AN AFTERNOON WITH KIM DREW, ART AFICIONADO
by Kimberly Drew, 2016
When Kim Drew says she’ll take you gallery hopping in the Lower East Side, you don’t say no.
A job at one of NYC’s most established museums and a degree from Smith College in Art History and African American Studies under her belt, it goes without saying that Drew knows a thing or two about art. She has nearly 100,000 followers on her personal Instagram, and is also the creative behind Black Contemporary Art, a blog showcasing artists of African descent.
We followed Drew downtown to a Martine Syms exhibition at the Bridget Donahue Gallery, and talked to her about her blog, favorite artists and more…
What do you like about the Lower East Side art scene?
I think that the Lower East Side is exciting because there is no one art space that defines all art spaces in the neighborhood. If you go to spaces on the Upper East Side, you get the gist of how art is presented and you get a sense of a target audience. If you go to Chelsea, a lot of spaces are really beautiful, but very similar. But in the Lower East Side, you never
know what you are going to get. This dynamism, in a small way, makes way for grander possibilities for artists and for audiences.
What is your favorite Martine Syms piece?
I don’t have one piece that I could point to as my favorite, but I am a big fan of Notes on Gesture because I think it showcases Syms’s generosity and dynamism as a multimedia artist. The video, as minimal as it is representational, has many layers. I enjoy this video because it speaks to Syms’s interest in introducing her audience to new things and new people, like Diamond Stingily, the video’s protagonist who is an artist herself.
What type of art has been most influential to you?
I am definitely more interested in artists than artworks. My favorite artist is Howardena Pindell. She is a New York artist who worked as a curator at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and developed her art practice while she worked there. She is historically significant because she’s had both sides of the coin. Pindell was also an activist and a part of different working groups strategizing how to make the art world more equitable. Some of her work is now in the MoMA’s collection. (…)