Real Artists, Real Humans Amy Granat’s gallery vision comes to life in Parapet Real Humans.
BY EILEEN G’SELL + PHOTOS BY ATTILIO D’AGOSTINO
It’s one of those wet spring mornings in St. Louis, the sky a milky gray and the air so dense you could drink it. Driving through the neighborhood, past the swaying oaks and quiet sidewalks, the prospect of encountering high art around the corner seems as likely as rear-ending a giant beanstalk. And indeed there is something magical about first discovering Parapet Real Humans, an art gallery co-founded in September 2015 by visual artist Amy Granat and her Berlin-based collaborator, Annina Herzer. Seated unassumingly on the leafy corner of Sidney Street and Nebraska Avenue with the original wood of its storefront windows veiled in thick brushstrokes of paint, it could easily be mistaken for a business in
transition or an unconventional residence. As Granat opens the door, she reveals clear green eyes and youthful zest undulled by her decades of art-world experience. Stepping into the space itself is like drifting inside a cloud—the walls and floor a soft white, illuminated by the sun alone. Modest in scale but airy, with an original tin ceiling at least 18 feet high, the room blurs the line between public and domestic. “The idea to do Parapet Real Humans grew very organically from my life,” Granat explains after graciously offering a bottled water. “I had gone through many transitions, and wanted to make my professional life blend with what was happening now—both with being a new mother and being in a different kind of city.”
A St. Louis native who left in the early ’90s to pursue a BA at Bard College, Granat spent the next 20 years in New York and Berlin, swiftly gaining considerable renown for her structuralist-influenced film projections— showing at galleries in Europe, New York, and Los Angeles, but rarely in her place of provenance. Returning to St. Louis in early 2014 to raise her baby, Granat took the move as an opportunity for renewed creative rigor—both personally and in a broader way that engages the community. As an artist of light—her video installations chronicle the sound of light itself—her attunement to its power is evident in Parapet’s design, which has a hushed, homey quality even while resembling the classic whitecube gallery space. VOLUME 15 // ISSUE 4
ALIVE Issue 4 FEATURE Parapet Real Humans Amy.indd 2
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