I don’t know him, and I’ve never bought anything at his gallery, Barrister’s Gallery, (hell, maybe he’s an asshole for all I know) but he gave a superb interview yesterday on WWNO. They don’t have the file in the archives yet, but when they do, check it out. I’m sure he’s well known among the art community, which I’m pretty ignorant of, but I love what he said.
Essentially, he’s been here since the storm, was the only gallery to participate in Art 4 Arts’ Sake last year (got power at the last minute), and has busted his butt to get his artists back to town, including one he physically carried.
His tone in the interview is wonderful. He’s not a gaga idealist or anything, but you get the sense that if you were Aaron Neville or Harry Anderson and told him that it was too tough to be here, he’s just turn around and not waste anymore time on you. He’s been through it, recognizes that these haven’t been the most fruitful times, but that art is essential to what New Orleans is. He even gave an appropriately curt response to the question of what New Orleans art means to the country. This is a guy who clearly doesn’t mince words, but what he’s doing for the city is vital.
If I buy art anytime soon, I’m looking there first. Cheers, Mr. Antippas.