Mighty alternative art magazine, Juxtapoz, releases their surprising list of top galleries and museums.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Four days ago, Seaside's Alternative Cafe and Gallery director Maya Freedman received a Facebook status update linking to the blog of a friend at White Walls Gallery in San Francisco, proclaiming that gallery's inclusion, at number 8, on a just-released list of the "Top 100 Galleries/Museums" compiled by the formidable underground and alternative art magazine, Juxtapoz.
Founded by a group of artists and collectors to subvert the confines of the New York art establishment, and to celebrate West Coast (particularly California) sub-cultures such as hot rods, graffiti, comics and psychedelia, it's rumored to have achieved the highest circulation among U.S. art magazines. Its influence in underground and youth culture is undisputed.
So Freedman, wondering, searched Juxtapoz Magazine's online list for Alternative Cafe—and found it made the list. At number 100. The caption reads: "This sleepy beachside town gets a regular jolt of great shows and screenings. There’s definitely another reason to head down to Monterey besides golf and aquarium viewing."
They landed on a fortuitous number: When a visitor clicks on the list, it begins at number 100. From there, they can browse and jump around to see the standings of other galleries from at least seven countries that made the list. They include San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (99) and Shooting Gallery (9), Weapons of Choice Gallery in Bristol, England (93), Jonathan Levin Gallery in New York (3), MOCA in Shanghai, China (40).
The methodology and criteria the magazine uses is unclear. The Louvre in Paris (21) falls shy of deYoung Museum in San Francisco (19) or a little spot in London called Stolen Space (11).
Freedman speculates that the editors used subjective means to construct the list, perhaps personal experience or the gallery's fidelity to their brand of underground art (readers can vote up or down on the magazine's choices, and a running tally of their votes for the top five and bottom five are shown). And though she notes that Alternative Cafe has advertised in Juxtapoz, others on the list have not.
A diverse cross section of galleries from around the world are included—three London galleries occupy the top 20, a Brazil museum is 22, a Hong Kong outdoor art space is 93—but San Francisco galleries, where Juxtapoz is based, occupy the majority of the front end of the list, with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, aka MOMA, occupying the number one spot. New York's Guggenheim—number two.
But it's still a meaningful, high-caliber list to reside on, says Freedman. "It's kick ass."