Warhol, Basquiat, Scandal and the Opening of Lot 180

Debbie Harry (1976) by Fernando Natalici via Lot 180

Well, there’s something happening here, and what it is ain’t exactly clear. Tonight is the innaugural exhibition of Lot 180 and there is a lot going on. Ron Kosa, an old school clubbie, has put together a, “carefully curated exhibition and sale featuring an exciting array of rare and unseen vintage art, signed limited edition photographs, vinyl album art, poster art and ephemera  that focuses on mid-1970s to early 1980s New York City and the creative whirlwind which so  radically altered the face of American art and culture.” Everyone is going.

There will be Warhol stuff and Basquiat stuff and all sorts of other stuff from that period. You can buy photographs, album covers, memorabilia, skate decks, vintage prints and all sorts of collectables, or you can just peruse it all. These kinds of events often draw a collage of blasts from the pasts, famous and infamous. It’s always grand to see what they look like now. Yeah, I’ll be there as well looking suave and sophisticated and maybe a bit pickled. It opens tonight at 52 Kenmare Street beginning at 6:30pm and runs through September 1. I caught up with Ronnie Kosa and asked him all about it

Why do you think this era still resonates in today’s fast and furious world?

The 1970s and 1980s will always be relevant, not only in terms of the immense artistic influence that it continues to exert on global culture today, but also in regards to the history of New York City. 

Tell me about Leni Sinclair, whose work caught my attention and will be showing here.

Leni Sinclair, of MC5 fame, is a photographer whose incredible archives include many of the most iconic musicians and cultural figures to have emerged in the latter half of the twentieth century—everyone from Iggy Pop to Sun Ra to Janis Joplin, the list is endless.

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Andy Warhol Album Art 1983 via Lot 180

And what about Warhol, Basquiet, and the other art or artifacts.

Whether or not you personally gravitate towards pop art, it is indisputable that Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat are two, if not THE two, of the most important artists of that era. While most people remember Warhol for his cult and screen prints and Basquiat for his canvases, they tend to neglect other essential facets of their careers. For Warhol, his designs for vinyl albums is absolutely central, as noted by scholar Paul Marechal’s catalogue raisson. Basquiat likewise designed vinyl albums; people also tend to forget his important early street art moniker SAMO – whose tags are documented by photographers Robert Herman and Fernando Natalici.

Is this an art show?

While it differs from the conventional gallery model, Lot 180 is first and foremost an art exhibition. One of our primary goals it to give art enthusiasts and aspiring tastemakers the opportunity to collect authentic pieces of art in their homes. 

Basquiat Beat Bop Art Cover 1984

Beat Bop Art Cover (1984) by Basquiat via Lot 180

Will you be doing this sort of curation in other alternative spaces? Tell me more about the space.

At this point, we are unable to release details about our exact plans for the future, but we will most definitely be presenting similar exhibitions in various locations, not only in New York, but also in other major cities around the world.

What can you tell me about the scandal swirling around this opening?

Rivington Design house: 52 Kenmare is doing a series of portraits of naked men prominently displaying their Johnson’s. Series of 8 or so portraits. Neighbors have been calling the police. The owner of space Brion Isaacs refuses to take down images, leaving them to make a statement. Chinese residents in particular are fuming, relgious groups are coming down, and people are looking at this thing in disgust. Cooler people laugh it off, but people are outraged for most part Reporters from NY Post came down yesterday as well as CBS channel 2. Schlongs hurting my show. Please note, Lot 180 (my exhibit) is at 52B Kenmare and has nothing to do with Rivington design house. The 2 exhibits have NO RELATION.

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