In 2007, spurred by their lack of representation among galleries in Miami, artists Gonzalez, Bischof, and Gran started Primary Flight, a public art initiative that invited artists from around the world to paint murals across the Wynwood Arts District and the Miami Design District during Art Basel in Miami Beach. “We treated those districts like it was our private open air museum and, over a five year period, installed well over 350 projects,” they explain. Guided by what they had learned through presenting public art, Primary
opened in 2010 in the Design District with a well-received show from international street artist
. While focusing on supporting emerging and mid-career artists, they have sought to rethink existing gallery models in the way they curate shows and represent artists. This December, the gallery presents a solo show of
and a group show of
at their second location in the Miami Design District, plus a public art installation by
Artsy: How do you balance your own art practice with running the gallery?
Primary: When the spaced launched, we were all practicing artists. Over time, priorities began to take shape. Primary progressed, and we all started to focus on our strengths when it came to running the space. Even though we are all artists in our own right in reference to the development of the brand or an exhibition, Typoe Gran’s practice is the one that continued to flourish.
Typoe Gran: Being part of an encouraging team is integral to the balance of my personal career and the gallery. Working with two partners who fully support my own achievements is the only way this can work successfully. If I’m not in the office because I need to prepare for a solo exhibition or a new project, it’s looked at as a positive thing rather than a negative. I think it works wonderfully because we are all going after the greater good. Which, for us, means constantly challenging each other and growing to be better.
Artsy: Can you tell us about how you’ve developed your exhibition program?
P: When assembling a group exhibition, we always focus on our general interests. What is it that turns us on? What is the state of the world? Responding to raw emotion and instinct. Ideas are challenged, arguments are heard, solutions are presented, and then we write. We view artists as a medium to convey a message or ask a question. We are a platform. The group exhibit is an opportunity to exercise our collective voice.
Solo exhibitions present themselves naturally. We prefer for bodies of work to be in motion, then solo exhibitions are planned, not the other way around. We take great pride in working with artists to bring their visions to fruition. We share success, failure, and enjoyment together.
Artsy: In your opinion, what makes a gallery successful?
Success for us is based on our ability to disrupt, sustain, and surpass. We conduct our business, creative, and curation honestly and true to our form. The art world follows the outliers.
Artsy: Do artists make better gallerists?
The argument could go in so many directions. In our opinion, it’s more about understanding and honoring the relationship between the “artist and gallery.” Galleries are the front lines to the ever-changing art world, a doorway to new artists; this relationship is a crucial part of the contemporary art world ecosystem. They both need to represent each other seamlessly, challenge each other’s stance, present and place work, and have an overall trust between them.
—Demie Kim and Casey Lesser