Bill Beckley & Agathe Snow - Art of The Night

A recent exhibition at New York’s Friedman Benda Gallery brought together a sweeping group of artists from New York to Berlin with one common interest: nightlife. Specifically, how has nightlife influenced contemporary art from 1970 to the present? Certainly in New York the two are inextricably linked. The Avant/Garde Diaries spoke to a couple of artists who came of age in New York’s two most interesting creative decades, the 1970s and the 1990s. Bill Beckley began making work in New York’s heyday of performance, anti-gallerist, and conceptual art. Beckley showed at the infamous 112 Greene Street with friends and peers Gordon Matta-Clark and Vito Acconci. For Beckley, they were just “trying to escape this box of minimalism.” The art was the party. Or the party was the art. Either way, these Downtown kids were part of a movement in New York that will always be reminisced and not authentically replicated. And yet fast-forward some twenty years and another group of Downtown kids found themselves in the spotlight of New York’s newest art movement. Agathe Snow didn’t consider herself an artist for many years. The graffiti and object-making was a normal part of her everyday life in the heart of Nolita. It wasn’t until her and fellow artist Dash Snow’s worlds collided with art school vets Dan Colen and Ryan McGinley that her habits became recognized as this thing called “art.” Snow handed out flyers and promoted at clubs to make money, which influenced the work she would go on to make, including the infamous 24-hour danceathon “Stamina,” inspired by the energy of the night that keeps the city going. So what’s next for New York? Bill Beckley thinks we might just be on to something new, which is right now.

Learn more about Bill Beckley HERE, Agathe Snow HERE, and Friedmen Benda’s showHERE.


Directed by TELEVISION | Donari Braxton | Takeshi Fukunaga / Produced by Callie Barlow / Director of Photography: Owen Donovan / Gaffer: Thomas Chaves / Audio by Mike Snyder / Assistant Camera by Tine DiLucia / Cover photo by Bill Beckley, “The Bathroom” / Music by No Regular Play, Indigo (featuring Kenny Wang), Ice Cold Bottle, & Nothing Less & Walter Jones, Talk To Me. All songs courtesy of HAKT Recordings / Max’s Kansas City photo & footage courtesy of Anton Perich / Additional black & white club photos courtesy of Isa Brito / Club scene shot at Le Bain at The Standard, High Line / Special thanks to Gillian Sturtevant & Thorsten Albertz