New York’s center of gravity is a place where you can have all or nothing. Ideas, like people, stick to it or are pushed away like two of the same magnetic poles. While the stakes of making art in New York are often governed by this similar idea, generations of artists come to this city to see where they stand in relation to this magnetism. Its surrounding literal and social architecture can be taken in many directions and angles, yet the focus on this center never shifts.

Hercules invited me to select a few artists that are definers of what it means to be making art in New York and some that are making their path in this particular landscape. How do they navigate this community of similar and dissimilar as well as their relationship with the physicality of New York City? What is their vantage point and how do they choose to live here? While in many ways these artists are diverse, all are making interesting work that in one form or another speaks of New York’s current artistic climate.
I presented a few questions to these artists about their relationship to the city they call home. Once a week for the next five weeks Hercules will feature an artist from this group.

Colin Snapp is an artist who lives and works in New York. To view his work please visit his website or stop by his upcoming show at The Journal Gallery opening March 6th.



Andrea Galvani was born in Italy and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Drawing from other disciplines and often assuming scientific methodologies, his conceptual research informs his use of photography. Works by Andrea Galvani have been exhibited internationally, including at the Whitney Museum, New York; the Central Utah Art Center; Mart Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Trento, Italy; Macro Museum, Rome; GAMeC, Bergamo; De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam; Oslo Plads, Copenhagen; and Unicredit Pavillon, Bucharest. Four Works, the artist’s most recent solo exhibition in New York, opened in July of 2011 on the occasion of his receiving the annual Exposure Prize from the Aperture Foundation. The same year, Andrea Galvani was included in the 4th Moscow Biennale for Contemporary Art and nominated for the prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

How has working in New York influenced your practice? NYC has a propulsive energy. It’s constantly changing. It’s a city that contains countless more within it, like a Russian doll. Living here means exploring the world in the space of a neighborhood, with languages and religions changing from one street to another. Orson Welles said we can either understand a country in 10 days or 10 years. I find it an interesting statement; it certainly applies to my experiences in Europe. But New York is so changeable, it evades every definition and slips away every time you think you have it figured out. I’ve lived here for two years and I cannot imagine anywhere else. It just fascinates me, the speed and the incredible commitment that it requires on a daily basis.
New York is an extremely dense environment both socially and physically. Which one would you say has a larger impact on your work? New York is basically a kind of jungle, beautiful but not without pitfalls. Both socially and physically speaking, it’s about understanding how to jump from tree to tree and how to fight your way through the thorns and humidity. Then it opens up like a prairie.
How has the location you grew up in affected your process, and does this continue to influence your practice today? I was born in Verona, a small, beautiful city in Italy. When I was seven, we moved to the countryside surrounded by the power of nature. Maybe location is not the correct word; I grew up immersed in a special environment. I was a very weird child, probably too serious for my age. I absorbed my surroundings in a very scientific way, perhaps through the influence of my father, who was a surgeon and was able to foster my abnormal curiosity. My work is still based on that same curiosity.
What are you currently working on? Do you have any exhibitions approaching? I have a solo exhibition currently at Meulensteen in Chelsea. It’s called A Few Invisible Sculptures. The works in it all evolved as an attempt to call accepted definitions of sculpture into question. They deal with phenomenology, with a sort of architecture of the invisible. The project began in Germany with three minimalist sculptures that I constructed and later destroyed for the sound installation A Cube, a Sphere, and a Pyramid. An audio track documents the echolocation of a group of bats flying around the suspended sculptures. Recorded with extreme precision, it provides a sonar scan of the negative space around the objects, which is then played back at an audible frequency in an immersive installation of ten standing speakers. That piece is traveling to the Poznań Biennale, “The Unkown” this coming September.

Portraits by Cameron Krone
Text and curation by Colin Snapp