One early weekday morning, The Sold Crew joined Ramiro Davaro-Comas to check out his latest project. Rollin' into this professional Midtown Manhattan atmosphere in our hoodies and kicks, we gave off an air of not belonging. But we brought the flavor, shot this video during office hours with the artist. After the video below, we also bring you an informative interview with the curator.
Be sure to contact Sold Magazine for your own tour, but until then take a virtual tour with us into Ramiro's Office Space:
There are many aspirations for an artist; goals they aim to achieve in their life, and the mark they want to leave behind when they are long gone. Given an artist's innate sense of expressing their originality and uniqueness at all times, a 9-5 shared office space is not the place you'll find them working on their craft. Mike Judge may have made us laugh with a creatively hilarious movie, but Office Space isn't always fun... Unless there is an opportunity to color the employee's day and share your images with a new audience!
Ramiro Davaro-Comas has been observing the changing tides in the art world for some time now; urban art as an industry and its responses to social media. Whatever your opinion, positive or negative, it has shifted the way all business is conducted. We dove into this topic the first time I met Ramiro at his Brooklyn studio, and I wasn't surprised that he continues to explore outside-the-box ideas on how to get a new audience to see his work, and grow his fan base.
Enter the shared office space of Grand Central Tech.
Uh-oh. Looks like somebody's got a case of the Mondays!
Get your TPS reports ready, and make sure to give Milton his red stapler back - we are entering the 9-5 shared workspace world.
Alex Emmert AKA Mighty Tanaka, street art supporter, curator and friend to Sold Magazine, saw an opportunity for this conglomerate space GTC, who previously housed a collection from an urban art gallery.
Instead of another group showing, Alex wanted to showcase one artist in the space with over 30 works for more cohesiveness. He just happened to know the perfect Brooklyn artist. This was something Ramiro could really get behind.
In addition to our morning video fun with Ramiro, I also got a chance to talk to the man behind the curation of this project, and we appreciate him taking the time to give us his perspective on selling art in 2018.
Erica Stella: What was your relationship with GCT before this? Was there a connection with their "green" efforts?
Alex Emmert: I was originally introduced to GCT through Galina Ozgur, former GM of GCT. She and I started speaking about art opportunities and the conversation evolved into providing artwork for the Hub, which is Grand Central Tech’s eco tech incubator. They wanted to create art shows that paralleled their green approach to urban technology. As the conversation began to take shape it became clear they wanted to showcase socially and environmentally aware artists, which integrated an urban style in order to complement the incubator ethos.
ES: How did you manage to get them interested in a street artist, not to mention just one street artist & almost his entire current collection?
AE: Robinson Hernandez, Executive Director of The Hub at GCT, has always been a fan of Street Art and we spoke at length about integrating an urban art vibe within his space. He wanted to work with individual artists in order to treat the walls as a gallery space. With so many top tier start ups within the Hub, it was important to integrate artwork in the space that reflected the values of the workspace while providing a solid foundation for the artis'ts work. Street Art is the voice of a generation and is something that the companies within the Hub can identify with, which provides for a seamless interpretation. With the space being so large and a single artist providing work, it was ideal for Ramiro to contribute as much work as he wished.
ES: Can you speak about your relationship with Ramiro; how you guys met, and why his work speaks to you?
AE: Ramiro and I originally met back in 2013, when he came to my former gallery called Mighty Tanaka, which was located in the Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO. However, we really got to know one another when he participated in a pop up show that I assisted with on Bleecker Street in the summer of 2016.
It was there that I witnessed how his work spoke to people and drew passersby off the street. His art has a certain magnetism that makes individuals want to engage with it. During the event on Bleecker, Ramiro did some live painting sessions in the front of the gallery, allowing people to come into the space and engage him about his artistic process. It was fantastic watching how he spoke with people, making them feel like they are a part of the process. It’s that openness and his natural charisma that really radiates through his art, which speaks to me in a big way.
ES: What were the goals of having Ramiro showcased in this environment? Were they achieved & what might you different if faced with the same challenge?
AE: We wanted to make Ramiro’s work more accessible to people and demonstrate how his artwork has the ability to bring a space to life. Typically, office environments are devoid of personality. However, with Ramiro’s work on the wall, it allows people working within these offices to engage are in a new way and, in turn, engage one another through the art. Typically, there are many challenges when displaying art in this kind of setting, specifically regarding sales and outreach since the show is located in a space that isn’t easily accessible to the public. Through this, we are entirely dependent on promotion from within the company.
ES: Has there been interest from the employees, or visitors passing through the space?
AE: While there has been a lot of interest in the work, converting that enthusiasm to sales can be difficult. However, the transition from enthusiast to collector can be hard to overcome in any setting, which is a constant struggle for anyone in the arts. With the insular nature of an office space, the challenges become that much more difficult, as one is living with the artwork during their professional life and have become accustomed to it. In situations like this, one must be patient, as the artwork changes out, those who benefitted from working alongside Ramiro’s paintings will typically begin to inquire about obtaining them.
ES: Please tell us about the events that were held for Ramiro in addition to the 5 month exhibition?
AE: There have been a couple of events for the show, however due to budgetary restrictions, we were limited in what could be done. Originally, we had planned on mural projects, in order to get the Hub community involved in the artistic process. Ramiro had been extremely proactive in pursuing such events, but sadly, those projects never came to fruition as the support for materials and concerns for an achievable timeline hindered the progress.
ES: And last, but not least: If our audience would like to check out the work in person, please tell them how easy and intimate of a tour they can get!
AE: All you need to do is contact me or Ramiro, and we’ll get it all set up! For people not located in NYC but who are interested in seeing the available work, please feel free to contact me for a catalogue!
A HUGE Thank You to Ramiro and Alex for inviting us into view this project, and speaking to us about it. Thank you for the assist, and Congrats to Leaf on his 1st Sold Magazine video - look for more from him coming soon....
For a tour of Ramiro's Office Space, contact Alex.
For all of the latest on Ramiro, follow him on IG - he always has something new in the works!
As always Thank you all for following along, and reading the latest street art news, stories and interviews.