Seeking a professional opinion on the Bravo reality series Gallery Girls, we asked the London-based art dealer, curator and writer Kenny Schachter to weigh in. With Episode Five, we detected that he was, in his way, warming to the show a bit, even though he still forgot the girls’ names, and lambasted someone called The Sucklord. Episode Six warranted a different approach. Stay tuned for (we hope) further musings on the program from Mr. Schachter, whose writing has appeared in books on architect Zaha Hadid, and artists Vito Acconci and Paul Thek, and who is a contributor to the British edition of GQ and Swiss money manager Marc Faber’s Gloom Boom & Doom Report.
I am beginning to feel like Patty Hearst as she joined forces with the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), getting sucked into a little Stockholm Syndrome with the Gallery Girls (GG). Or at least coaxed into thinking I might be. And there has been some unintended friendly fire too, i.e. my family has taken stock of my having to review this schlock every week and now two of four kids, who at first scorned and scoffed, have become regular viewers. I even discovered my wife was surreptitiously watching. When I texted Adrian, my 16 year old, that I was getting a tad seduced by train(wreck) spotting, a Brit pastime and maybe a universal amusement, he shot back: “I am taking a screenshot and sending it to The New York Observer.”
So that’s how it happened: I took the plunge and admitted the first step—there are at least 12 ways in which this show is doing my head in—acknowledging that I was powerless over Gallery Girls, that my life had become unmanageable, the shame. It hit me in the back of the head like a donkey kick. Smack! Back to the girls: the last episode of GG saw epic Amy get fired from her free internship—no mean feat. And how did the hard partying, take-it-on-the-chin heroine respond to such calamity? Like this: “Are you kidding me, are you like, firing me from a free internship?” I was beginning to like her more and more. What else was foisted on us during the latest GG? Two more bra shots in the first two minutes, closely followed by a third bra shot and a trip to Art Basel Miami Beach. A twist on the latest recaps though—a real surprise!—was a real-time Google Chat with none other than The Adventurous Amy herself.
Vito Acconci made a site-specific work for a performance show at Paula Cooper in 1969. His idea was to walk from uptown to downtown and phone the gallery every 10 minutes to update the audience on his progress. In the description, Mr. Acconci spoke of haunting gallery-goers with his absence, and simultaneously, with anticipation of his imminent presence. Before our call, Amy haunted me with her nonappearance for a full 20 minutes. Was she fearful? Forgetful? Drunk? Was she being as mean as Liz? Was I in midst of getting stood up? Oh look at me now; I’m beginning to sound like a GG! Turns out it was all innocent enough—there was a glitch getting connected to GChat. I am crap with anything remotely technological. When things finally got underway, what I mistook to be Amy was in fact the Bravo PR, keeping close watch, probably as much over me as her GG. And so, after a bit of Chasing Amy, things began in earnest:
[Ed. note: In the interest of authenticity, the following exchange has not been corrected for spelling or grammar.]
amy: its amy hi
me: will the real amy pleases stand up! hi
plese stand up please stand up
me: i thought you might have been standing me up! but it was just my technological ineptness.
amy: still here!
me: excellent. with a pr watching judiciously over your shoulder
amy: smart guy
me: how many episodes are there in total?
me: interesting. did you know i got chewed out by the husband of sharon hurwitz for not taking proper note of her credentials?
so we share something in common more or less
omg that is toof unny
i can see that happening hes a character
ive had more talks with him than sharon lol
you hit it on the nail.
me: you must have been crestfallen from such a hard landing from the pinnacle of the print world! have you recovered?
amy: I”ve seen Richards (sharon’s husband) anger moments
me: he’s bit weird between me and you (and our readers!) but let’s move on. you happy with show?
amy: Yes, I have def seen the press has not been too kind.
me: are you satisfied with how you are portrayed
amy: I think the show is very entertaining. I am dissapointed in the fact that there wasn’t more forcus of me in more art world settings
me: yes i was kind of surprised that the show was actually supposed to be about art in first instance!
amy: I also think I am a very dynamic and smart individual who is confident in my choices and there is alot more to me than what is portrayed on the show
yes I do agree with you on that.
me: i agree. i really warmed up to you as the show progressed.
and fought to speak to you rather than the others.
amy: Thank you so much.
Interesting you had to fight to speak with me? THey didn’t want you to?
me: i was offered someone else i couldn’t for the life of me figure out what to ask her
amy: I’m glad you warmed up to me. As a viewer what made you warm up to me
me: maybe your drinking and fun loving ways. not that i have had a drink, yet. moving on, there was a big sub plot with you and liz fighting but then it seemed to have blown over. are any gallery girls friends?
amy: Yes. I have a deep respect for angela
she is a rational and fun person
me: you do? hmmm
amy: I think as the show progresses you will see Maggie come to a strong realization and our mutual respect for each other is growing into a friendship now
me: when i was on my friends show, i was surprised how much was scripted, same for you?
amy: You will have to watch the drama unfold with that
I think the personal relationships you will see are true to effecet
Liz and I are not friends
me: must admit i’ve never watched a reality show before, but i will see this one to end as i’m paid to.
amy: She has been rather mean to me in the press so far.
me: liz speaks of being hated on but she is the most viscous of the lot!!!
amy: haha i’m glad you’re paid for it certifies your watching!
Liz is a hater
It’s who she is
for her to be nice she pretends
IF i walk into a room I’m naturally happy
I talk to anyone
If liz walks into a room she will be the mean angry girl in the corner hating on everyone to avoid anyone from focusing on herself
me: strange. her dad must be mortified! how did you land on show?
amy: I got on the show because the casting director went to college and was very close with one of my best friends
Liz and her dad are not close
me: what art is blurred out of your folks house in florida?
more or less
amy: My father has alot of art in the house
he has botero sculptures
Serge Poliakoff’s lol
me: cool. so is serge family? do you party as much as they make you out to?
amy: yes he is
If I am working I am responsible
but you have to remember im 25 and I like to go out
me: not counting when you are late for appointments! do you buy any art? buy any stuff in basel?
amy: but work hard play hard and as you see in teh actual bar
me: shit 25? i hate you.
buy any art yourself?
amy: ok we have paul jenkins
fanny hiat art as well
in my fathers home
I want to collect one day as well
me: nice. do they sell any ever? ha maybe you can be my next intern!
amy: I’d love to intern for you!
me: i’m a horrible person, mind you. are you in art professionally now?
I do public relations for an art gallery
me: hopefully not working for eli klein, counting his pubic hair
amy: in manhattan i’m running the pr program and you will see it on the show
you will see it all play out throuout the series
ewwww eli klein
me: what do your parents think of the enterprise? would you have done it again had you known now
oh forgot, you coupled with him!
amy: Giving up control is a very difficult decision
me: or were rumored to have, sorry. do you think it was a plus personally/professionally?
amy: I think the experience is a learning experience and I wish I had been more outspoken
me: outspoken in what sense? you always seemed to express yourself?
amy: thank you but I realized there is alot being said behind my back
me: do you mean on the show when they individually speak to the cast about each other?
amy: its always a risk to do reality tv but the experience was memorable
and I met some interesting people like Jane Holzer and Simon de PUry
me: what about those brooklyn girls!
amy: They are a breed on their own
but I loved meeting them
I honestly from the moment I met them thought it was a new experience
me: even the horribly obnoxious model-y one?
amy: to be honest I didnt really have that much interaction with her
Shes in her own world
me: well, i must say its been a pleasure, and please do get in touch if you make it to london! or if your parents want to part with a picasso. anything else you want to touch upon?
me: uh oh.
amy: I think I work really hard and my experience iwth Sharon on the show
is like this
I worked for four years gaining knowledge. I’ve worked at some great art galleries
and I have an art history degree.
me: do you think kerri was unfairly f-ing with you?
amy: When someone starts a new job and knows that I have more experience then they do they naturally come to you for help
The basic fundamental thing about consulting in art with someone who doesnt know alot about the field
is to tell them small things.
me: kerri ratted you out for delegating were you pissed at her?
amy: I’m not malicious. I was giving Kerri the basic fundamental knowledge through small tasks
that helped me learn about art
It’s not a game or childs play
me: you going back to miami this year? were you surprised by the venom of the other girls? any more tv in your horizon?
amy: I enjoy teaching and sharing knowlege about art with everyone i work with
I”ve learned alot this season and i hope i get a season two
to help the world get a better undestanding of me and the arts
I think Sharon
could have handled the whole situation differently
me: SEASON TWO? OH NO! i am only just digesting still the first 6 episodes. so you are in this to help the world be a better place? sounds like beauty pageant speak!
no i’m in this to get my voice across
and i would like to have a season two for people to see me in a more dynamic art setting
me: sharon looks like work, anyway you have more street credibility for getting fired from internship, that’s not the easiest! turned me around!
amy: i think you will be pleased with the end of the show
me: i am on edge of my seat, just don’t tell anyone.
amy: can’t wait to see what you have to say
about how it all plays out
Who do you think the public is receptive to or your publication
me: i take it you haven’t read my past recaps? a good thing. but anyway i live uk so its not readily available other than feedback from fb and other social media. i think people like to see train crashes, but get sucked into it on a personal level.
last thing, what contemporary artist is your favorite? where are you, in your ny apt?
amy: I am sitting on my couch in my living room apt
me: ever gchat before? i feel like i should be asking you what you are wearing?
amy: I was thinking the same thing
a pink sweater and red sweatpants with rhinestones
if you must know
But truthfully I love contemporary artists
me: anyway, thanks for time and good luck! jeans, and a white shirt with a v neck t under
amy: I think Nathan Walsh is great and is a contemporary realist
me: never heard of him! i like vito acconci, and paul thek, know them?
amy: I def am a big fan of Mark Ryden’s ethereal figures
me: never heard of him either. xoxo thanks for all!
what about acconci or thek, know them?
amy: I like vitto
and I think that Paul Caranicas is great as well
I think he really focuses on the negative space in portraying the urban landscape
Yes vitto is from Brooklyn
he can hang with the brooklyn gals!
had to throw a joke in
me: super thanks adios!