing in our storefront window garnered
yet more attention.
Our luck continued for the next six years. We had over 100 exhibitions and
showed over 250 artists. We were one of the first galleries to show Jeff Soto in
New York, and the photographer Peter Beste, as well as interactive work by
Theo Watson and Emily Goebeille. We showed just what we liked across a
range of media including sculpture, painting, video, photography, interactive
and performance art.
Our openings were notorious events, and the shows became known as places
to discover new artists. Each of the partners took turns curating, and each one
of us showed our own art at one time or another.
Eventually, rent increases and the hassle of managing began to cancel out the
benefits, and we finally closed in 2008. But not before receiving attention from
Creative Review, Anthem Magazine, Juxtapoz, Time Out, New York Magazine and The
New York Times.
L-R Opening party for They're Hatin, We're Rollin' (2007), a Dungeons and
Dragonsinspired show curated by Cody Hudson, featuring Maya Hayuk,
Kevin Hooyman, Logan Bay and more. Norwegian Black Metal (2004), Photographs
from Peter Beste's 3-year documentary project on Black Metal subculture in Norway.
Accompanied by text and audio of Black Metalers talking about what
they do. Payment for a Dead Horse (2006) installation by Bryan Harrington and
Mason Saltarrelli created from discarded wood collected throughout
Brooklyn and Manhattan.
L-R Overlook (2003) This group show marked the debut of Ted Mcgrath, Matthew
Hollister and KC Collins. 5x5 Video Nights (2003) 5 days of 5 videos each,
projected inside, viewed from outside the gallery. Spinning Yarn (2004) Group
show featuring Jeff Soto, Camille Rose Garcia, Martha Rich, Rachel Salomon,
Ryan Sanchez and Justin Wood.
L-R Opening party for Biome (2008), interactive projections and sculptures by
Theodore Watson, Emily Gobeille and Meredith Dittmar. They Say These Mountains
Grow (2006) Photographer Greg Wilson documented his abduction by meth
addicts in the California desert. amalgamolm (2003) Performance featuring
heavy metal music, people swinging in a body harness suspended from the
ceiling and dancers in the windows.