Monday, May 07, 2007

Gallery Space Talk: Camilo Alvarez (Samson Projects)

Camilo Alvarez is the owner and Director of Samson Projects. This gallery has represented artists at major art fairs. Samson Projects has been infolved with the Scope art fair three times and has represented artists at NADA twice.

Samson Projects, established in March 2004, blends the best elements of a commercial gallery with the experimental attitude of an alternative exhibition space. They represent a group dedicated to furthering contemporary art. Projects creates and presents programs that explore the diversity of cultures and voices that continually shape contemporary art and ideas today, introducing emerging and under-recognized artists as well as established artists.

Samson Projects currently represents: Nicole Cherubini, SunTek Chung, Taylor Davis, Craig Drennen, Jeffrey Gibson, Gabriel Martinex, Wardell Milan, Rune Olsen and Suzannah Sinclair- a diverse group of artists.

Q. You are the gallery director of Samson Projects. When was the gallery established? What is the mission of your gallery?

A. "I opened up the gallery in March 2004. Its now 3 and change. I like to mix established and emerging artists...all artists focused on contributing to culture and its evolution and advancement.

At first I didn’t feel I could ask to represent any artists but as the gallery matured I was approached by artists that wanted to work with me so now I take them to art fairs all over the world. In the past months I have done art fairs in Miami, NYC, Mexico City and Barcelona."

Q. Why did you decide to become a gallery director? Are you an artist yourself? How did you get involved with the arts?

A. "I am also the curator, the owner and the preparator. I am not an artist(e). I always knew I wanted to be around arte but not make art(e) I studied art history and then worked a variety [slew] of art jobs in NYC..."

Q. What is your personal philosophy about about art and artistic creation? What makes an artist and artist?

A. "Courage, conviction, creativity, inspiration and prescience aside, it takes an incredibly strong individual to expect another individual to give time and regard a unique object as significant and worthy of appreciation."

Q. It often seems that many artists are not aware of the business side of art. Do you have any suggestions for an artist who wishes to learn more about the marketing side of the business that is art?

A. "It takes time. I don’t believe in "marketing" art. The masses and history aren’t privy to the wanton rules of ‘marketing". It might also be considered base to think so."

Q. Who are you currently representing? Do you have any exhibits going on at this time?

A. "I currently represent 9 artists Craig Drennen, Gabe Martinez, Jeffrey Gibson, Nicole Cherubini, Rune Olsen, SunTek Chung, Suzannah Sinclair, Taylor Davis and Wardell Milan. They are all in several group exhibitions in museums and galleries scattered around the world at the moment and upcoming. Right now I have a solo exhibition of Rune Olsen’s work. You can find out more at:
Q. Your gallery represented several artists at SCOPE- New York (2007). Did the exhibit go well for your artists?

A. "At ScopeNYC 2007, Jeffrey Gibson took over the booth. It went well, some sales came of it as well as exhibitions. Jeffrey’s work is anomalous. He’s Cherokee/Choctaw, an Army brat who went to grad school during the YBA exposure at the Royal College in London. He’s currently included in an exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institute) and is working on a project funded by Creative Capital for a small town in Oklahoma."

Q. What can you tell our readers about the artists you represent?

A. "They are a diverse group: in media, backgrounds, ideas, concepts, etc. I’d like to think they reflect what the world looks like or should look like. I’d like to think they can be the world’s thermometer, compass, mirror, and so on and so forth."

Q. What kind of message do you want the art you exhibit at Samson Projects to have?

A. "There is beauty in diversity...of media, color, ideas..."

Q. Do you have any advice for emerging or established artists who would like to exhibit at your gallery?

A. "Please see Feature Inc’s submission policy..."

Q. What was the most important exhibition you've been involved with? Care to share that experience?

A. "I recently assisted Caroline Jones edit a huge catalog for a two part exhibition, Sensorium, set to travel which started at the MIT List Visual Art Center. That was a Exit Art there was an eight curator exhibition I was highly involved which was highly rewarding and crazy complex."

Q. If you could pinpoint the characteristics of people who buy art from Samson Projects, what would they be?

A. "I don’t want to pinpoint the characteristics of people who buy art from Samson Projects. I cant, truthfully...its too early."

Q. As a gallery director, what trends do you see in the 'art world'? What is 'hot' at this moment?

A. ""Hot" is global. The world is getting smaller."

Q. What can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area?

A. "The Boston art scene is small and growing. I think the recent new building for the Institute of Contemporary Art and its shift into a collecting institution will change the face of the Boston art scene...if they do it right."

Q. Do you have a website for your gallery?

Check out the Samson Projects website to find our more about this wonderful gallery.
Take care, Stay true,
Brian Sherwin

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