Thursday, February 18, 2021

Storm Ascher of Superposition Gallery

Storm Ascher is the owner of Superposition Gallery, which focuses on a socially conscious approach to contemporary art, with pop up locations in Los Angeles, New York and Miami.

What are some of your first memories of feeling passionately towards the arts?
My drive to be in the arts came out of my wanting to connect with the sides of myself that emulated my father, who I had not seen since I was 2 years old. My mom always said I was the perfect combination of the two of them, and he was very artistic. I was immediately drawn to theater, music, poetry, music videos, writing scripts for movies or filming a documentary.. It was almost like I wanted him to find me by seeing me doing something he liked to do. I think most people’s relationship with art is an emotional one. The institutional and archival studies of art and objects, being in the studio and in museums, came much later, and that was when I really felt that I had figured out how to be my own person.

Were there any specific events that led to your decision to support artists by launching Superposition Gallery?
Many. The first overall theme of my life was being told no many times. Being put aside for future reference, being treated differently from the person of my same age or position. And I know I didn’t have it as bad as others. I thought, if I’m experiencing this then many people like me probably are too, and I was right. The few galleries that did give me a chance to work and learn from, you know I was soaking up every single drop of information of how to handle a roster and exhibition schedule.

You are an artist and curator, and organize various pop up events in different cities. How do you find the time for all this?
It all blends together, really. And it has started to get easier since I graduated my Masters at Sotheby’s a few months ago. Even then, you would think balancing school and your own business would be impossible— but it was a specialized program that made it so I could do my job better. Everything I was learning was immediately being implemented into my work. It did start to get a little crazy when I would be traveling for school, going to Mexico and Taiwan for art fairs and museum visits, and getting back just in time to do a pop up for the gallery. I enjoy those time crunches though.

And when it comes to making my own art, I see my art practice extending out of just making objects, as creating experiences for people, and I work slowly on my paintings which have yet to be exhibited in their entirety. I think knowing that this is a long term plan, it slows down time a bit and makes deadlines less daunting. Even though I work constantly and make moves on the curating, gallery, and artist tracks separately, each opportunity naturally leads to more takeaways for the other tracks.

How do you wish to make a socially conscious impact on the art world with the artists that you showcase?
Well the socially conscious part of our mission statement is the need I saw in the art world for an alternative gallery model, and getting rid of brick and mortar expectations. Naturally what comes with that are artists who agree with that mission, and they inherently have intentions of their own that vary to each studio practice on designs of dissent, telling their stories that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to hear or relate to, teaching new ways of thinking, or working with their community to create a more equal environment.

What do you find most rewarding about the curation process?
Seeing all the interconnected ways a theme can extend to so many different types of art and artist statements. When I choose a theme to curate the works around, it’s always based on at first just how I’m feeling about the overall mood of the environment and time the show is going up in… what’s going on in the world around us.. what’s dancing around in our heads.. and every time the artists or I can make a very strong connection to a recent work if it wasn’t made specifically for the show.

What are some of the challenges that you face?
Getting some push back from organizations that require you to have a permanent space to participate in their events. I think this is changing though because of COVID restrictions and so many already well known galleries moving everything to online like we were before. Art Basel just opened up their applications saying they will temporarily get rid of the requirement for the gallery to have a permanent space, “provided they continue to stage their exhibitions”, which is exactly what we’ve been doing for over two years.

Do you have any specific do’s and don’ts for artists looking to submit their work to you?
DO: Follow the gallery, get to know our program and what we’re about before sending your materials, then send your CV and artwork images with your conceptual writing that backs it up, invite me to a studio visit

DON’T: Send a generic email asking if I want to see your images, or images without any explanation or how it would fit into the program, or tag me in your posts on Instagram without having established any prior relationship.

Do you have future plans for Superposition Gallery beyond what it is today?
I have my eyes on international fairs and pop ups.