At the intersection of Broome and Centre streets lies a tasteful, unpretentious art gallery that doubles as a small bookstore. Best of all, it’s free, and the floor room’s setup encourages passersby to walk right in. Outside, the nondescript storefront displays some of the more intriguing pieces of the current exhibit. LocalBozo.com was fortunate enough to catch up with a gallery representative Angharad Cotes, and learn a little bit more about the focus behind the gallery’s initiative and it’s most current exhibit, Surf/Skate.
Blog: Clic Gallery
Clic Gallery was opened about a year ago as a creation from fashion stylist and retailer Christiane Celle, who sought to create a forum for hosting art exhibits coupled with similarly related books. Coates explains, “We show photography with a special focus on travel photography and NYC documentary & archival work. I think one of the ways we make the shows approachable is by mounting them in a bookstore setting, which is less intimidating than a white-walled Chelsea space.” Walking into the gallery, the essence of this statement is immediately captured. Some basic light bulbs delicately hang from the ceiling, only complimenting the generous natural lights provided by the heavily windowed interior. The walls are egg shell white, allowing ample time to really explore the gallery and focus on the detail of each piece on display. And as some Bob Marley piped through the speakers at a soft volume, we forgot about the honking horns and ambulance sirens outside, and found ourselves calmed by the gallery’s atmosphere.
The current Surf/Skate exhibit features an exciting variety of artistically created skateboard decks lining the far walls, and assortment of collages & photography depicting surfers and the like taking up the summer sun, and some from the early 1980’s featuring punk rock teens standing across the street from CBGB. The display is visually stunning, moving from frame to frame trying to imagine the photo from a historical perspective. Clic Gallery clearly has an appreciation for different subcultures. After displaying Tony Caramanico’s surf collages last year and featuring a show called “Sea Surf Sun,” about strictly beach/ocean/surf photography, they decided to include some skate culture, more aligned with New York City.
Coates believes that celebrating Manhattan is important to the gallery’s success-
“New York has been our biggest focus in the year we’ve been open.” Some of the City-centric shows include “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York” by James & Karla Murray- a ten year project capturing small mom-and-pops in each borough, and “Bande Apart: New York Underground 60’s, 70’s, 80’s,” a celebration of rock and punk photography from nine legendary music photographers. Says Coates, “We’re very invested in vintage, documentary photography about NYC,” and as New Yorkers with an eye for our eccentric history, rather than an abstract painting, so are we.
Clic Gallery is truly unique because they focus on affordable art and really seem to cater to new collectors. “Christiane really set out to create an un-snobbish, welcoming place to look at art and flip through gorgeous design books. In addition, because we’re a bookstore, we get many more “browsers” than a gallery. We also have people who come every week to check out new books we have,” says Coates.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to stop by, the Surf/Skate exhibit runs through September 5th. But there are some exciting exhibits coming in the fall. Opening September 14th is “Andy Dandy” by the Hilton Brothers, “a series of diptychs combining black and white portraits of Andy Warhol in drag, shot in 1981.” In October, the gallery presents “The Boombox Project,” photographs of vintage boomboxes collected by artist and Hasselblad Master (a tremendous honor) winner, Lyle Owerko.
With locations in New York, East Hamption, and St. Barth, what’s great about Clic Gallery is that you can walk inside knowing literally nothing about art and still be captivated by the place. The atmosphere welcomes you to stay for ten minutes or stroll around for two hours unbothered. And with a focus on Manhattan and pop culture artifacts that we can all relate to, Clic Gallery and Bookstore is a fun way to spend an afternoon or a weeknight simply exploring- something that even we admit, we could all use more of. For more information on Surf/Skate or any of the upcoming exhibits at Clic Gallery, check out clicgallery.com.
- Jane Van Arsdale
(A Special Thanks to Angharad Cotes for helping LocalBozo.com out with this story)