FotoFoam, the pop-up art gallery that now occupies the space at 805 Washington St., is a new neighbor among the upscale boutiques nestled in this tiny corner of the Meatpacking District. Barely three weeks have passed since they’ve opened their doors, and FotoFoam has already garnered a lot of attention. Over 200 artists, photographers and guests crammed into this small gallery the night of the opening reception, an event that was well worth braving one of the coldest nights of the season to come out and attend.
Standing in front of the gallery, one is struck by the introductory artwork in the window, a colorful, otherworldly piece by Swedish graphic and digital artist Martin Rinman. Step over the threshold, and you are transported to a world straight out of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” It’s an experience that juxtaposes a sci-fi-meets-fashion aesthetic and the natural splendors of Iceland, Tuscany and Kenya, captured by Ken Silver, a professional photographer for over 20 years.
This is quite the introduction to FotoFoam, the brainchild of founder and owner, Greg Silver. Greg is the proud son of photographer Ken, and he is very happy to be paying homage to his father and showcasing his work in the first of several rotating installations. The show is at once a touching tribute and a foregleam of what to expect from future exhibits. Throughout its three-month term as a brick-and-mortar gallery, the works of several specially selected FotoFoam artists — collectively, and endearingly, called FotoFriends — will be in rotation, showcasing the breadth of talent and the stylistic aesthetic that FotoFoam represents.
Starting up two years ago, FotoFoam rapidly evolved from a DIY project — when Greg was still affixing photos to foam core in his apartment for the viewing pleasure of a few artists and friends — into a fully functioning online gallery. He wanted to create a platform for artists to show their work and sell their own prints. Today’s brick-and-mortar pop-up is thus an extension of its online counterpart. Both venues convey a sincerity that is easily perceived.
Greg confides, “You are responsible for representing an artists’ livelihood, sometimes their entire life’s work, and it’s being put in your hands. You can’t misrepresent that or exhibit that in any way that is any less than perfect.” After a stroll through the gallery or even a brief tour of the website, it becomes strikingly clear that he and the FotoFoam team take that mission very seriously. Custom design is their modus operandi, evident from the meticulous image resolution right down to the thickness of paper and plexiglass frames.
“Ultimately, FotoFoam is a one-stop shop for people who want to buy beautiful artwork for their walls. And for our artists, it’s a platform where they control all aspects of their work. They set the price, dimensions, framing styles, how many editions, the paper it’s printed on — everything.” Talk about convenience for all parties involved!
The next artists’ reception is slated for Feb. 12, to coincide with New York Fashion Week. Work from FotoFoam artists Jesse Draxler, Louise Mertens and Martin Rinman will be featured. Considering their stylistic commonalities, it will be more than a leisurely gallery stroll: it will be an intense visual experience. We’re looking forward to it.
We can’t wait to see what else Greg and the rest of the FotoFoam crew have up their sleeves. If the past is any indication of the future, then we think it will be nothing short of impressive.
For more information, check out their website: https://www.fotofoamco.com/