Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Miss Manhattan Hangs Out...with Andrew Lockhart

If you ask Andrew Lockhart what his title is, he will give you an interesting response.

“First of all, I am an asshole,” he laughs. I laugh, too. “No, really,” he says. “I mean it.” He explains to me how he’ll cancel meetings if it’s raining because umbrellas don’t keep you dry--they don’t keep you dry!--and then you arrive at a meeting all wet and cold and miserable and what’s the point?

I am unconvinced by the umbrella argument, especially since the man has already let me spend the day following him around and taking pictures. And I wonder how you could be an asshole, like really be an asshole, when your job is essentially to work with people all day? And not just people, but finicky people like artists and art collectors and gallery owners.

Andrew Lockhart, I would say, is first and foremost a connector of people. He runs fine art consultancy The Black Swan Projekt and creative consultancy prō jekt′ : nyc, which link artists and creatives to the brands and agencies for which they would be the best fit. Andrew also works as a curator, an art advisor, an event producer and so much more. He has taken all of his past experiences--marketing, PR, event promotion, corporate event planning, brand consulting, and business development among them--and put them to work in the art world. He is currently interested in bringing art out of a gallery setting where it can be more hands-on and experiential.

It makes sense, then, for him to do a studio visit with artist Carolina Falkholt, a Swedish artist, graffiti writer, and musician who is doing a residency in Brooklyn and will soon be doing a mural on the Lower East Side. Andrew walks into her studio and is immediately drawn to her canvases, neon toned and shiny, and a massive paper construction of signing hands. He stands with his arms crossed, a hand leaning on his mouth for a minute before coming up with names of people he wants to connect her to. People who work in jewelry, people who work in billboard advertising, people who would be excited to have her work on their walls. And what’s great is that Andrew will actually connect these people to her and vice versa. I know because he’s already connected me to people he said he would. I’ve noticed this is not something people do a lot, but Andrew almost makes a point of it. “Why would I say I would connect someone and then not do it?” he says. It’s not the kind of person he wants to be.

Later, we walk down Bedford Avenue and head toward sleek, arty Greenpoint workspace A/D/O. An elderly woman, nearly bent in half with scoliosis, asks if he would kindly help her up to her top floor with her groceries and he obliges. “If it were my mom, I would want someone to help her,” he says afterward. I still have trouble believing he’s an asshole.

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