New York in 2012 may be a city that runs on money, but, contrary to all economic logic, it remains a city whose character is equally defined by the art it creates. Artists — by which we also mean artisans, writers, musicians, filmmakers, actors, designers, chefs, dancers, comedians, and makers of all kinds — and the entrepreneurs and curators who support them still populate the city by the thousands, maintaining its status as the creative capitol of the United States.
In what we hope to make an annual tradition, Flavorwire is celebrating our home city by profiling 50 up-and-coming culture makers you’ll be hearing much more about in the coming year. While we define “up-and-coming” broadly — just as New Yorkers will surely know some of the names on this list already, we guarantee you’ll also encounter some you aren’t familiar with — there’s one factor that unites everyone who appears here: they inspire us. Click through to peruse the list and read interviews with each and every one of these emerging cultural figures.
Though he’s only 25, NYC native Joe Ahearn has been up in the wonderfully active underground art scene here for a while. Up until their forced shut down last year, he was a full-time resident of the wonderful Brooklyn DIY venue Silent Barn; he’s been involved with similarly fantastic and strange artistic enterprises like the video game collective Babycastles; and he’s the current managing director of paper-only all-ages show listings and art publication Showpaper. He has also recently been the curator of Clocktower Gallery in Tribeca, giving a location to awesome projects such as one in which the band Javelin transformed the space into a psychedelic Western landscape, and throwing parties involving both DIY video games and local pizzerias. Now that Silent Barn has finally found a new location, we can only imagine that Joe is busier than ever. The new space, which you can read all about in the public newsletters Silent Barn has been putting out since its shutdown, is going to be much larger than their previous space, and will be both a home and a work space for a selection of artists and people interested in “living in art.” — Sophie Weiner
What are your plans for the holidays?
Big Secret Santa party at The Ho_se, hanging out with my family, and moving artwork around the rooms of the Clocktower, but mostly working on opening up the new Silent Barn.
Which New York artists do you count among your greatest inspirations?
G Lucas Crane, Kunal Gupta, Alaina Stamatis, Brian Blomerth, Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels, Ben Wolf, Nicholas Chatfield-Taylor, Andrew H. Shirley, Luke Fischbeck, Maya Hayuk, Jesse Hlebo, Pat Spadine, Taraka Larson, AVOID — I’m inspired by people whose practice draws from the deep well of “the public”; collaborating with their (sometimes unknowing) audience, playing with events themselves as medium, and taking advantage of spaces without permission. All of these people create a space around them that is both wholly their own and yet beyond their control. I find that very inspiring.
What’s coming up for you in 2013?
Silent Barn is back!