The past few years have seen galleries flocking to the Lower EastSide. At first it was just the upstarts, but when a blue-chip LehmannMaupin opened its satellite space on Chrystie Street last year, itseemed to christen the tenement-lined neighborhood as the bona fidestomping ground for art and commerce. Now the new kid on the ForsythStreet block is the aptly, and literally, named Half Gallery -- itsplits the space with RxArt, a non-profit organization that teams upwith well-known artists to create site-specific art for hospitals aroundthe country. "[RxArt] was looking for a tenant, so I called Andy Spadeand it went from there," recalls Bill Powers, a board member of RxArtand one of the three co-partners of the project. The third partner iswriter James Frey of the now infamous quasi-memoir A Million LittlePieces. Spade, the force behind men's lifestyle brand Jack Spade,came up with the gallery's name. "Andy's a marketing genius," Powerscoos.
Half Gallery is about the size of a pre-condo L.E.S. bedroom, which isto say, very small -- so Powers and company choose art that works in alimited space but still packs a lot of punch. For the inauguralexhibition in early April, Matt Damhave, co-founder of the fashion lineImitation of Christ, showed a dozen or so notebook-size collagedrawings, which attracted viewers like Chlöe Sevigny and Ben Stiller."The three of us have equal input in what we want to do with the gallery-- Robert Hawkins, the next artist we're showing, is somebody that Andybrought in," says Powers. "The goal is to show work of emerging andre-emerging artists and, as Duchamp put it, break even, plus tenpercent."
Pictured (l,r) James Frey, Bill Powers, AndySpade
Half Gallery, 208 Forsyth St., halfgallery.com. The Robert Hawkins exhibit runs through Jun. 14.