The art world can be very competitive and difficult to navigate for rising artists, and yet, they absolutely must find an entry point into the often selective community if they want to succeed. This is why the annual Fridge Art Fair is a pretty big deal; it's a chance for up-and-coming creatives to showcase their work and get inspired. It's also why ARTpublika Magazine is honored to be the Special Events Coordinator for the NYC edition of the Fridge Art Fair taking place during Frieze Week at Brooklyn's NU Hotel.
ARTpublika Magazine sat down with Eric Ginsburg and Natalie Fisk to talk about the importance of the Fridge Art Fair.
Eric Ginsburg: Artist, Curator, and Founder of the Fridge Art Fair
How did you first get interested in art?
I was a junior at NYU and decided to take a painting class; Maureen Gallace was my teacher. She took an interest in me and it was the strangest and most amazing feeling. I was a dyslexic kid getting a special education. And, according to many, I wasn’t even supposed to make it to college, yet alone be good at something. [But she believed in my abilities as an artist.]
At what point did you start to think of yourself as a professional artist?
Good question. I still wonder what being a “professional artist” really means. [For me, it] would be when I met Kazuko Miyamoto. [She] is an amazing artist who runs the oldest gallery on the Lower East Side, Gallery OneTwentyEight. A friend put a dog painting of mine in a show there, and things started to happen. Kazuko was best friends with Sol LeWitt (1928 – 2007), who began commissioning me to do pet paintings for art world big wigs.
Why did you decide to start the Fridge Art Fair?
I started it to give everyone an opportunity, myself included. I have fun doing it and truly want all involved to be happy.
How does your partnership with the Nu Hotel help you realize your goals?
The people at the NU Hotel are amazing!!! Natalie and Garry are very open, fun, and care so much – it’s a pleasure to work with them.
What kinds of opportunities do you hope the art fair will create for participating artists?
Hard question. This, I think, depends on the exhibitor; we have galleries, artists, and collectives working with us. From my end, I want them to smile. And, I want to smile. The bottom line is, we all deserve to be at peace and be happy!!!
Natalie Fisk: Artist, Curator, and Assistant General Manager of the Nu Hotel
How and when did the Nu Hotel become supportive of the arts?
The NU Hotel originally became supportive of the arts when we started our NU Perspectives Mural Program. When I [joined] the team in 2014, I initiated a partnership with local galleries and artists to host curated shows in the Lobby Space. I also did the same for our new PBX Gallery Space [by seeking out collaborators] or offering the Lobby Space to performing artists and for other creative [endeavors].
Why does the Nu Hotel work with local artists?
The NU hotel works with local artist because it understands [the] cultural value artists contribute to the Brooklyn community. It's part of our ethos to be as local as possible, and [because] Brooklyn is such a creative community, it made sense for us to bring that culture into the hotel.
How does the Nu Hotel help shape the artistic events that are hosted at its location?
We try [our] best to support the artists in their ideas with minimal interruption or intervention. I also try to be honest about which projects work well within the space, so that artists never feel like their ideas or shows are not properly displayed and/or featured.
What is special about the upcoming Fridge Art Fair?
Fridge is special because it pokes fun at the seriousness of other art fairs and reminds artists that it's important to have a good time. There isn't one formula for success [in the art world], and the Fridge Art Fair demonstrates that.
For more information, please check out the press release.