Of the 13 young and hot Brooklyn artists in the "Cool and Collected" show opening Thursday at Kenise Barnes Fine Art, gallery owner Kenise Barnes has met only three—one of whom, Scott Goodman, is a Mamaroneck High School alumni.
"It's a lot like Internet dating," remarked Barnes of the show running July 29 to Sept. 15. "I'm meeting 10 for the first time. I only know them from online conversations, which is a first for me. So there's an element of surprise."
Swing by Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., enjoying cold beer and pretzels while taking in the varied works. And meet the up-and-coming artists, culled from Brooklyn's vibrant art scene, with her.
Too hot to go to Brooklyn
Normally, Barnes makes five visits to an artist's studio, frequently in Brooklyn, to decide if she's going to show their work.
Not this time.
"It's too hot to go to the boroughs," said Barnes. "So, I threw caution to the wind." From her air-conditioned gallery, she asked established artists to recommend younger ones whom she emailed for submissions.
Criteria was that the artists live in Brooklyn (the first stop for most artists looking for inexpensive studio space), be between the ages of 18 and 33, have careers that are in the beginning stages, and that Barnes had not met them. "I didn't want anyone you'd see on the rounds of Chelsea galleries."
This is the first time Barnes selected works without seeing them in person. Out of 38 artists, she chose 11. Paintings, photography, drawings, and sculpture make up the show.
"I'm thrilled with the quality of the work," she said. "I tend to like very beautiful, well-crafted work, with detail and pattern, which you'll see tonight. This show also has a lot of color. I was very impressed with each piece as the works arrived."
MHS alumni and Brooklyn cohorts
The artists might be considered "new," but they have credential with longevity. Most have master's degrees and training from prestigious art schools, some are teaching, and most have been working professionally for six years or more, with impressive lists of shows and awards.
Scott Goodman, a class of 2004 Mamaroneck graduate, is represented in the show two ways: individually and as part of Daddy, a collective of four artists. Goodman attended Cooper Union and has been in fourteen shows in New York and Amsterdam.
His work, "Trellis II," mimics marquetry (an inlaid wood technique) using paint and stain, while producing a 3-D effect.
With Daddy, a group that plays with domestic themes, Goodman has "Honey Bears," four of which hang in the gallery window. Each is a replica of the plastic squeezable honey container, made from cast resin. LED lights are inserted in the heads to glow red at night, like night lights, with the original plastic cap reattached.
Another young artist at the show to watch is Julia Whitney Barnes, originally from Newbury, Vt., who creates fanciful glazed ceramic hybrids of orchids and bats that hang on the wall.
Get them while it's hot
Collectors will notice that prices are lower than usually found at an established gallery. "These are collectible artists who are on their way up. Their goal is to get more exposure and find a gallery, so they're very interested in placing their work," said Barnes.
A Honey Bear, for instance, is listed at $100. At the upper end, "The large watercolor by Carl Ferrero is $4,000. That might seem high, but not for a work of this quality."
Some of the artists, such as Ferrero, who just returned from Berlin, are showing in Europe, and beginning to get more experience in New York City, which, said Barnes, continues to be the center of the international art world.
Barnes said that while she'll probably represent some of the artists, she's impressed with all, and excited to have them in the show.
"Nurturing young artists is one of the things I love about this job. Each of these artists will be more masterful as their work continues to develop and unfold. They're artists to watch."
But first she has to meet them, and find out if they seem anything like their paintings.
"Cool and Collected" runs July 29 to September 15. Kenise Barnes Fine Art, 1955 Palmer Ave., Larchmont; (914) 834-8077. Summer hours, Wednesday to Saturday 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., and by appointment. www.kenisebarnesfineart.com