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 bigbig cars, big homes, big business. Does the size and design of Goss Gallery live up to this reputation?
I'll say thiswe 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.
Is The Photography of David LaChapelle a retrospective of his work thus far? What can viewers expect to see?
Yes, the exhibition is a retrospective of David's work that represents the many facets of his careerworks from fashion stories for publications like Italian Vogue, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, to photographs that are the result of some groundbreaking advertising campaigns. Some of David's other images express his close relationship with the music industry and come from his experiences producing album covers and creating music videos. The retrospective also includes some photographs that have never been exhibited before.
Can the exhibition be seen online?
Yes, we have a great website which we're improving upon every day. You can see a selection of David's exhibition on our site www.gossgallery.com.
You and George are prominent art collectors in your own right. When did your interest in art begin?
Traveling with George has always been a great source of exposure to contemporary cultures around the world. My favorite pastime when we travel is to visit local art galleries to gain further understanding of youth and that particular cultureand to see what's being created and thought about in visual terms right now.
Who are some of the artists in your personal collection?
George and I have a very eclectic collection. The most recent acquisition is obviously a piece by David LaChapelle. We also have works by Stella Vine, Richmond Burton, David Batchelor, James Nares, Gary Fabian Miller, and Richard Caldicott.
What tips can you give someone just beginning to collect art?
That's a good question. Buy what you like and buy it from the people you trust. It's important to establish relationships with a few galleries and to build, with their help, a collection that reflects your individual interests and personality.
Any attempts by you and George at creating art yourselves (any hidden Goss or Michael paintings in the closet)?
Oh no! Both George and I think that everyone should stick to what they do best.
The Photography of David LaChapelle runs from May 20 to August 12, 2005 at the Goss Gallery, 2500 Cedar Springs, Dallas Texas. For more information, call 212-696-0555, email [email protected], or visit www.gossgallery.com.