Located in the heart of the Lower East Side, Objectify-139 is an art shop with a very meaningful purpose: to showcase local artists at affordable prices. It's assortment of posters, scarves, bags, t-shirts, wax Statue of Liberty's and the like- all define Objectify. It's a neighborhood shop, where people hang out and support their friends. We chatted with it's owner, Maria Candanoza, about it's inception and the goals it's set out to achieve. Objectify is currently celebrating it's 1-year anniversary so be sure to stop in at 139 Essex St. for fun times and cool art.
DAUGHTER RUNS: What inspired you to create such a space?
MARIA: I went to art school in the city and I lived here for six years I think. I had a lot of friends that were artists, but emerging or new artists and they all had studios and produced a lot of work but no one ever got to see it because no one was showing yet or if they did, it was very sporadically. So I wanted to create a space that supported local, emerging artists with affordable prices so that people could actually buy their work. There are a lot of bookstores in the city but I feel like they're all very big and overwhelming, like there’s a lot of stuff and you can't really take it all in, which is why I wanted to create a book section that was more curated and smaller so people could actually see everything.
DAUGHTER RUNS: How do you curate the work that goes in the shop? How do you choose which artists to showcase?
MARIA: I started off with a group of people that I knew and made a business plan, then sent it to all my friends and asked them if they knew more people. So I started doing studio visits to see who was interested in showing and what made sense with what. I also do ask people to curate the book section, like last week we had an event where I asked India Menuez and Claire Christerson to curate a book section so that way, I get new people into the store that I wouldn't normally know. That's also the idea with the events that we have, like the book releases and the window installations and all of that, I try to do it with different groups of people so that new people get to see the store.
DAUGHTER RUNS: Do you think the community of the Lower East Side has helped shape the store?
MARIA: I picked the location because this is where I met most of the people that are in the store and this is where we normally hang out so I guess it's like a direct relationship to that.
DAUGHTER RUNS: Where do you see Objectify going in the future? Do you have plans to grow it into something larger?
MARIA: When I first opened it, I thought that it would maybe like translate into some sort of publication but we have enough going on as it is. I think that I just want to continue to do the events, maybe even more often. Like this month we’re having two events and stuff like that. We also published a book, June by Chad Moore, and I really liked that. I like bookmaking in general, that was a big thing when I opened the store so maybe doing that. We’re also planning to put out a planner that's a catalogue of 52 artists, one for each week for next year. So maybe doing more things like that. We do produce a lot of the stuff that's in the store like the posters and the postcards and everything like that, so hopefully we can continue to do that with more artists in the future.