Thursday, September 10, 2009

PDX Art: Interview with New York's "CULTUREHALL" founder David Andrew Frey

Hi David welcome to PDX Art Portal
Culturehall is a free online art gallery and artist portfolio website, helping artists share their work with other artists, curators and collectors. Culturehall is curated with a specific interest in early to mid-career artists.

Who founded Culturehall and what is its purpose?

I founded Culturehall to provide emerging professional artists a place online to easily promote their work.

How inclusive is Culturehall?

Culturehall is curated. The basis of our decision-making has to do with sustaining the community. Our members generally have a formal art education with many participating in a graduate level program. There are quite a few professors also sharing work on the site.

What is your job description and what is the reality of it?

I wear many hats. Founder, Director, Curator and Software Developer would be titles for some of the jobs that I currently handle.

You are based in New York City, what are the pros and cons of being in an Art capital?

New York is amazing. The only negative that comes to mind is the lack of time to see everything that I would like to. Just keeping up with the museums is more than a full time job.

How successful have you been establishing connections with international art sites and what are the ramifications?

Culturehall has not been pursuing partnerships with other art websites, but this is something that we are considering.

What are the potentials for web based on-line art communitys?
The web is still in its infancy and we are already seeing what an amazing tool it is for bringing together people who have a similar set of interests. The international art community is one of those niches that the web can serve especially well.
Hopefully on-line art communities become another viable way for artists to gain exposure to audiences that they would otherwise not encounter.

What is your curatatorial criteria for the site and is there also a physical location?

As mentioned before, I really consider how the work will fit within the community as a whole and in the various genres represented on Culturehall when making these decisions. We do present a wide range of genres and mediums, from conceptual performance to realist painters. Regarding physical space – currently Culturehall exists primarily on the web. Occasionally we participate in events where there is more of a physical manifestation. Existing offline as well is a pillar of our service is in the future.

What does Culturehall offer its artists?

For selected artists, we offer a free web-based portfolio, a place to share their biography and present their events on the homepage. Culturehall is designed to enable artists to present their works in as round a way as possible via the Internet by mixing images, video and audio.

How was your experience as an exchange student and does culturehall have any plans to include an artist exchange program?

I really treasure the time I spent studying in Berlin. The people and the city are amazing. I had been to Germany a few times before, but living there was a very different experience. Sponsoring an exchange program is not currently on the radar for Culturehall, but something interesting to explore.

What qualifies as contemporary art work in your opinion?

I generally subscribe to the definition of artistic production that occurred from the late 20th century to the present. Whether supportable or not, I feel like the term “Contemporary Art” has a bit of a bias towards the strain of art that at least has a toe in conceptualism. When I think about “Contemporary Art” in this way it feels like the term should exclude sub-genres like Street Art, Outsider Art but my tendency would be to allow these to exist with this same sphere as long as there is some sort of self-awareness of the greater art world.

I see that you also work in diverse Medias. How do you counter the preconceived notion that an artist has to work in either or to be taken seriously?

The Constructivist ideal of Factura where materials should stay as pure as possible is where my thinking has been for quite awhile. I feel that the idea behind a work of art is the most integral part of the piece and materials exist to serve the idea.

What has informed your personal art practice lately, what do you think of the hyper commercial attitude that prevails as of late in the Art market and where do you fit into this picture?

Unfortunately my personal art practice has been the victim of my work on Culturehall for the past several years. There are few pieces that remain in limbo, but I just haven’t had time to execute them.
The stance that the current times will make art better has some validity but it ignores all of the great spaces that are now “reorganizing”. A more culturally responsible society that has a better support system for creativity via grants and other programs would make the biggest difference. Either way, I don’t think we will be seeing too many more diamond encrusted platinum skulls in the near future.
Beyond the implosive reality that we are all now experiencing, that hyper-hyper market did serve to expand the audience and that should be considered a net positive.
In all of this mess, Culturehall obviously cannot provide a replacement for these lost venues, but does provide a good alternative for artists to get their work out.

Final words?

We look forward to your visit. If you are interested in becoming involved please take a few moments to submit an application. Your application and membership are free.

thank you David for this insidefull interview

contact for more info at
4821 5th Street, Suite 4I, New York, NY 11101, USA
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