Monday, September 12th, 2011

Fueling the Pop-Up Phenomenon: Chelsea’s newest venue is the Lukoil Gas Station

The Lukoil gas station is one building in West Chelsea you might have thought is not housing a gallery or museum.  But art has finally leached in there, too—among the rows of candy and snacks.

Works by Elizabeth Cooper installed at Art Station, Lukoil, September 2011.  Photo by David Cohen
Works by Elizabeth Cooper installed at Art Station, Lukoil, September 2011. Photo by David Cohen

Curators Beth Fiore and Rachel Stekson have set up a pop-up gallery in the gas station they are calling Art Station.  Opening September 15th is a show of works from eleven Brooklyn-based artists.  Exhibits include a conceptual music piece by Dear Derrick and Laura O’, 3D-photography from M Henry Jones, and a scent deconstructed by perfumer Shannon Campbell.

When guests and curators have retreated to the after-party, the gas station’s clerks will get their shot at showing their artistic acumen and “protecting the work to the best of their abilities,” since the station will be keeping its normal 24-hour schedule. Opening night will see a host of regular gallery-goers, but over the eight days Art Station operates, the majority of its audience will be taxi drivers, most coming in to use the bathroom, buy a coffee, and grab a smoke.

The curators’ democratic sensibilities extend to the pieces for sale. To make the art accessible, the curators are requiring exhibiting artists to bring two unique works and a multiple that is priced under $500. For her multiple, Shannon Campbell will be offering sketches of the scent profiles she created at each stage of building her fragrance. Showcasing how less-attractive aromas – for instance, perfume bases from feline perianal glands – are utilized to create beautiful scents, the fragrance can only be sniffed at the opening, though sketches will be on display until the gallery closes September 22nd. Once they pack up, Fiore and Stekson will be arranging pop-ups internationally under the Art Station label, supported by Collectrium – who have developed a mobile app for the curators – and sponsorship from Americanflat.

Art Station is located inside the Lukoil station 239 10th Avenue at 24th Street. Opening reception takes place Thursday 15th 6pm-8pm, and the gallery is open 24 hours through Thursday September 22nd.