After opening the new roving art space We Buy Gold in Bed-Stuy this week, gallerist Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels described the name as both a nod to New York’s many cash-for-gold shops and a critique of what it means to be valued in the art world. “I think it’s important to think about what we value, who we value, and how we value it,” she told the Cut. “It is a sign, slogan that we see all too often with its undertones of desperation and aspiration that I think can inform the way we think about the art world.”
As a roving gallery, We Buy Gold will showcase exhibitions, commissioned projects, and public events in various locations throughout New York, by artists who aren’t necessarily represented here. The debut exhibition “ONE,” on view now at 387A Nostrand Avenue in Bed-Stuy, dissects power structures and society’s role in shaping geography. Three artists contributed to the exhibition: writer and artist Renee Gladman, whose black and grey pigments play with lines; Harold Mendez, whose sculpture American Pictures is showcased in this year’s Whitney Biennial; and Torkwase Dyson, a painter who deconstructs ideas of space.
Bellorado-Samuels is also a director at the Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea and For Freedoms, the first artist-run super-PAC. She created We Buy Gold with Aryn DrakeLee-Williams of The Mistake Room in Los Angeles and designed We Buy Gold’s first show as a tribute to her own neighborhood. “As a Bed-Stuy resident, I am surrounded by artists, curators, writers, thinkers, and every kind of art worker in between,” she said. “I want this to not only be a space for us, but a space for dialogue, with those who may not make the trip elsewhere to see art.”
Click ahead to preview artwork from the show.
Torkwase Dyson. Before Black Mountain and the Anthropcene (Tuareg Women: Namadcity), 2017. Acrylic, gouache, graphic, wire, on panel board 20” X 16” or 51 x 40.5 cm.
Renee Gladman’s Untitled, 2016 Ink on paper 24” x 36” or 61 x 91.5 cm’ Framed; and Untitled, Cities: Axes, 2016 Ink and gouache on paper 24” x 36” or 61 x 91.5 cm, Framed.
Torkwase Dyson. Value and Resources (Water Table #10), 2017. Acrylic on canvas 72” x 60” or 183 x 152.5 cm.
Renee Gladman. Untitled, Scope, 2016. Ink, pencil, and gouache on paper 24” x 36” or 61 x 91.5 cm, Framed.
Harold Mendez. Untitled (Death Mask), 2015. Burned cardboard box, soot, toner, oxidized copper reproduction of pre-Columbian death mask from the Museo del Oro (Bogota, Colombia) 14” x 20” x 14”.
Torkwase Dyson Black. Compositional Thought (Tuareg Women: Namadcity), 2017. Acrylic, gouache, graphic, wire, on panel board 20” X 16” or 51 x 40.5 cm.
Harold Mendez. let X stand, if it can for the one’s unfound (After Proceso Pentágono) II, 2016. Ink and toner on paper mounted on Sintra 29.5” x 19.5 or 75 x 50 cm.
Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels with, from left to right, artist Derrick Adams, featured artist Harold Mendez , Aryn Drake, Lee Williams, designer Michael Chuapoco, photgrapher Deana Lawson, and featured artists Renee Gladman and Torkwase Dyson.
Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels at We Buy Gold’s opening reception.