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Entries in Cowboystories (2)

Friday
Jun232017

heliumcowboy: About fairs and friendship

This year is a special year for us: the heliumcowboy artspace turns 15. On July 15 we will open the big anniversary exhibition COWBOYLAND featuring 55 international artists (more info / facebook event).

From time to time heliumcowboy-founder Jörg Heikhaus will share a picture and some memories here on our website and on facebook. Enjoy!

Arturo Sandoval from Friends With You with Jörg Heikhaus at the heliumcowboy booth at the SCOPE art fair in Miami 2006"For me, dealing with art has always been about trusting human relationships and friendship. So here’s a throwback to 2006, our first art fair with heliumcowboy in Miami. The beautiful person I am hugging in this picture is Tury (Arturo) Sandovall III from famous American Art-Duo “Friends With You”. Sam Borkson (the other half) and Tury lived in Miami back then and had this fantastic beach-parade with helium-filled floating sculptures that made the cover of the New York Times. 

Our rookie-appearance at the SCOPE art fair was equally successful: not fully aware of what we were getting ourselves into, we experienced a crazy adventure in a global art market scene we hadn’t reached before, connecting to exciting celebrity and profitable business contacts, visiting weird parties, swimming in the mornings and skinny-dipping in the ocean at midnight, cashing in incredible sales and making a lot of new friends. 

Miami was the first of round about 20 fairs we’ve shown at. It was a very important step towards delivering to an international art market and getting recognition for heliumcowboy and our artists abroad. But the most wonderful memories to our ventures into these markets are always connected to people and the good times we had together in Miami, Basel, New York, Cologne, Berlin, Barcelona, and so on. 

Sure, I have worked with my fair (yet very small) share of assholes too, and I am aware that I have estranged some people as well and have cut ties with a few people along the way - that is unavoidable in this business. But at heliumcowboy I have always tried my best to build relationships that are fair, loyal and based on trust and friendship, no matter if you are an artist, a collector or fellow gallerist. 

A no-bullshit policy is most valuable in a high-ego business such as the art maket, and when I look at a picture such as this one from Miami 2006, I know that this approach was the right one for me.

To friendship!

 

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Make sure to come and celebrate with us at the exhibition COWBOYLAND - the first 15 years of the heliumcowboy artspace, opening July 15 - you can subscribe to the facebook event here

Monday
Jun192017

heliumcowboy: The Beginnings.

This year is a special year for us: the heliumcowboy artspace turns 15. On July 15 we will open the big anniversary exhibition COWBOYLAND featuring 55 international artists (more info / facebook event).

From time to time heliumcowboy-founder Jörg Heikhaus will share a picture and some memories here on our website and on facebook. This is his first story - about the very early days in the first gallery location in Sternstraße 4 in Hamburg-St. Pauli.

Jörg Heikhaus, founder of the heliumcowboy artspace, in the first gallery in Hamburg 2002

"Throwback to … 15 years ago: This is the first portrait of me taken at the brand new heliumcowboy artspace in Sterntraße 4 in Hamburg. 

Behind me are some good ol’ stupid oil(!)paintings I did back then. I rented that place as a workshop for me as an artist, but once I’ve moved in I immediately decided that though it was a really great studio, it was at least equally perfect for making exhibitions. 

And that’s what I wanted to do now: create my own art AND make shows with other artists in the same place! I started out by inviting friends to exhibit there, but quickly moved on to finding exciting, upcoming national and international artists and brought them to my little gallery space in Hamburg St. Pauli. 

However … doing my own art became more and more difficult now. Running a gallery is very time-consuming and requires a lot of energy and passion. But look on the bright side: the progress and success of heliumcowboy may have driven my personal art out of the artspace, but eventually led to the “birth” of Alex Diamond in 2004. Well, but that is a different story that shall be told at another time …  "    

 

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Make sure to come and celebrate with us at the exhibition COWBOYLAND - the first 15 years of the heliumcowboy artspace, opening July 15 - you can subscribe to the facebook event here