Kathy Grayson thinks off-the-canvas. The owner and curator of The Hole, an envelope-pushing art gallery on Bowery, Kathy is redefining what a photograph can be in an era where anyone can be a photographer. Over the years, Kathy has hosted everyone from the A$AP Crew to the art world’s heaviest weights in her gallery, but she remains committed to her original vision for The Hole as a space where the art world’s young bleeding edge can showcase their work.
‘Not a Photo’ shows new uses of photography. The concept is that all of the works in the show use photography, but none of them are actually photographs. For better or worse, a lot of young artists are not interested in just taking photos right now. Maybe now that everybody can kinda take a good photo, the idea of a photograph being super meaningful on its own doesn’t really work anymore. Young artists are using photography to make hybrid art works.
You’d find a work like Letha Wilson’s, where a photograph has been transferred into cement and made into a sculptural wallwork or Ry David Bradley’s work where he hacked video information and then pressed it onto suede Alan Parker Smiths piece is the most photographed – which is a weird thing to say-it’s a photograph of hair blowing. That piece really encapsulates what we’re after in the show: turning a photograph into something else, making it an object, putting it in the realm of sculpture or painting or whatever.
We used Eric Yahnker’s as the main image for the show because he’s the best drawer on the planet. He usually chooses to draw really mordantly witty satirical stuff, so I just told him the title of the show and three months later he sent us a genius drawing of an iPhone photo lighting a cigarette.
The show isn’t just asking ‘What medium is it? Not a photo.’ It’s asking what a photograph means. Does a photograph have content to it? What is a digital image and what’s it good for? Can a photograph light a cigarette.”