Bigger and Brighter in Texas


By Julien Tomasello

On May 19, 2005, the Goss Gallery opened its doors for the first time with an exhibition of provocative work by photographer David LaChapelle. Kenny Goss, owner of the gallery and longtime partner of pop superstar George Michael, dished with Out about Dallas, David, and his personal tips for collecting art.

Congratulations on the opening of Goss Gallery. What made you choose Dallas as the locale for the new space?

I'm a Dallas native. Plus my family lives here, and George and I have a home here. So Dallas just naturally seems to be the perfect location for my new project.

In the past decade, a great deal of attention has been focused on Houston and its contemporary art scene; particularly with the strong number of young, talented artists working in that city. Do you hope to draw the same attention to Dallas as a hotbed of visual culture?

Absolutely. I think Dallas has the potential to be become one of the most important centers for contemporary art in the country, right alongside New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. The museums and private collections here are world-class, and the audience is incredibly sophisticated. The Goss Gallery hopes to bring to Dallas what Dallas expects from the gallery, namely the best in contemporary art.

Dallas has a reputation for liking things big'big cars, big homes, big business. Does the size and design of Goss Gallery live up to this reputation?

I'll say this'we have a great space, a fantastic location and definitely big talent on the wall!

What will be the focus of your gallery in terms of contemporary art?

The focus will be on contemporary photography, painting and sculpture. The gallery is dedicated to exhibiting a truly international roster of artists from both sides of the Atlantic. We work closely with Hamilton Gallery in London, as well as Cheim & Read and Paul Kasmin galleries in New York to assist in presenting an interesting and well-conceived program.

You're certainly getting off to a fantastic start. Why the choice to inaugurate the Goss Gallery with an exhibition of photographic work by David LaChapelle?

David's work represents the true contemporary American artist. His work deals with pop and celebrity culture, and embodies all-American icons and obsessions. Plus I'm an American so I really respond to it.

Speaking of pop and American icons, I love the invitation for David's exhibition Amanda As Marilyn. The portrait, which places celebrity transsexual Amanda LePore as Marilyn Monroe, is clearly inspired by Andy Warhol's famous Monroe silkscreens. In fact, I see many similarities between David and Andy's work. Can you comment on that?

Absolutely. David is surely the one artist who takes the Warhol legacy to the next level. He manages to express the Warhol-esque approach to creating art through his mixing of pop culture and sub-culture, and through his use of photography. Yet David still creates something uniquely his own and poignant to contemporary culture and art.