Gallery Heist’s One Year show was a blowout of epic proportions. Rooms full of art, hot beats in the rooms, and an array of San Francisco’s best art talent mingling through the rooms.
Roman Koval caught up with gallery owner Julianne Yates the day before to get the lowdown on the new space and white life has been like in the first year of Gallery Heist.
Roman Koval: Your show is opening tomorrow. How much sleep have you gotten, how many meals a day have you been eating, and what is the average speed of your thoughts?
Julianne Yates: 0-4 hours a night. So hungry! Earlier this week an old veteran stopped into the new space and gave me one of his military rations. Western Style beans, chicken rib meat in chunky salsa, side of peanuts, and 1 power bar it lasted me 48 hours! My mind feels like the engine of an Audi R15 TDI at the 24 hour Le Mans.
RK: What is the stress factor of running a small gallery in San Francisco? Does the frustration come mainly from the artists you work with, or with entities in the commodified art world?
JY: If by small you’re referring to square footage then the stressful part becomes a spatial issue. How to install/hang a group show with 20-30 artists and make the show look cohesive and good and continue to keep things fresh. If by small you mean being a young gallery in its infancy than I feel like often times it can be the equivalent to being a young offspring in the eye of its predator.
I am usually inspired by the artists I work with I learn something from each of them. Occasionally you get an artist who is a nightmare to work with but that just adds to the fun and excitement of running a gallery. It all makes for a good story in the end.
RK: How do you choose the artists you work with, especially for the anniversary show, which will represent your first year as a gallerist and curator, and what kind of relationship do you seek to build with the artists you represent?
JY: I feel like I don’t really choose the artists, its more their work choosing me. If I see something that captivates me I investigate the artist to see how committed they are to their artwork and how serious they are about their career. I put everything I have into running my gallery, I hustle and take it seriously. I expect the artists that I am showing to do the same. As far as aesthetics, I am drawn towards work that is technically sound and original as well as work that has a social or political narrative that provokes a conscious dialogue.
RK: Do you consider yourself an artist, and if so, how does that benefit your communication with those you represent?
JY: I think being an artist myself I understand the sensitivities of the individual. That sounds lame I know but its true. Having the perspective from both sides has been a great learning experience. It has solidified my idea that everyone is full of shit for the most part. (laughs) Seeing the business side of things has been discouraging at times, but that’s just the time we live in.
RK: You seem to have an almost emotional connection to Gallery Heist, the space at 679 Geary; would you prefer to have a larger space as your permanent location, like the one you acquired for the anniversary show?
JY: Gallery Heist (679 Geary) was my first location, my first business, my first gallery. It represents so many things for me, everything I have created and have experienced in the last year. I would like to have more space to do larger shows with larger works but the space has been a great place to start and I am sure one day I will out grow it.
RK: How has the energy of San Francisco and its art communities fed your own drive? Any specific time when you felt like everyone was together reaching for a common goal, be it in music, poetry or art?
JY: If it wasn’t for the community of galleries and artists in San Francisco I wouldn’t be celebrating my 1 Year anniversary of Gallery Heist. I’m forever grateful for the amazing people that have inspired, encouraged and supported me this last year. Every opening every art event every conglomeration of creative individuals in the city has driven me forward.
RK: Do you feel like you’re in the right place? Did your expectations five years ago intertwine with the reality of now?
JY: Five years ago I was 19 living between Orange County and LA pursuing acting. I had imagined that by now I would have been an established actress. Which is maybe a selfish goal. As an actress I understand how crucial it is to have someone believe in you and push your work, like an agent or manager. I think every successful artist has had someone behind them and their work. Being a gallerist I have had the opportunity to push the work of the artists I believe in. In a year I have been able to affect the lives of so many people and become a part of their history. I hope to have a hand in furthering their careers and helping them achieve success.
RK: Any words of inspiration for the five year old that wakes up from his nap and thinks “I want to start an art gallery when I grow up”?
JY: Don’t rush to get grown, drive slow homie.
– By Roman Koval for Warholian.com
“Till Death Do Us Part”
Saturday November 13, 2010 – Saturday November 27, 2010
Opening Reception: Saturday October 9, 2010 | 7-11PM
HEIST ANNEX 1036 Hyde
Featured artists include; Brett Amory, Adam Caldwell, Seth Armstrong, Mario Wagner, David Choong Lee, Oliver Vernon, Sean Desmond, Mike Giant, Mike Kershner, Gaia, Adam Flores, Justin Lavato, Ryan De La Hoz, Henry Gunderson, Mario Ayala, Roman Koval, Adam Rozan, Maja Ruznic, Ludo, Doodles, Helen Bayly, Miso, Daryll Pierce, Debra Yoon, Allison Buxton, Garrison Buxton, Ezra and Bunnie Reise.
Photos by Michael Cuffe for Warholian.com