Cultured Magazine

February/March 2015

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Young artists and designers starting their careers today have a newfound challenge that previous generations never had to face: a permissive creative community open to nearly any kind of practice, from virtual think tanks to fine art galleries to heritage lifestyle brands formulated overnight. But where to begin? The latest duo to freely crisscross the barriers of art and design are Kyle Smith and Joshua S chwartz, co-founders of the new Williamsburg gallery, Moiety. Smith and Schwartz met while studying sculpture at Maryland Institute College of Art and have been working together for the past six years. Their design-build practice Lanningsmith has created temporary environments for brands such as Neiman Marcus, Zara and Audemars Piguet. In keeping with their scrappy, crisis-era compatriots in Brooklyn, they do everything themselves, from planning to fabrication. "I think we're drawn to projects that call for a limited run—higher quality, well-designed products, rather than just a thousand-of-this-lampshade job, which we do as well," says Schwartz. They jumped at the storefront space in their studio's building when it became available. "We used it as an office at first, showcasing various things here and ther e," says Schwartz. "We figured it was an opportunity to create a space that wasn't strictly a gallery. It isn't strictly a design studio either, but it could go back and forth. And the purpose isn't necessarily to generate revenue. It's more just to play. We really wanted Moiety to be a playground for us and for people that we feel are doing things of value." The gallery, whose name means "either of two pa rts into which a thing is or can be divided," opened with, "Wet!" in November, showcasing their left-brain-right-brain approach. It was the first New York solo show of Dutch artist Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, whose impactful, illustrative style uses primary colors to create both figurative and abstract works. With a healthy roster of lifestyle and publishing clients, including Vogue, Kitsuné and Vanity Fai r, the Hague-based artist was a natural fit for Moiety's first outing. Appropriately straddling art and design, van den Nieuwendijk's body of work for the gallery included handmade rugs—a first for the artist—as well as canvases, acrylic paintings on mirrors and neon lighting. "I saw some similarities in the way that he was approaching design and art," Schwartz says. "It's the way that he's able to partic ipate in the commercial design-illustration world, but then able to step out of that and paint works that play with those same ideas." While the gallery grows, the founders hope a certain set of collectors will make the trip to Williamsburg to see how they truly stand out in today's saturated scene. "If you go to the Lower East Side, for example," says Schwartz, "even though a lot of galleries there are d oing different things, there's an aesthetic for the most part they adhere to. It's important to us that our aesthetic doesn't form right away—and that you won't know when you make a trip out here what exactly you're getting yourself into." 90 CULTURED PHOTO COURTESY OF MOIETY GALLERY An installation view of works by Jordy van den Nieuwendijk at Moiety. Cultural Playground Brooklyn's latest gallery dances across the lines that divide fine art, commerce and design. BY DAN RUBINSTEIN

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