Tonight, Supechief Gallery will celebrate its fifth anniversary at its new space in Ridgewood. What started out as a live-in loft space has now expanded to two warehouse-sized buildings in New York and Los Angeles that can feature large-scale installations and even larger murals. The anniversary is part of bi-coastal exhibition that opened in LA on June 3, featuring over 50 favorite artists whose work will be rotated over the course of the summer, through September 1.
Founded in 2012 by author Ed Zipco and photographer Bill Dunleavy, Superchief’s original gallery on a sleepy street in Williamsburg was an early meeting point for many of the street artists enjoying success today. Examples include muralists Yok and Sheryo, whose work graces the facade of Roberta’s Pizza; CASH4SMELLS, the BQE paint-roller kings who’ve become gallery darlings; and Sharktoof, whose renditions of menacing sharks are small enough to fit in your living room or take up the whole side of your apartment building. Eventually, Superchief moved to the gallery space behind former bar Culturefix before leaving New York entirely in the spring of 2014 to set up a new gallery in LA. The next year they returned in both the reborn Tender Trap in Greenpoint and a gallery in Soho.
Yesterday I stopped the new Superchief Gallery NY, which opened in January, and talked with Ed about the show, as he made busy talking to the staff of twenty that’s producing it. The installation he was most excited about is a collaboration between CASH4, Mark Ash and Lou August, of a full-size graffiti artist action figure whose assembly has already had 5,000 views on Instagram. When asked for a favorite moment during Superchief’s tenure he declined to give one and simply remarked, “Gettin’ away with it,” before concluding our conversation with, “You can’t get fired if you’re doing it yourself with your friends.”