It was just last week that OHWOW launched its latest show in LA, a gathering of key artists who have been a part of the Post 9-11 art scene. The progress and climb of this group of artists throughout this era has been massive, the result a huge show in terms of its profile around the world. The exhibition was about much more than just showing off their success, it was about remembering how important the scene and friendships have been throughout this time. Exclusively for W Magazine, Dan Colen and Aaron Bondaroff discuss their personal stories of the time. An extract is below, read the rest here.
DAN COLEN: We all met around 9/11. We were just kids then. Ten years ago, I was living with Ryan [McGinley] on East 7th Street. It was the kind of apartment where a lot of people congregated. This was when we were becoming close with Aaron. We kind of naturally fell in together. It was pretty fluid. But still, I think when 9/11 happened we hadn’t really become close yet—not like the way we were with Dash [Snow] and Agathe [Snow]. And Terence [Koh] was just showing up around then. Pretty soon after that, Nate [Lowman] came around. He was just another kid. I didn’t know that he was the artist Nate Lowman. It’s funny, I knew of Nate Lowman the artist, and I actually thought he was a mid-career artist. I thought it was the best work I’d seen in so long, and I figured it was some 40 year-old man …
AARON BONDAROFF: I think it was more at Agathe’s apartment in the Lower East Side where she was actually doing those dinner happenings and bringing a lot of people together. I think that was really the moment where we all kind of got together.
DC: That’s right. Agathe was really close with Nate.
AB: Agathe’s mother had a restaurant on Prince Street called La Poème, and I saw her hanging out there a lot with Dash. I realized that a lot of these guys were connected to each other. They started hanging out in the basement of this restaurant.
DC: In 2003, Ryan and I moved out of 7th Street to Canal Street. And Dash was on Avenue C, which was a pretty big spot too. We spent a lot of time there. But when we moved down to Canal Street, Maccarone Gallery was down the block from us, so I started seeing Nate around again. [Lowman is represented by the gallery.] I thought maybe he was an installer there or something. I kind of approached him one day at the local café just to say what’s up. I asked him if he worked at the gallery. And he was like, ‘No, I show there.’ And I was like, ‘You’re Nate Lowman, whoa.’ That’s how we officially met. Then we got introduced to Adam McEwen and Aaron Young. And Michelle [Maccarone] moved her gallery, and Terence moved into her building. So then there was this whole thing around Canal Street—Terence had this entire building; Ryan and I were up the block; Nate was kind of living with us; Aaron Young’s studio was right over there [in Soho]; and Dash had moved to the Bowery then. So we were all in this really tight vicinity. Aaron’s store [aNYthing] opened up down there, too.
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