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June 2012 | Limited Edition of 250


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Publisher: V Souvannasane Editor: Robert P. Stack Art Director: Marcel McVay Advertising Executive: Jennifer Young COLLECT is a monthly limited edition magazine published by Yellow Peril Gallery to promote art and design for the curated lifestyle. COLLECT highlights the current exhibition at the Gallery and provides artists with a unique platform to share not only their work, but also the people, places and things that have shaped their world. COLLECT Yellow Peril Gallery 60 Valley Street #5 Providence, RI 02909 +1.401.861.1535


LOVE AND EQUALITY / 02 MEET NATALIE GRUPPUSO / 04 KIM & BETSEY / 08 WHY WE COLLECT / 10 VOTE FOR PROVIDENCE ARTIST! / 12 GREGORY & ANDY / 14 FRIEZE IS COLD... THE NIGHT IS YOUNG / 16 MARRIAGE EQUALITY RI (MERI) / 19 EVERYTHING IS FOR SALE / 21 To advertise in COLLECT , please contact Jennifer Young at COVER: Chris and Brenda, Brooklyn, NY, by Natalie Gruppuso

Rodrigo Nava

NEXT: EXPANSIONIST ART Our July 2012 issue will feature VISIBLE FORCE, a series of explosive-formed sculptures investigating the nature of process and the materiality of steel by Rodrigo Nava. We’ll feature an inteview with Rodrigo about how he creates the steel sculptures and gain insight into his dual life as Head of Sculpture at The Putney School in Vermont and designer in New York City. COLLECT is available at Yellow Peril Gallery and other fine establishments in Providence, Newport and New York. Read COLLECT magazine online:

June 2012


Marriage Equality is at its core a legislative issue, but behind all the politics and abstract ideology, there are people. Everyday people. Living their lives openly and honestly. This is exactly what Natalie Gruppuso reminds us of with LOVE AND EQUALITY, her documentary series of photographs of same-sex marriage. Family portraits, negotiating that fine line between formality and intimacy, provide a semi-public record of the lives lived and relationships forged. Gruppuso doesn’t catalogue statistics by race, politics or class; instead, she documents families at home, surrounded by their familiar objects, providing the faces behind the policies. Portraits in LOVE AND EQUALITY include nuclear and extended families from all across New England (including a dozen from Rhode Island) and New York who have taken the vow of marriage since May 17, 2004, when then Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts ordered town clerks to issue marriage licenses to samesex couples as per the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which declared the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. “These portraits show same-sex couples living their lives just as opposite-sex couples do, in their own homes with their children and pets,” says Gruppuso. “The families in these photos allowed me to go into their homes and reveal their worlds.” Out of state nuptials weren’t a legal option until July 31, 2008, when Governor Deval Patrick signed an act repealing a 1913 law that prohibits non-residents from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would be void in their home state. On Monday, May 14, 2012, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed an Executive Order directing departments and agencies to recognize the marriages of Rhode Island’s same-sex couples. Just a few days prior to this, Senator Reed promised to support same-sex marriage and co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act. “My hope is that getting to know these couples through these intimate portraits will illustrate that same-sex marriage poses no threat to traditional marriage and that marriage equality is a right worth fighting for,” says Gruppuso. - Robert P. Stack, Editor, COLLECT / Curator, YELLOW PERIL GALLERY 02



Deb and Annie with Aminata and Zeno, Providence, RI, Natalie Gruppuso

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Yellow Peril Gallery sincerely thanks the following local businesses for their generous support of LOVE AND EQUALITY.

Natalie Grupposo would like to acknowledge the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to LOVE AND EQUALITY: All Couples in the Project Robert and Van at Yellow Peril Gallery My husband, Ryan Vernon My parents, Martha Manno and Phil Gruppuso Kickstarter Supporters GET Magazine If your business would like to sponsor an upcoming exhibition at Yellow Peril Gallery, please contact us via e-mail:

June 2012


MEET NATALIE GRUPPUSO Robert P. Stack, Curator, Yellow Peril Gallery Born in Providence, Natalie Gruppuso was raised in nearby Seekonk, Massachusetts, before receiving her BFA in photography from Parsons School of Design in 2003. In 2011, Natalie was awarded a fellowship at the Camera Club of New York. Natalie currently lives in New York City with her husband. Yellow Peril Gallery’s Curator Robert Stack had a chance to sit down with Natalie and ask the questions that are on everyone’s mind. What inspired you to begin the LOVE AND EQUALITY series? In 2005, I photographed my parents’ neighbors Elizabeth and Jackie, whom I have known for most of my life. I always loved the peaceful garden they’d created and thought it would be a beautiful setting for a portrait of them. About a year later, the idea of making a series of portraits of same-sex couples married in Massachusetts just came to me. I have always preferred to shoot environmental portraits, meaning that I photograph people in their own spaces, because the things people choose to surround themselves with say something about them. Gay rights were always important to me and I wanted to photograph couples that had taken advantage of the right of legal marriage in Massachusetts. The photographs would show that they were just like any other couples and that everyone deserves the right to marry the person they love. At the beginning of the project, Massachusetts was the only state in the US with legal same-sex marriage.




Danielle and Anna with Ada, Northampton, MA, Natalie Gruppuso

Over the four years I photographed couples for this project, five other states (Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont) and Washington D.C. also legalized same-sex marriage. How did events regarding marriage equality affect, if at all, your own personal marriage plans (à la Branjelina)? My husband and I were together for six years before he proposed. At first, I thought, “Should I get married if not everyone has the right to get married?” But then I realized that I was one of the lucky ones (wanting to marry a person of the opposite sex) and that I was fortunate to have the right to marry the man I love. We will celebrate our third anniversary this August. What’s next for Natalie Gruppuso? While I produced a postcard book for this show, I will also be pursuing publishers for this body of work. I’m in the beginning stages of planning a new portrait series, so I’m not ready to reveal who my subjects will be, but I can say that it will be somewhat related to this project! I have also been photographing my identical twin sister and myself and hope to get back into the studio this fall. Natalie is the second artist featured in COLLECT ART, Yellow Peril Gallery’s Emerging Artists Series introducing solo exhibitions from fresh new talent to the global art market. LOVE AND EQUALITY is on display at Yellow Peril Gallery from June 14 through July 15, 2012. June 2012


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KIM & BETSEY In Their Own Words (Excerpt from LOVE AND EQUALITY)

Kim and Betsey, Warwick, RI, Natalie Gruppuso

“We met in church, at Beneficent Congregational Church on Weybosset Street in Providence. Betsy was preaching that day. I grew up in the Catholic Church, so I had never seen a woman ‘preacher.’ Awesome, I thought. Little did I know how awesome it would turn out to be. We have been together since 2004. Married in our church in 2005. And legally married in MA since 2006.” Our church wedding was a big deal to everyone in our lives. It was beautiful and wonderful, and we still feel that being married in our church in front of all our community was our “wedding.” But being able to also be legally married has given us an opportunity to talk about being married on par with anyone else. We hold our heads up just that much higher. We refer to each other as spouse. What does marriage mean to you? Betsy and I love being a couple, but we mostly loved declaring our love and making a committment with all our loved ones present. Marriage for us is the way we support each other’s life journey as individuals and the way that we manifest our love for each other as a couple. When you marry later in life, you both come with “stuff” — emotional baggage, expartners, pets. Betsy inherited a very noisy, constantly snuffling Pug, now over 15 years old. Bless her heart for tolerating the snoring pair of us. 08



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WHY WE COLLECT: OBJETS D’AR Anh Vu and Philip Sawyer, Philip Sawyer Designs, Providence / Newport, RI Philip Sawyer Designs was founded on the philosophy that “clothes are art, a harmony of beauty, practicality and sustainability.” Anh Vu and Philip Sawyer share with COLLECT how they came up with this particular way of thinking about clothing and why they collect objets d’art. While still in college, and after returning from Europe, Philip was becoming very bored with sculpture, and simultaneously found he was very interested in clothing — and frustrated by what was available. “Clothing combines adding structure back to something fluid (fabric) to create a quite practical object (clothing) that should also hopefully flatter the wearer and reflect their own sense of style, and have innate beauty and interest, yet without drawing undue attention to itself (a bit of a tailor’s credo),” he says. About that time Philip also met Anh, who has always had a very keen eye for interesting clothing, and who adds a more offbeat feel to their work. This has been combined over the years with his more classic style, which Philip inherited from his mother and grandmother. “Our desire to create items which can be handed down to our children and grandchildren, has, over time, also incorporated a more conscious and specific sense of ecological responsibility to the world around us,” Anh highlights. “This also reflects our understanding of the practical nature of clothing and our responsibility to our customer.” What do you collect as a couple and individually? Are there ever any conflicts about what to collect next? Philip collects interesting and esoteric books and pens. Anh, shoes, children’s books, artwork from friends, and interesting/inspiring pieces of clothing. And people! Together, we collect objets d’art, and people we buy from generally become our friends. We’re always trying to pare back our stuff, so there’s not usually any 10



RT conflict. And we pretty much share the same taste in art — often, one of us has said to the other, sometimes with a little bit of anxiety or embarrassment, that we’d really like to acquire a particular friend’s work, and the other has replied, “I was just thinking exactly the same thing!” Based on your experience as collectors, what is the biggest challenge with acquiring new works? Where to put them... We have finally been able to figure out, after 25 years, how to exhibit a 5’x7’ pastel given to us by a good friend, which we would periodically unroll on the floor and moon over, but had nowhere to put or ideas for how to mount and hang. What does a particular object need to possess in order for you to say, “I have to have it now!”? In a way, there is no “I have to have it now!” — budget, you know LOL — but a piece has to clearly speak to us, and like the dog at the pound, look at you and say, “I like you and really want you Anh Vu and Philip Sawyer, Collectors of Objets d’Art to have me.” Our collecting is quite eclectic, so perhaps the thread running through all we have is that they are like our children and embody something about the both of us — each one unique, and loved for itself as itself, and not for how it fits into some grand scheme of things. Do you have anything you would like to share with new artists in search of collectors like you? Know who you are, and do what you believe in, what comes from your soul. And have a passion to give something back to the world. Only then will what is created with your hands also embody what is in your heart as it is worked out with your mind. And it will connect with others, because of your own humanity and connectedness with the world around you. That last is important, though not something to obsess over. Our gift of creativity comes from the same place, and will resonate with others when we are real and transparent ourselves. June 2012


VOTE FOR PROVIDENCE ARTIST! Jennifer Young, Gallery Assistant, Yellow Peril Gallery

If you are a Providence local, you have probably seen a “WEST FOR ARTIST” sticker or poster somewhere around town. Tom West is inundating our city with propaganda to be elected as Providence’s next Artist. He is calling on other artists to join in on the fun and run against him. Do you get it? Spearheading the Providence Artist 2012 Campaigns, Tom West, along with up to 20 other local artists, will compete, debate, and smear campaign against one another to be elected Artist by the people of Providence. “Their approach will mimic that of the average campaigning politician, but focusing on creativity, ingenuity and a dose of subversion,” declares Tom, who has created a satirical game of shameless self-promotion — and a clever way to stimulate the Creative Capitol by bringing its artists out of hiding. In each subsequent issue of COLLECT, we will update you on the whereabouts of debate events as well as feature one of the Artists-in-running. This month we are pleased to present the ideals and values of the first candidate for Artist: Tom West.





What is your campaign slogan and why should we care? “DO STUFF” because it is the opposite of being lazy. We live in a world where you LIKE something by pushing a button instead of getting out there and doing stuff. A world where people spend their days of unemployment playing video games while passing up a real opportunity to chase the American dream (DOING something they like and turning it into a career based on passion). DO STUFF is the answer to depression, health, boredom, getting into trouble (in my case). Get up and DO STUFF and the rest will take care of itself. Throw away your television and limit yourself on the internet. Find a passion. Help a neighbor. DO STUFF. ‘nuff said. What bothers you about the Providence Art scene, and why did you choose to live and make art here? Right now it is the Recession. I’m finding it really hard to find people with expendable income to purchase my IN YOUR FACE art. I feel the folks with that income either don’t gravitate towards my stuff, or no gallery in Providence (with the exception of the newly established Yellow Peril Gallery) has had the balls to tell them that they should. That and the contemporary art scene is saturated with mediocre landscapes and boat dock paintings. Another thing that bothers me is that the first question I get asked at art shows is “Did you go to RISD?” As if that is what really matters to buyers. The moral to the story, again, is to DO STUFF. [continued on page 15]

June 2012


GREGORY & ANDY In Their Own Words (Excerpt from LOVE AND EQUALITY)

Gregory and Andy, Concord, MA, Natalie Gruppuso

“Five of my six siblings attended our marriage, and so did my stepmother who raised me. She was 88 at the time, a staunch Roman Catholic of independent mind, and she said to me, “I can’t say I entirely approved, but I think there are benefits to the society and to your children for you to be married and for your kids to have married parents, and because I think it is sound public policy, I will be there.” Yes, she talks like that.” I have had a friend who has known me for decades say, “I caught a glimpse of your wedding ring while you were turning pages of a speech on the podium, and it filled me with joy to know you were so publicly pleased with your situation that you wear the wedding ring. A ring is a sign of commitment, but also of happiness — for us as well as for you.” What does marriage mean to you? The presence of children (as many common-law married parents have recognized) makes a de facto marriage out of any romance. The reality of marriage however, legal marriage, helps to transfer from the zone of irony or mockery the identification of one’s partner as one’s — well, partner, spouse. In my instance, husband. A person who loves language, I never called any boyfriend a husband, even the man I lived with for eighteen years. But once we were legally married, if the moment arose when it was pertinent to mention Andy and I didn’t want to be unduly coy or private, to have access to the word “husband” for my own use as a way to dignify and explain my domestic situation is unutterably smooth, easy, convenient. And also rewarding. 14



VOTE FOR PROVIDENCE ARTIST! [continued from page 10]

“I live in the city of HOPE. Obama can’t take that from us. Hope is the anchor of the soul. Providence is a wonderful training ground for artist. I really want to be part of that and help shape the mechanism to keep the talent HERE. So the nation comes to us for style.” I chose to live and make art here in Providence because this is my home. I am a Rhode Island native, born and raised. We call ourselves Swamp Yankees (families that have long historical ties to RI). I really enjoy living here. I am invested in making the future brighter for everyone through the arts. I want to see Providence and Rhode Island become the next Artistic hub of the United States and the world.


What inspires you to make art?

The fact that I can make a living of it. Not because I am ego driven. On the contrary, I am spirit driven. The notion of being able to feed and house myself by pursuing a passion and inspiring positive forward thinking around me is the American Dream. The vibe in this town is magical. I love working with creative people. Being creative is like fuel to me. It makes me feel alive. It gets my Art Machine running at full speed. If you were rich and powerful like Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey, what single thing would change about The Creative Capitol? I would collect art here. I have seen more pound-for-pound raw talent here than anywhere in the world. Yes, I have been around the world. And I have lived all over the US. I would then form the highest end gallery / museum showcasing underground heavy-hitting art in hopes it would launch artists (who really deserve and need it) into the cosmos. Basically I would hold to my mantra.....DO STUFF.” Any artist with the “guts” to stand out and make some noise, feel free to contact [Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from COLLECT #3.]



June 2012


FRIEZE IS COLD... Marcel McVay, Manager, Yellow Peril Gallery Approaching the inaugural Frieze NY was something of a journey. Firstly, although the fair is staking its flag in New York in attempt to oust the dominating Armory Show (just weeks after the Armory’s traditional art fair week) — Frieze drastically separated itself from the island of Manhattan. It was a nice break from the bustle of the city but, honestly, it could have been anywhere.

Hans Kotter, Tunnel View and Tunnel View

As I boarded the Ferry at 33rd street and the East River, I couldn’t resist breaking out a digital version of the Village Voice’s article exposing what is clearly a radical mistake on Frieze’s part. The symbolic “biggest freestanding tent ever” refused to co-operate with labor unions and Occupy activists on the heels of May Day, deciding to cut costs by hiring cheap labor with no benefits. This decision left a somewhat rotten taste in my mouth, resisted only by the rocking of the ferry on the quarter-hour charter to Randall’s Island. It’s too bad that organizers couldn’t have crafted a better symbol through better supporting the workers who made the event possible — the iconic nature of the Big Tent as well as the fair’s first footsteps in the States lend a strong symbolic sense to Frieze. Viewing the tent from the ferry and walking under it’s monumental, slotted awning would have been much more satisfying had it been built with a supportive backing. Contradictions aside, the Fair as a whole didn’t venture too far from the ordinary. Overwhelmingly white booths filled the enormous, snake-like structure. But the traditional display has its place, and this was certainly it. The experienced gallerists at Lisson Gallery (London, Milan) put together a spectacularly presented and beautifully curated booth, harnessing a trio of titans; Anish Kapoor, Ai Wei Wei and Haroon Mirza’s works worked together to be at once gargantuan and intimate —Mirza’s sound-based installations filling not only the booth but most of the surrounding tent as well. 16



...BUT THE NIGHT IS YOUNG The highlight for me, though, was a booth exhibiting innovative installation; a young gallery displaying an inspiring solo project: Squeezed in along one of the horizontal cross-roads of the tent-snake, Night Gallery (Los Angeles) caught my eye before I could continue on my first-impression fly-through in the Big Tent. The half-drawn venetian blinds hung across the entire entrance of this stand created a visual distraction and pull that I experienced nowhere else in the fair.

Samara Golden, Bad Brains, 2012, Frieze Frame New York

The featured installation was what I was hoping to find in NY’s inaugural Frieze fair. As a part of Frieze Frame — a program open to galleries no older than six years – Night is young. It is an up and coming gallery with a chance to play with seasoned vets such as Lisson and many others in Frieze’s normal roster. And it did so boldly. Bringing just one artist with them, Night blew many of the other Frame contenders out of the water. Samara Golden’s BAD BRAINS exhibited what Night Gallery director Davida Nemeroff described as “vulture sculpture” — a crude and visually haphazard installation that incorporated nearly every inch of the provided booth, leaving only enough thickly carpeted floor for a few to stand. The dark and chaotic space created a visceral tension — multiple video screens pointed away from the viewer a [continued on page 18] June 2012


FRIEZE IS COLD...BUT THE NIGHT IS YOUNG [continued from page 17]

and into strategically placed mirrors, only to reveal the video in virtual image; piles of enameled, dark portraits scavenged and presented again on the booth’s walls; a symmetrical set of stairways contrasting the utter asymmetry of the scattered work. The installation was littered with references to “visual regurgitation” —a term used by Night’s gallerists to describe a cyclical process of viewing incorporated by the mirrored videos, the repeated dark portraits, and the stairway centerpiece whose path led up, across and down — only to leave the viewer to visually climb back up the stairs they started with. If Frieze is to contend with the longstanding Armory Show for New York’s premiere art fair, there are two items on my suggested agenda: (1) Frieze should embrace installations with Night Gallery’s vision and unique execution — Frieze Frame is a promising program in this vein. (2) Frieze should certainly render an example for any and all art-world symbols when in this type of all-eyes, public spotlight: provide the workers who make events like this possible with decent wages and benefits.




A portion of the sales from LOVE AND EQUALITY will be donated to Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI) to support its mission to achieve LGBTQI equality through policy change. EQUALITY FOR ALL Marriage Equality Rhode Island is a grassroots organization that works to secure equal marriage rights for all Rhode Island couples, regardless of sexual orientation or identity.

OUR GOAL MERI’s goal is to win access to marriage for all Rhode Island couples. As one of only five states without a so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,” and with open access to marriage just across the border in both Massachusetts and Connecticut, Rhode Island is uniquely poised to be a leader in the marriage equality movement.

OUR SUPPORT This goal is ambitious, yet we have strong plans and strong partnerships with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) and MassEquality, who help us build on their successes in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York to win equal marriage here in Rhode Island. We are the umbrella organization bringing others who support equal marriage together in a well-organized, comprehensive movement.

OUR BELIEF MERI believes that a civil society guarantees to all of its citizens certain civil rights; civil marriage is one of these fundamental rights. Each and every adult in Rhode Island — regardless of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation — deserves the opportunity to attain the legal protections and safeguards gained through civil marriage. For more information about MERI, please visit »

June 2012







60 Valley St #5 | Providence, RI 20




Price List for Works of Art for Sale at LOVE AND EQUALITY

Mark and Andy with Evan and Chris, Needham, MA, Natalie Gruppuso




Digital C-Prints, 12” X 16” (2007 - 2011) Matted Unframed / Framed

$375 / $500

Postcard Book

Exhibition Postcard Book, 4” X 6” (2012)

$20 $15

Digital Postcards Digital Version of Postcard Book (2012) T-Shirt


Hand Screenprint on Cotton, S/M/L/XL (2012)

If you are interested in purchasing any original works of art from LOVE AND EQUALITY, please contact V Souvannasane, Director, Yellow Peril Gallery, via e-mail at or GSM (+1.917.655.1497) to set up an appointment for a private viewing. June 2012


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