A discussion with Tyrome Tripoli of Gallery Petite
Gallery Petite is a Brooklyn-based space that has been dedicated to visual arts. Owner Tyrome Tripoli secured the space in 2005 and used it as his personal sculpture studio for several years. In 2014, he converted it into a storefront and decided to turn the space into a gallery that was dedicated to promoting contemporary, underground, abstract and obscure art. Essentially, if it’s weird and progressive, authentic, sincere and original then it will likely be of interest to Gallery Petite. The space accepts various mediums including sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, video, mixed media, installation, performances, poetry and more.
Since its opening, the gallery—which is located on a street in Bushwick—has proven to be enormously successful and popular with location artists. “If I wanted to, I could organize a different solo show every month without repeating an artist for five years,” Tyrome declared. “But I’m not going to do that until I know I will sell the work. Of course, I don’t have an exclusive with these artists but I know if I have a buyer for their work they will sell through me. I’m in the process of making a list of my top fifty artists.” The gallery is very public and features a spectacular entrance that aims to get the attention of people passing by.
It is free to submit work to the gallery and Tyrome is willing to look at everything. “I’m only curating group shows now so I just need an idea of what the artist is making,” he stated. “So a postcard with an image of their work and information is fine. I’ll keep their work in mind to include in future shows or maybe that artist’s work will inspire a show idea. I keep the artists I find in a very organized roster and tap into it when dreaming up another show idea. I love the relentless energy of underground artists doing their thing, dancing to their own beat despite their art career, the lure of a lucrative art market or the power of fame.”
In ten years from now, Tyrome is hopeful that Gallery Petite will have a waiting list of under writers/patrons who have witnessed the magic of the service that he provides, which is to create art lover investors where there were none. Tyrome aims to convert people who have no art background or experience but an interest and the funds for an exploration investment into the underground art, the bottom end of the market, the penny stocks but better. Cultivating new art collectors who support and grow the demand of under-recognized artists is the ultimate goal of Tyrome. “In ten years I plan to be making all my favorite artists lots of $pace in their studios, if you know what I mean,” he proclaimed. “Art is fantasy and it’s 100% subjective. As a gallery, if you have one buyer you’re ahead of the game. Selling and placing work is the hard part and it seems to me the only galleries that really sell are the blue-chip galleries. It’s easy to put on great art shows and to give the public or the neighborhood in that way. But what artists really need is to get rid of work, that is clean out their studio and make room for new work. I think galleries should sell an artist’s work first, then give them a show later. Medium and small galleries need to concentrate more on placing the work of an artist rather than stressing them out with shows. Sure, the exposure is good but selling and getting rid of work is really what artists need.”
Gallery Petite is currently planning a show concentrating on art that is inspired by fantasy. To read about their forthcoming exhibitions and events, visit their official website.