Art and Commerce
Andi Potamkin and Steven Kasher open an artful shop.
Two years ago, Andi Potamkin began paying cold calls to various New York galleries to inquire whether they might allow their artists to put on solo exhibitions at Three Squares Studio, the fashionable hair salon she set up with her fiancé, Jordan Blackmore (whose clients include Marc Jacobs and Brian Atwood). Little surprise that Potamkin, who was only 23 at the time and had no art world experience to speak of, was repeatedly turned away. “I probably knocked on 40 doors,” she recalls with a pained laugh. “Maybe four people gave me the time of day.”
One of them was the veteran dealer Steven Kasher, whose eponymous gallery has earned a reputation for showing serious fashion and historical photography. He and Potamkin collaborated on an exhibition of the work of the photographer Phyllis Galembo at Three Squares Studio, which went so well that Kasher wound up offering Potamkin a job. Now the two are business partners in Kasher | Potamkin, a gallery-cum-store opening in September. You enter through the new Steven Kasher Gallery, on West 26th Street, and keep going until you reach a retail space filled with art, furniture, and accessories selected by Potamkin and Kasher. It’s the sort of place where visitors can find, say, Daido Moriyama prints or Michaël Verheyden vases. Thematic installations will be curated every couple of months, as one would expect from any art gallery, but Potamkin is consciously trying to maintain a walk-in-friendly vibe. “I’m not down with intimidating customers,” she says. “I want to be here for people who really enjoy art and beauty, but who don’t know how to get it. Not that long ago, I was one of those people!”