Curated by NoLIta participant Alex Hinckfuss
09 jun 2014 by art:i:curate team
As part of our 'Curated by NoLIta' project, we met with the curators: the people living and working in the neighborhood.
Ky Katrensky met with Alex Hinckfuss, a Polish/Aussie in New York.
KK: Why did you get involved with art:i:curate and this project?
AH: It's a groovy project. Anything to help creatives.
KK: What do you hope to take away from it?
AH: Discover and support local artists.
KK: How do you normally take in art?
AH: Through museum exhibitions. But that can get overwhelming and sometimes too mainstream. I’m looking forward to a curated experience that is more informal.
KK: What does the term "curating" mean to you?
AH: When you walk through the Met you transition from a room filled with ancient African art, primarily rough, wood carvings of animals, into a room filled with delicate marble sculptures of the human form from ancient Greek and Roman times. This juxtaposition makes your mind race. To me that’s curating.
KK: Where did you live before and where are you from?
AH: I lived in Notting Hill, London for a long time. I'm Polish/Aussie.
KK: What sets NoLIta apart from the surrounding neighborhoods?
AH: It's still very much a neighbourhood. There aren’t many of those left in the City.
KK: Favorite New York moment?
AH: I once asked a homeless person to help me carry a discarded bench up a 4 story walk-up. It was 5am in the morning and at the time it seemed like a brilliant idea to have a bench on the rooftop. We ended up having breakfast and chatting till the sun came up. I learnt the man had been quite a successful amateur boxer in his prime. I love New York for its stories.
KK: Do you know any of your neighbors?
AH: I do, but only the ones in my building. One acknowledges others but unless you have a dog there’s very little opportunity for interaction. People are always rushing somewhere.
KK: Do you hope to connect with your neighbors through this project?
AH: It would be lovely.
KK: Are there any notable neighborhood characters?
AH: Aren’t they all?
KK: Do you have a local hangout spot in the neighborhood?
AH: In NoLIta, the Elisabeth Street Garden is a gem.
KK: Have you heard any stories about the history of NoLIta?
AH: I love the Germania Bank Building story, that graffiti covered, abandoned looking building on Bowery and Spring. The owner, a photographer, has owned it since the 60’s and despite a number of approaches from developers, he refuses to sell. Epic.
There are 72 rooms in the building and apparently they discovered a whole new floor after decades of living there!
KK: What do you see as the future of NoLIta?
AH: Little Italy and NoLIta should be one and the same.
KK: Tell me something about yourself.
AH: I’m on the love side of the Vegemite battle.