In an interview with Colin Snapp - an American artist his studio space in Greenpoint NY

Colin Snapp: Did you find your way over?

Petra Zechmeister : Sure, it was just a quick ride over from Williamsburg. The area is very industrial, and I noticed that the building was a former furniture shop.
Daniel (Daniel Turner) and I had a residency in Manhattan in the financial district and that space had a roll up door and concrete floors, and so ever since that time period we sort of realized we need a roll up door and concrete floors. In terms of what we were interested in making, it gives you the freedom. So that was the initial thing which brought us to this neighborhood.
And we were acutally riding our bikes by here and we saw this furniture building shop and we came and we just asked what the space was. We came in shortly and we asked him for an agreement to section off part of the shop to house our studio. I think about six months we had our studio here, then the landlord realized he could make more off renting to artists than furniture building. And now there are six or seven studios in the same area.

It's seems all young artists in the city move to Bushwick or Greenpoint. What´s so special about them?
Especially in neighborhoods like Greenpoint and Bushwick there are so many artist studios and they are close together, but within that small space there is so much diversity. I think that´s what keeps things interesting really. I mean this building is full of artists and everyone is working in entirely different ways and has a different approach, and it always surprises people who come over to studio visits, how diverse the practices are within such a close proximity.

Your studio simply consists of four plain white walls, a desk, and two black office chairs. Is that all you need?
So much of our work now is really quite conceptual and I think a lot of things we do are outside the studio to be honest - a lot we use the space for is just conversation and dialogue.

Are you looking forward to Vienna?
I think it will be a lot of work.

What will you bring on the plane?
Just one pair of clothes and some editing software and maybe some disposible cameras. I am an extremly light traveller.

Do you know anything about the Austrian art scene?
I am getting more familiar with it, I know about Kippenberger or some people from that time period. But I do actually, weirdly enough. All of our friends in NY do know people from Vienna who lived in NY for a while, musicans and visual artists.

Would you agree that New York is the center of the art world?

I think NY has always been the center of the art world. The way I see it, and people could disagree with me.

Which meaning has New York for your work?
Intellectually it inspires me but in terms of production and in actually making work that doesn´t happen in NY at all I am not interested in the landscape here. I am interested in the relationship it can have with other places in contrast, but NY alone has never inspired me artistically in terms the way it looks.

Have you ever been to Eastern European countries?

No not too much, I think probably before going to Vienna, Berlin was the furthest East. But its a region I would like to explore more - definitely and I think I will at some point in the future, for sure. I would love to go to Turkey or Georgia or even further, Poland and Russia is interesting too.

Will you have time to visit the fair?
I’d like to make time to see it and I am interested to see the difference to Art Basel. I know VIENNAFAIR is focused on Turkey and that interests me because I am pretty familiar with the Art Basel gallery demographic. This could be a nice opportunity to see something different. I´m excited to see it. I definitly check it out. But I am sure I am quite busy all the time.

Author: Petra Zechmeister
Year: 09/ 2012
Client: Viennafair