Marina Chao, Higher Pictures Generation

Higher Pictures Generation, Susan Meiselas

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I’m a gallery owner and curator who recently made the switch from the museum world. Before becoming a partner at Higher Pictures Generation, I was an assistant curator at the International Center of Photography and before that I was a curatorial assistant at MoMA.

How long have you been based in DUMBO?

Higher Pictures Generation is a new partnership between Kim Bourus (who ran Higher Pictures from 2007-2020), Janice Guy (who ran Murray Guy from 1999-2017), Stephen Javaras, and I. We have been based in DUMBO since the fall of 2020. We opened our first exhibition that October.

What do you enjoy about being based in DUMBO?

We enjoy so much about being in DUMBO. The location is fantastic (it’s only one subway stop from Manhattan) and there’s a wonderful community of artists, arts organizations, and small businesses in the neighborhood that we feel very fortunate to be a part of.

What makes DUMBO’s art community different from other arts neighborhoods in the city?

I think DUMBO’s commitment to providing artists with studio space, much of it partially subsidized or fully subsidized in the case of the excellent Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, is unique and is the foundation of the art community here. Within a few blocks there are hundreds of studios, multiple specialty booksellers, galleries, arts nonprofits, graphic designers, architects, and more. The concentration and breadth of like-minded artists and professionals here is exciting, inspiring, and such a gift.

What artists are you excited to see at the 2022 DUMBO Open Studios?

I’m especially excited to see Justine Kurland and D’Angelo Lovell Williams. Justine Kurland has been working on an incredibly smart and necessary project, SCUMB Manifesto. She’s cutting up photobooks by white male artists and reauthoring them as feminist collages. D’Angelo Lovell Williams has been using the studio to expand into completely new areas of artmaking. Known best for photographic self-portraits, D’Angelo has also been drawing, weaving, and making video work. Both artists have monographs coming out with MACK books this year, so there will be an opportunity for people to really dig into their work very soon. I’m also excited to see Alexandra Bell and N. Dash. Alexandra Bell has a journalism background and her Counternarratives series critiques implicit and explicit bias in print media, in particular in the New York Times. I’m impressed by her clarity and boldness. N. Dash works across painting, sculpture, and photography with a beautiful sensitivity to natural materials and the translation of bodily action and intention into physical artifact. I can’t wait to see what they’ve been working on.

What else should visitors not miss during their visit to DUMBO Open Studios 2022?

There’s so much to take advantage of in DUMBO, but of course I’d love for Open Studios visitors to come by and see us at Higher Pictures Generation (we’ll be open on Saturday the 23rd from 11am – 6pm). We’re just a short walk away, in the Stable Building at 16 Main Street.