Keegan Gibbs – Blog

le gallerista

Posted in New York, Photography by Keegan on March 18, 2010

Gallerista #11. Chelsea, New York 2009.

In the spring of last year, my friend Brendan Lynch (who you should check out his work site and rad image collection blog) and I had several discussions about the gallery viewing experience. When you enter, you often see this 20-something peering over a tall counter, giving you her attention only for a fraction of a second before returning to whatever important task she must be doing behind that counter.

click for

At the core essence of most galleries lies the intention to present the artwork unbiasedly and unobtrusively. Hence white walls, tall simplistic modern architecture, and clean even lighting.
However, the experience of the interaction with the receptionist, is an intentional, often separate, experience the gallery creates.
When you walk into many galleries, one of the closest objects to the front entrance is the reception desk where it holds information about the art, the gallery, upcoming and past shows etc… However, behind this counter, lies the gallerista.
Often a young 20 something, she serves a purpose outside of just offering you information and price lists. She is the cover to the book that you are not supposed to judge by its cover. She is intimidating and often gives you the stiff arm. She will make you feel like you are in a place you are not supposed to be, or worse, in a place you cant understand or comprehend the deeper meaning of.
This one aspect of so many galleries is the blurry transition point between white walled gallery and store front retail space.

So Brendan and I decided to walk around Chelsea, an area filled with door to door galleries, and take a few unplanned portraits of the awaiting galleristas. Some might not fit the profile, or even be present at all, but almost all of them when asked for their photo, shot us a look of disgust.

A couple dudes…

12 Responses

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  1. Nik said, on March 18, 2010 at 12:20 pm


  2. chuck said, on March 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm


  3. patrickgriffins said, on March 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    you should do more of these.

  4. michael said, on March 18, 2010 at 6:47 pm


  5. SOTO said, on March 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    one of my favorite posts yet
    great stuff here

  6. Eric said, on March 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

    more surfing

  7. josh petker said, on March 19, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Brilliant!!! I love this. What a great idea.

  8. Austin P said, on March 19, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    i agree with Patrick, this is awesome, more keegan gibbs x brendan lynch gallery girls

  9. Rio said, on March 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Lol, this was a clever idea for a post/photos. Good looking out.

  10. nicolas said, on May 10, 2010 at 9:13 am

    and i always thought it was just me they hated

  11. Madonna McDonough said, on July 6, 2010 at 11:42 pm



    a gallerina 🙂

  12. Rebekah said, on September 25, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    You share interesting things here. I think that your blog can go viral easily,
    but you must give it initial boost and i know how to
    do it, just search in google for – wcnu traffic increase

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