Thanks so much for the interview Kymara. Tell us about your gallery and the artists you represent.
KYMARA: This is fantastic! Thank you for being interested in the gallery and for supporting our artists. The actual gallery space is currently located in an old Textile Mill, The North Dam Mill which is located in Biddeford, Maine, about 20 minutes south of Portland. We needed more room and wanted to move to a place where performance and music would not be a problem for neighbors. Also, the ambiance is conducive to the spirit of creativity that we pursue and encourage for the artists. The design is basically industrial and it overlooks the Saco River. A location on the water is very important for creativity.
All of the artists we currently represent share the same thread of freedom of creativity and the belief that art and music should not be censored. The artists and the gallery celebrate human sexuality and freedom. We all believe in a communal spirit and are supportive of each other's individual projects. Often, we collabotate on ideas, such as the videos created by Fernando Carpaneda with music by Milo. Craig Pop Artist is working on some clothing designs with me. Black Mass and Sean Madden will be creating some skirt designs for our Streetwear collection.
The artists are identified as being forerunners in a new artistic movement that is called Anté Art. Rooted in the early Underground movement and Avant Garde, it has grown to encompass new forms of artistic expression and a new lifestyle associated with the concept. Everyone's individuality is encouraged, so there is plenty of room for creative freedom.Since we are scattered all over the world, we network via the internet and have also created an online gallery which has a blog that the artists can contribute to. One must be over 21 to enter the online gallery and most of the shows.
PUNK GLOBE: How long has the Kymara Gallery been in operation?
KYMARA: The gallery opened its doors on May 31, 1985. It was first located in the Carriage House of my family's inn, located in Kennebunkport, Maine. I was never interested in playing up to the accepted art world, so I represented everyone from Bill Moss, who had designed the Pop Up camper to the woman who was drawing Archie Comics. She drew on pumpkins! It was just something she liked to do..I don't know why.
Many of the artists were teachers at The Brookfield Craft School in Connecticut. It is a fine crafts and art school that encourages creativity. The Kymara Gallery logo was designed by Phillip Bouwsma, protege of Arthur Baker and a professor at Brookfield. At that time, the artists were teaching in the gallery. Phillip was teaching calligraphy from the perspective of the non-fixed pen angle and he designed the logo during a class. It was considered quite controversial at the time. Music was always a very big part of the gallery from day one. I never took the stand of separating music from visual art and met with a lot of criticism back then because of it. Twenty six years ago in Kennebunkport, Maine, the galleries were conservative. Now, it is different!
PUNK GLOBE: You are located in Maine am I correct?
KYMARA: We are located in Southern Maine, Biddeford and Kennebunkport. We also have shows in New York City.We are planning on some in the Hudson Valley, NY and other areas of the country, hopefully the West Coast.
Tell us about your gallery in Maine and some of the past events you have done.
KYMARA: When the gallery was located in the carriage house, we had many shows and openings, as well as classes. During the 80's there were artists in residence who taught fine crafts and fine art. Many were influenced by Warhol. About twice a month I arranged "Modernist Parties" These were special sales of art for regular customers during which there was artistically prepared food often served on semi-nude men and women. I was always looking for a way to raise eyebrows as I quickly found that owning a traditional gallery was boring.
When we added the new location at the Mill, there was the obligatory silver foiling, which we installed for the opening of the first run of “Supernovas” featuring Warhol Superstars Bibbe Hansen, Ultra Violet and Billy Name in July of 2008. In September of that year we ran Christopher Lynch's “Factory and Friends” It was a series of photographs of Factory regulars taken in a Mylar cube. Large life sized portraits. The show ran at Calumet Photo in NYC first, them moved to Maine.
“Supernovas” expanded in Sept of 2009 and ran at the Chelsea Hotel in New York as a three day “Happening” We were commissioned by the BBC to create a set to conduct interviews for “Andy Warhol Modern Masters” during the event. It took place in the old Bait and Tackle Shop located on the Hotel property.
“Supernovas” at The Chelsea was a turning point for us. It is when things really changed and a fraction of us decided to move away from the Warhol influence. The show was a tremendous success and many of the old crowd were in attendance..Mary Woronov, Billy Name, Ultra Violet, Bibbe Hansen, Gerard Malanga, Walter Steading. They were all being interviewed by The BBC for the series and some of them had their art in the show. The show was a three day event with music, food, spontaneous and performance. The curious thing is that so many people introduced themselves and were interested in being part of a Happening concept. This is the first time we met Fernando Carpaneda and Milo worked with all of us.
Meeting Fernando also changed the direction we were moving in. The combination of Fernando, Milo and I was like a spark that gave us the confidence to really embrace the concept of Anté Art. So, we planned the next event, which was completely different. It was “Jayne County's Mad Tea Party Sex! Art! Music!” It opened at the Chelsea in April of 2010.
We had been recently introduced to Jayne's art which fit in extremely well with the direction we were going and the concept of Anté Art. Jayne County was responsible for attaching the term "Happenings" to the shows.
"Jayne County's Mad Tea Party" was a group show featuring Jayne's art along with Shepard Fairey, Mick Rock,Billy Name, Prairie Prince, Anton Perich and the other Anté Artists. We put together a band which Jayne named "The War Holes" Milo was on bass with Frank Coleman on drums and Bob Toxic on Guitar It was fantastic to have her there performing in The Chelsea Hotel surrounded by her art. The show opened again in Maine in the gallery space in September of 2010, along with the band.
Our last show at The Chelsea was a "Modernist Party" Jayne had a very special sale of her art in the ballroom. Her old friends Joy Rider, Donna Destri, and Chris Gari, Frank Wood and others came to support the show which was also a success.
We move back and forth from New York City and Maine. We sometimes will run "Happenings" in Maine at Geno's Rock Club and The Big Easy. These events are more centered around live music and have incorporated elements of Burlesque. The Burlesque performers are very serious about their creative expression and they really work hard to add a beautiful dimension to the shows.
PUNK GLOBE: When did you expand into representing Artists?
KYMARA: I started representing artists in the fall of 1985. I sold a portrait commission by Robert Templeton and figured out quickly that it was more lucrative to represent certain artists than to just try to sell individual paintings. I represented controversial artists. For example, Robert Templeton painted a portrait of Bobby Seale in jail, which I had hanging in the gallery as a sample.
Milo and I began working together two years ago. Since he had toured with Agitpop and had many years of music experience, it was a natural progression to expand into representing musicians and publishing.
PUNK GLOBE: Besides yourself, who else is involved with the gallery and management team?
KYMARA: Milo and I co own the Kymara Gallery, Kymara Artistic Management, Kymara Happenings and Kymara Music (publishing) Fernando Carpaneda is The creative director, manager and creator of the website. We have expanded a lot since 1985! We also have a line of Street Wear that we invite all of the Anté Artists to contribute to. There are three young women who we refer to as the Agitchicks. They help at our Maine shows and model the Streetwear. Natasha Barron, Taylor DuGuay, and Sarah Snow Again, we encourage all of the artists to collaborate and to be a part of what we do.
Tell us about some of the talent you are working with?
KYMARA: Our client list is growing daily due to the interest in the concept of Anté Art. We have had a great number of the new Surrealists come on board such as Dave Glass, Sean Madden, Richard Meyer, Scott Holloway, Ian Ward, Black Mass, Jason Atomic and Nunzio Barbera. Underground film maker Johnny Terris is an incredible addition to the group.
We represent the photographers Sue Rynski and SK Young who captured images of the Detroit Punk scene and have been huge advocites of getting it noticed. Phillip Gutman is gaining attention with his unique photographic style.
Many of the artists work in both music and visual art. For example, Prairie Prince is an incredible visual artist. Craig Pop Artist's style of pop art portraiture and design is also an extremely talented photographer and musician. Punk Globe's own Marc Floyd is a unique graphic artist and respected musician.Phillippe Laurent is well known throughout Europe for his visual art and music. Billy Vector, a multi talented artist and musician, known for his years with The Hottentots has contributed to advertising graphics for us and creates fantastic original art.
We also represent Warhol Superstar Louis Waldon who is a legendary actor and creator of collector's edition silkscreens. Louis style of reproducing Warhol themed art, definitely makes his own statement! Leigh DeVries is an amazing musical talent from the UK who we we are recently beginning to work with. Also, we have a VJ named VJ Foo. He creates the most amazing music and video mixes. We always have him documenting events in Maine. I have never seen anyone put together a quality mix as quickly as Foo. DJ Tiago is a new talent from Brazil. He is also a fantastic model.
Its really important to highlight Milo Rock and Fernando Carpaneda. Fernando is a Brazillian born sculptor who is gaining a lot of international attention not only for the quality and design of his work, but for his individuality as a gay rights activist who speaks through his art. Milo is co owner of the the business, but he has been gaining attention for his own style as a studio musician and lyricist as well as for his video creations. Milo toured widely as the bass player with the art punk band Agitpop in the 80's. Fernando and Milo collaborate on projects together. They are the integral to the operations of the gallery.
It is difficult to define or to describe anyone involved with the gallery as everyone is multi talented and amorphous, which is really the essence of the Anté Art movement.
PUNK GLOBE:Do you have any big upcoming events that you would like the readers to know about?
KYMARA: Yes! Fernando Carpaneda's important solo show scheduled for June 17th in a NYC location that we are not yet ready to announce. It coincides with Pride weekend so it is going to be a fabulous party. Our International Anté Art Event will be taking place in NYC and Maine in September and we will be also having some surprise announcements very soon. Of course, Punk Globe will be the first to know!
Do you have any website addresses for the readers to keep up to date with your events?
PUNK GLOBE: How did you get involved with Mick Rock and Prairie Prince?
KYMARA: I met Prairie Prince through Milo.
Mick Rock we met through Billy Name. We represent Mick Rock's erotic art only. His figural studies are a fantastic compliment to the gallery!
You have also done shows with Punk Globe's own Marc Floyd and Jayne County. Two Major Talents.
KYMARA: We first noticed Marc's Punk Globe Covers. I was very intrigued by his style and use of color. My son asked me if I could get him a Punk Globe cover for his room. This was around the time of Jayne County's first NYC show with us, so it evolved into Marc creating the posters for her show and work to be displayed in the group show. Marc's work and personality were a great fit with all of the artists, and we are proud to say he has become a gallery regular.
It was very much of an honor to have worked with Jayne County. Her art has now become quite collectible. As a visual artist she is emerging as a forerunner and highly respected icon of the new Anté Art Movement. The path of discovering Jayne's multi faceted talents as a song writer, performer, trend setter and human rights activist were something all of us highly respected and will always treasure.
I know that Punk Globe has sponsored several of your events. Tell us what the future holds for Kymara Artistic Management and Kymara Gallery?
KYMARA: We always make Punk Globe's presence known at every event, whether it is a large or small crowd. Everyone looks for Marc's posters. If I am late putting them up for a show, fans now remind me! We are adding to our roster of musicians and artists daily. Craig Pop Artist and I will soon be creating our Urban Camo designs, which will be available shortly. There are more events on the horizon.
Since the "Happenings" have become such a success, we are now offering an event service for private clients. People can rent art for parties and we have our own artistic catering company. We also work with The Blue Elephant who has created some of the phenomenal food displays at our past shows.
The first location of the gallery is being transformed into a museum of culture that is celebration of human sexuality. It is attached to the Bed and Breakfast that will become a Bed and "dunch"..let's face it..no artists are early risers! The B&B is naturally transforming into an Art and Music inn. This should be completed by the late fall.
We have all of the documentation in place for Kymara Music. Publishing is another facet of our Artistic Management division. So, there are a lot of exciting new things coming up and we hope Punk Globe will remain a part of what we do!
PUNK GLOBE:If an artist is interested in contacting you about representation or a possible show, how would they do so?
KYMARA: By emailing Kymara@kymara.com or by calling (207) 286-7399
PUNK GLOBE: If a venue is interested in having you host an event, what should they do?
KYMARA: Email us Kymara@kymara.com or call (207) 286-7399
Do you have any advice for people just starting out in the Arts?
KYMARA: The most important thing I have learned is the concept of "stick-to-itve-ness" Staying true to your vision and to not let anyone or anything sway your beliefs or path with words. My mother always said, "Talk is cheap" and we have found that to be true. If you get a gut feeling something is right, follow it. If someone tries to stop you, keep a steady pace, walk around them, step over them, but keep going, don't give up. Don't become discouraged because of what others say. In art 101 we learn the concept that Art is subjective and it truly is. So is business. What one person may not like is something that someone else totally gets. Staying Power is what ultimately leads to success and that takes a lot of hard work. Its not easy, but its worth it. Oh!..and "There is no such thing as bad publicity."
PUNK GLOBE: Thank you so much for the interview...
KYMARA: Thanks Punk Globe!