New NYC Art Space, Storage APT, Opens with Photography Exhibition, ‘American Ecstasy’

Arts & Celebrities

Storage Tribeca director, Onyedika Chuke, is launching a new project space, Storage APT, opening on Valentine’s Day with a solo exhibition of Barbara Nitke’s photography series, American Ecstasy.

Chuke conceived of Storage APT (Art Presentation Template) as a “deeply intimate, lesser commercial setting” and is running the space out of his own Bowery apartment. While apartment galleries have a long history in urban centers, Chuke notes that, for him, “it’s a matter of creating a space that lets people get closest to the work and fosters community.”

Chuke views Storage APT as a live/work experiment and plans to host artist talks, dinners, and experimental projects out of the space. He is also intrigued by the inherent vulnerability in this venture. “I’m making myself vulnerable by letting the public into my apartment…viewers are also making themselves vulnerable…but there’s an intimacy, a warmth, a quality of light that you won’t find in a traditional gallery space.”

Chuke is opening Storage APT with a solo exhibition of Barbara Nitke’s series, American Ecstasy—a provocative retrospective of photographs taken by Nitke (b. 1950) while she was working as a photographer on adult film sets in New York City in the 1980s.

Chuke explains that his discovery of Nitke’s work happened quite by accident and feels there is a sort of serendipitous magic in opening his apartment art space with this exhibition. “I discovered Barbara’s work after returning my rental truck when I moved to this apartment…I was walking down 23rd Street and saw a pop-up exhibition. I was immediately intrigued and had to learn more…I realized her work—which was largely shot on sets in New York City apartments, was perfect for my vision of Storage APT.”

The exhibition explore Nitke’s color photographs of adult film actors on set between 1982 and 1991 and “reveals the elegant and spiritual connections between [adult film] actors.”

Intimate, raw, and at times silly, Chute was drawn to the power of Nitke’s female gaze in a male-dominated industry. “It was important to me to show Nitke’s work in a way that allows viewers to get close to her subjects…there’s an element of voyeurism but I love that she is taking back the male gaze.” Chute is also interested in the retro nature of the work, noting that Nitke is now in her 70s, as are many of the featured actors. “They’ve all moved on with their lives,” Chute says, “some of them are grandparents! It really made me think about the art world’s fascination with youth and what it means to age in our society.”

Chute is looking forward to exploring the possibilities of programming at Storage APT. “We’re excited to build community…one night we’re going to serve the food the actors had on set, we’re going to have the actors in for talks—we really want Storage APT to be a space to learn and explore. It’s counter-market and it’s niche, but that’s all very attractive to me.”

American Ecstasy opens at Storage APT February 14th from 5-8pm. RSVP Only.

Please contact [email protected] or DM Storage Archive for more information.


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