“Critic, mother and muse to many”, Valerie Mallory was also a gallery owner, founding her eponymous art space in New York, 1978. The following year, the art maven was shipped out of the US and the deported curator’s gallery was no more. Until now, that is – her son Viktor taking the power back, with the now homeless gallery hosting its first group show in Tokyo. Now, whether you buy that tall tale or not, what we can be sure of is that Mr Mallory has assembled an eclectic array of artists that are so up our proverbial street they practically keep us awake at night; their collective imaginations running naked from house to house like a gaggle of mental patients whose antipsychotic tablets have run dry.
Take Jay Griffin for example, his series of nude self-portraits particularly captivating, largely due to his medial condition: invisibility. LA-based performance artist Anne Margolis may be a newcomer to the art world, but fellow represented artist Danny Sangra documents her travelling on a Russian gazillionaire’s private jet, whilst relatively normal photographers Louise Ingalls Sturges and Andrew De Francesco capture mundanity with grace and whimsical beauty. UK-based visual artist Chrissie Abbott, with clients like The New York Times and Urban Outfitters, has a more traditional background, although the retina-bashing psychedelia of her output keeps her firmly in the kooky-camp with the rest of Mallory’s artistic rogues.
Barmy, beautiful, and often batshit bonkers; The Valerie Mallory Gallery is less gallery, more housing unit for artists unafraid to conform. Their debut group show runs until 24th February at Tokyo’s Common Gallery, if you can’t catch that, we’re sure you’ll be seeing more of these waifish creatives soon enough.