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Monday, December 22, 2008

Speakeasy with Rabbit Hole Gallery's Bethany Marchman

click to enlarge NEW WORLD ORDER: "Judge Knot" by KRK Ryden
  • NEW WORLD ORDER: "Judge Knot" by KRK Ryden

Rabbit Hole Gallery’s 2006 opening for Tyson McAdoo featured go-go dancers, a live DJ and half of the nation’s PBR reserves. The festivities were a fitting launch for the underground space, which has featured a consistent set of pop surrealist, low brow and comics-influenced work by artists from Atlanta and elsewhere. Proprietor Bethany Marchman and business manager Joe Cruz will be closing  the space at the end of the year. Marchman took the opportunity to look back at both the agony and the ecstasy.

Tell us about the current work that you have at the gallery right now.

Right now at the gallery, we have the KRK Ryden solo show. It’s called Globoid Fun, and that’s original paintings by KRK Ryden. Got a few prints available, too. They’re pretty colorful, kind of pop. He’s from California.

Why did you originally open the gallery?

I just wanted a venue for some of this underground art. At the time there weren’t too many options; there seem to be a lot more now, though, which is a great thing.

Why are you closing the space now?

I’ve been busy with my artwork and getting married, got a house, that sort of thing. Also, it’s been a hard economy. Atlanta’s always been tough for this kind of artwork. But with the economy the way it is makes it that much harder to maintain.

Why do you think Atlanta is a hard market for that kind of artwork?

I’m not sure. Maybe because there isn’t more of an underground art scene and it’s not so mainstream, so the people that are really into it, when they buy a piece of art, they want it really bad and they have to make sacrifices for it. It’s not really the kind of art that appeals to this more ... How should I say this? ... higher end.

What are some highlights from the last couple of years?

The opening was a blast. There was a really big turnout, really a big celebration, very optimistic, very exhausting. ... Every show has been a such a different adventure. I’ve had a few guest curators, so there’s been some definite variety there. It’s hard to pin down specific moments because each show had its really fun, exciting points.

What have been your least favorite moments during that time?

I had an artist cancel on me a week before the show. That was early on. It’s very frustrating. He had some manager, and I never really got to talk to the artist directly. [He] was kind of full of this rock star stuff, which was frustrating, but you just move on from it.

What do you think is next for Atlanta in the underground art scene?

I would like for Atlanta to get a bit more attention nationally. I think that would really help with the morale for a lot of the local Atlanta artists. I hope people don’t give up on Atlanta. I know it can be really frustrating. I guess anything to do with any creative endeavor can be very frustrating. I just hope people keep trying to put on art shows, bring other people to Atlanta, so that Atlanta can be exposed to their work in person and vice versa, keep supporting our local artists, too.

(Photo by KRK Ryden)

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