Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
PK Shop and Maison de Mode are in Miami this week with a pop-up holiday shop, MdM x PKSHOP. From December 5-8, 11:00AM-6:00PM at the Soho Beach House, you’ll be able to peruse art editions, accessories, and ethically responsible clothing by artists like Shelter Serra, Mark Ryden, Erik Parker, Julia Chiang and designers like Lulu Frost, Bantu, Osklen, and Libertine.
Maison de Mode was founded by Hassan Pierre and Amanda Hearst and aims to showcase socially conscious fashion through traveling pop-up shops. PK Shop is an extension of Paul Kasmin Gallery and is directed by Polina Berlin. Whitewall spoke to Berlin for our current winter 2014 Luxury Issue. Here’s an excerpt of our conversation to give you an idea of the range of artists works befitting any holiday wish list.
Director of PK Shop
By Katy Donoghue
Portrait by Shawn Brackbill
WHITEWALL: PK Shop has been around since the end of 2011. What was the impetus for creating the shop?
POLINA BERLIN: At the time I joined the gallery Paul had one space, the flagship space on the corner of 27th and 10th Avenue. Chelsea was really changing—suddenly there was foot traffic and energy and vibrancy on the street. We thought that would really lend itself well to having a retail concept. A shop we thought would make it a little bit more engaging for people walking around the High Line.
WW: As a self-described outsider coming into the art world, did you see this shop as an entry point to other outsiders?
PB: The idea behind the shop was to really cultivate new collectors or entice people who aren’t involved in the art world into collecting. The price points are so much more accessible, it really is an entry point to someone who is a novice.
WW: Did it start with just prints?
PB: We started with just editions. The gallery had been working with Mark Ryden—he has this amazing die-hard fan base. He’s been making editions for years, including prints, some objects, porcelain pieces. For the official shop exhibition we had a little show of Mark’s editions. He came to the opening and signed books, and the response was tremendous. There were people lined up around the block waiting to get in to see this artist they really admire.
It’s such an intimate setting and small space that people got to shake his hand and get a picture with him. It’s a little bit more formal at a white box gallery setting, intimidating perhaps. The shop [by contrast] is inviting, people can ask questions, and really understand what we’re about and what we’re doing.
WW: How do you approach artists about making something for the shop?
PB: In the beginning it was really an experiment, and we got to have conversations with the artists. We started approaching artists on the gallery roster, and sometimes it was a flat out “No” and other times, specifically with Nir Hod and Deborah Kass, they were tremendously excited. Their work in particular lends itself pretty well to that type of thing.
WW: For new collectors, what would be the appeal of an edition, aside from the fact that it’s more affordable?
PB: I think editions really do over time have an increase in value, no matter how big the edition. We have books that the gallery has published that have sold out, and you can now find them on Amazon for over a thousand dollars. It really depends on the market.
We’re coming out with a new edition based on Nir Hod’s work. It’s a tabletop sculpture of the “Genius” series. We’re releasing a brand new etching by Walton Ford for the fall. His etchings are impeccably made. They are handcrafted; it’s really a labor of love.
We’re also curating a show of Polly Borland’s work. She’s created a new series using some works from her paper series, which we’ve exhibited before, and some stuff has never been seen before. I adore her and I think the work is really mesmerizing, beautiful, and challenging. It’s very visceral.
To read the full interview with Polina Berlin, be sure to pick up Whitewall’s winter 2014 Luxury Issue out this week.