At Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, we have followed the work of Marina Eliasi, also known as Stone Sparrow, for a long time. Her dark, refined jewellery has always seemed full of promises… promises of even greater things. So when we learned that she was opening her art gallery in New York, we were more than delighted…
Her opening show mirrors her wearable art; a contemporary twist on fine art, a taste of macabre and darkness, and, obviously, a great dose of elegance and boldness. Stone Sparrow NYC is a very nice space located in Greenwich Village, and if you enter, you will be amazed by the quality of artists and artworks selected by Marina for her first exhibition.
So, what does this strange mineral bird have in mind with A Taste of Sparrow? Learn more in this interview…
“A Taste of Sparrow”
June 22 – July 28, 2019
Daniel Acosta | Eirik Arnesen | Michael Alfano | Shelby Lou Cypher | Shannon Downey | Marina Eliasi | Susan Fauman | Rose Freymuth-Frazier | Elle Green | Chris Guest | Michelle Avery Konczyk | Daniela Kovacic | Francesco Lombardo | Adam Lupton | Alan Macdonald | Caitlin McCormack | Tavo Montavo | Ling Ling Moorman | Michaela Sagatova | Jesse Stern | Helice Wen | Susannah Zucker
Stone Sparrow NYC
45 Greenwich Ave (between Charles and Perry Street)
Greenwich Village, NY 10014
For additional information and images, please contact Marina Eliasi at firstname.lastname@example.org
How the idea of the Stone Sparrow NYC gallery was born? How is it linked to your own artistic career?
The idea to open an art gallery was born during my first trip to NYC, without my parents, as a teenager. I came here on a bus with a group of kids from my college, with a map of the museums we were supposed to go into. We went into MOMA briefly, but what we really wanted to do was see the currently happening art, so a pile of us got in a cab and pooled our pennies and walked around Soho looking into every gallery that would open its doors to us until it was time to catch the bus back to Boston.
I was absolutely enchanted with the idea of surrounding myself with artwork and artists since that day. Before then, I always knew I wanted to do something in the arts, but I didn’t truly know what. For a while I thought I wanted to be a painter, and then an architect, but I switched my major to Art History in my 4th year and began my meandering path that ended up here.
When I met my husband, 15 years ago, we started talking about opening a small gallery somewhere upstate or in Israel, where Udi is from – as a retirement kind of idea, but when the space in the West Village we now occupy became a possibility for us, we both knew it was the perfect spot to let our little dream grow into something bigger.
How is it linked to my personal artistic career? Well, I’ve been “Stone Sparrow” as my identity online for so long now that I knew I couldn’t change my name to anything else. For years, people have asked me where they can come to meet me and see my work and kept telling me that my work belonged in a gallery type setting… So, I made my own place that answers of those questions as well as fulfilling my dream of immersing myself in the work of others.
What do you want to focus on as a new contemporary art gallery? Do you have themes, aesthetics, goals you are looking for?
I want to focus on art that makes you think, draws out some kind of emotion or is evocative, provocative or controversial. If it’s something that you can talk about, or if it talks to you as the viewer, I’m interested in it. My personal aesthetic tends toward the darker themes, but I’m interested in all kinds of things and don’t intend to specifically limit by genre, but the show titles can be a good indication of what might be on display at any given time.
I would like to say that generally, we are a gallery of contemporary realism, but I absolutely love surrealism, expressionism, figurative sculpture, and wearable art. I’m a very goal oriented person and have a lot of goals set out as kind of future markers, but my biggest gallery goal is to have a good reputation with both artists and collectors. As an artist myself, I’ve heard horror stories about the way artists are sometimes treated by galleries and I don’t want to fill any stereotype in that way at all.
Could you tell our readers more about your opening show?
Our opening show is titled “A Taste of Sparrow”. The title is just meant to say that these are things I like and intend to show more of in future exhibitions. We have so much incredible work for our first introduction – I’m very humbled by the talent that has agreed to take a risk to show with me as a brand new gallery with no established names or reputations.
We have life sized sculpture by Susannah Zucker, the fantastical imaginative work of Alan Macdonald, the edgy, but traditionally inspired work of Rose Freymuth-Frazier, wonderful collaborative works by Daniel Acosta and Tavo Montavo, life-like sculpture of Eirik Arnesen, hyperrealist graphite drawings by Jesse Stern, intensely complicated and fabulous wearable art by Elle Green, and equally amazing work by so many more that are all so different but complementary (the list is long!).
Our opening was completely overwhelming – in the best possible way. So many months of work to build the gallery and fill it with beautiful things. Fortunately, everyone seemed to like it and over 200 people showed up! This past week has been spent processing it all and welcoming all of the neighborhood people who are discovering us now that our windows are uncovered and front door unlocked.
How did you selected your artists and the artworks exhibited?
I selected artists I’ve admired and followed their careers for a while, and crossed my fingers that they’d say yes when I asked them to show with me in my still under construction space. I’ve been an art (and wearable art) collector for as long as I have been able to collect and a lot of the artists I am showing are “dream collects” of mine. I’m working on building my artist rosters constantly.
What are the artists and artworks you would like to highlight next and dream to show in your gallery?
Our next show will be a dual solo presentation between Colombian Anthropologist and abstract painter, Juan Carlos Gomez B and American ceramic sculptor Susannah Zucker. Both of these artists have humanity at the core of their work and I like the connection despite the very different styles of their work. The show is called “On Humanity: Fragile Connections”.
I think every show that’s ahead will be my next “dream show”. I’m SO EXCITED about each and every artist we have coming up. Of course, there are a handful of contemporary artists that I know are probably unlikely “dream” shows, but I’m hoping that by building my reputation and with some time, it will be a little bit easier to get them to agree to put their trust in me to host their work in my space.
I put my everything into the things I do – I pour my heart and soul into things and fill it with excitement. We’ve only just begun!
Michelle Avery Konczyk
Marina Eliasi and Rose Freymuth-Frazier