Thursday, April 1, 2010


OH WOW art gallery space in Miami. If the building (designed by Rafael de Cardenas Architecture at Large2008) is amazingly creative you can just imagine how great the work inside is. I would have included more of my own thoughts about OH WOW, but I have never experienced it for myself, and I do not share my thoughts unless I have experience to back them up. So here are the thoughts from someone who has been to OH WOW.

OHWOW is a collaboration of people from the art/music/fashion/design/publishing worlds that seeks to offer these creative types the opportunity to expand their practices into different media and modes of production. Instead of trying to fashion artists into designers, co-founders Al Moran and Aaron Bondaroff began with the premise that artists are not inherently media-specific but simply work with what is available and what best suits the idea. OHWOW seeks to match this fluidity of artistic practice by refusing to be tied down to a single institutional function. It acts as a hub for creative production wherein artists propose ideas and are linked instantly to a community of others with the necessary experience, skills, and resources to realize the project.

OHWOW’s endeavors slip effortlessly across media, straddling large-scale commercial ventures and DIY productions. What remains consistent is a rejection of prevailing ideas of professionalism and exclusivity. If branding is the process of attaching an idea to a product, Bondaroff and Moran’s OHWOW attaches these elaborate, ambitious, and emotional ideas to each of the projects it undertakes. In effect, theOHWOW brand becomes a shorthand identity, indicating that the consumer is repping Al and Aron’s epic crew of creatives. By staking out a territory between the mass-consumption product and the rarified, precious art object; OHWOW reaches a broader, more engaged public—fellow producers not passive consumers. OHWOW becomes brand becomes identity becomes community.

During a time of unprecedented growth of the contemporary art market, OHWOW rejects the art collector as the sole patron of the arts, producing artist multiples and building commercial brands to make the work targeted toward, and accessible to, their peers. While OHWOW does stage traditional exhibitions and sell work to collectors, by also offering lower-priced artist-produced goods, they make possible a more democratic model of supporting the arts. In this way, OHWOW’s affinities to George Maciunas’ Fluxus group are notable: both employ multiples and slightly anti-art/DIY philosophies; both are integrally involved in the articulation of intermedia artist communities and employ humor and wit to solidify this community; both provide a physical hub for their community, but still consider it to have global membership.

Integral to the formation of this community identity is an expansive idea of space — OHWOW is at once entirely localized and totally rootless. In a manner characteristic of this generation of young artists, Bondaroff and Moran embrace an itinerant lifestyle and approach location with the same flexible attitude they have to media—if it works, go with it. Whether you are at the OHWOW building on NW 7 Avenue in Miami or an OHWOW event in New York or Tokyo, or reading an OHWOW publication in the comfort of your own home, then you are at OHWOW, and it’s your house too. You've now become part of the community.

-excerpt from an essay by Elizabeth Lovero
OH WOW's creative director is from NYC just incase you all are wondering what is NYMINDED about OH WOW.

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