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19.10.2016 NEW SPACE
Eric Prince, Johannes Sivertsen, Seaside and Figures, Prince Gallery

Eric Prince

A new fish in the pond - Interview with Prince Gallery

All the way from the US to Denmark – literally an ocean apart – Eric Prince, the founder of Prince Gallery, come across as a fresh breath within the Copenhagen art scene.

The result is a mix of both wanting to shake things up with new international talents, to appeal to the established collectors in town, in addition to give them a helping hand out of their comfort zone. Silje Sigurdsen met with Prince Gallery for an interview.

AF Silje Sigurdsen

How is everything going for the gallery? Or, how do you find the Danish art market?
Well, we just rounded out our first year with Jamboy Leasing Exhibition. In general I think we are doing good considering I am a new fish in the pond. The Danish art market is very interesting, small, gated, yet I hope to be an enabler of sorts and provide a possible new path for new ideas and artists.

What sets you apart from other galleries in Copenhagen?
First, we would have to address that being from the USA I bring a pretty different mindset and a difference in how I perceive culture in general. Even in an ‘art culture’ where it is fairly common knowledge to strive for originality and creativity. I see boxes, and ‘proper channels’ of people moving in a similar direction. Being independent, coming from the outside has allowed me to direct my own dealings and program. I would also like to add that I really have trust in the artists and focus on them being able to express their show and art how they perceive it. In other words, I try to stay out of the way and give them a blank canvas/gallery to work with only offering advice when asked. I think I take risks that are needed to honestly represent what contemporary artists are doing today.

What’s the biggest difference between the American art scene and the Scandinavian?
The USA is such a massive market with huge diversity from North to South, East to West. I do feel there could be more diversity here. I have complimented before on how the Danish State support is really fantastic for helping younger artists, but also it can have a weight of narrow influence and navigation of bureaucracy. I see the curators in Denmark really pursuing titles and mention to the point of overshadowing artists. Now there is nothing wrong with pursuing the academic side of things and curation, but please let me remind you the giants in art and art history are the artists. The USA I think has also suffered from the over produced, everything titled, conditioned and commoditized notions of the modern “Wall street” thinking approach to the way art is shown and traded. I think a very obvious example was the meltdown of the market for the zombie formalists this past year. A few wealthy collectors lost some value on huge speculation, but these young artists will really take the hammer right between the eyes.

Who’s your target audience?
To my amusement we have had all types from all walks of life in the gallery. I really do think art is for everyone so this is great. I hope it is someone who wants to see possibly something fresh and eager to step outside of the box. I do hope to appeal to the established collectors, maybe help them along out of their comfort zone.

What do you consider to be 'good art'?
Great question, and also incredibly difficult to answer, well at least verbally. I really go off my instincts, as cliché as that may sound. It’s really easy for me to appreciate, to fall in love with art and experiences and wake up a few months later and those ideas and perceptions have changed or grown. I am not really fond of popularity contests or established hierarchies making art. Art is everywhere, artists focus on the experience and that experience is subjective to the viewer. I guess I will default to the notion that history will make good art.

Is there anything you would have done differently if you had the chance?
Yikes! Everything and nothing. I can say that I do really try to be an honest, polite, knowledgeable person for my artists and visitors to the gallery. I advise and speak about the art I have and show from the best of my ability. But yeah, change everything yesterday with the knowledge of today. Don’t we all do that anyway; “back in the good ol’ days…”

Is there anyone or anything within the Danish art scene/market that deserves some special attention/highlighting?
I would like to see more conversation and social intercourse between people in the art scene. Maybe this is just me being a foreigner and a new player, however it seems that everyone in the arts here are running parallel and not really caring or even discussing what is going on around them locally. For example, I am selecting three artists for an exhibition I am co-curating in a Chelsea, NYC in 2017. I think it would benefit the Danish scene knowing the exhibition is to showcase Danish artists in NYC. So yeah, anyone is free to write or drop in the gallery for a chat.

Is there anything you would like to add at the end of the interview?
Yes, I am very happy to be a part of the gallery ecosystem here in Copenhagen. I look forward to attracting new international talent to Copenhagen. Also, I am proud to support a stepping stone for new Danish and Scandinavian artists, many whom have received funding for exhibitions at Prince Gallery. Really feels great to contribute to the overall art scene and market.

If I may plug my next exhibition by a really talented painter Johannes Sivertsen; the opening is Friday October 28, 2016 at 17-20 o’clock,  “Seaside and Figures”. Thank you for the interview.

Thank you.

Eric Prince, Prince Gallery

Eric Prince Foto: Silje Sigurdsen.

Eric Prince, Prince Gallery

from ”Into The Slumber" by David Nilson March 18 - April 23, 2016 @ Prince Gallery

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