Interview with Salon Ciel Producer David Rheingold

David Rheingold on Salon Ciel, write-up by Samantha Olivieri

Trying to make one’s way into the New York art scene can be a tough gig. Few students and emerging artists are prepared for the expectations that can be required of them when trying to make a name via visual expressive media. David Rheingold knows first hand how difficult it can be for an artist to gain recognition in the Big Apple and that may be one of the reasons he and Co-producer Andy Stromberg decided to create Salon Ciel Gallery. Rheingold and Stromberg have been actively involved in the art world for over 15 years, both bonding through photography and a love for discussion of art. Working personally with digital media, the duo has explored everything from conceptual photography to landscapes and New York street photography.

After pursuing places in the city to show artwork, Rheingold realized what he liked and what he disliked about galleries, and in October of 2007, the idea for Salon Ciel began to flourish. Rheingold explains that “there’s a big difference between creating art and promoting art. Young artists may not understand the various levels of self-promotion and may become discouraged too quickly; Salon makes amazing efforts in introducing these artists to the specifics of self-promotion as well as creating an introduction to galleries and to other artists.” Essentially, Salon Ciel is not focused or motivated by money which in turn gives the crew more time and desire to explore the actual relationships with artists and their art.

In a like manner, the dynamic that Rheingold and Stromberg have created is more organic. Rheingold uses any means possible to meet with new gallery owners and to look for places to branch out. Currently, Salon Ciel works with four locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn and they are consistently building relationships within the art community to help artists find places to showcase their work. Rheingold furthers, “A lot of our developments happen with a sort of spontaneous good luck. We’re open-minded to any new ideas, we’ve tried some that have failed and some that have worked well, but it’s all about trying new things. When a project works, we go back to it and try to elaborate on it.” For example, Salon Ciel is working on a Juried show in the spring and Rheingold is excited for that new idea and experience to come to fruition. “We are happy to get a lot of our help from Amy Pivak and Lyndsey Beutin who were added to the Salon Ciel operation shortly after the launch. Later, we added Alison Pierz, and yearly we bring on a rotating set of interns who are looking to become actively involved in the New York art scene” says Rheingold. Salon Ciel seems to be constantly working to find new ways to elaborate and make changes to the way artists interact with contemporary art galleries. Known for making personal visits to artists’ studios to see the individuality of how such work is created, Rheingold and Stromberg want to get to know their artists better so that they can help them get involved with other shows and provide some networking.

For those interested in learning more about the operations of Salon Ciel, David Rheingold and Andy Stromberg keep their doors and options open for new and emerging artists and for established artists alike. They have been giving back to the community and setting trends that break the standard norm for the gallery scene. To check out an exhibition at one of the Salon Ciel locations, or for artists interested in exhibiting, check out the Salon website at www.saloncielny.org. David Rheingold also welcomes visitors to see his photography at www.davidrheingold.com and at www.flickr.com/photos/gotham22/sets/.

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