Right: The Gallery at Hermès, which gets natural light through
the skylight. Below: An image of talc mines in Montana from
the 2009 exhibition “Victoria Sambunaris: Terra Firma.”
photographer named Jerry Thompson whose work I
did not know. I tracked him down and we ended up doing a show together.
PDN: Do you typically do exhibits on a photogra-
pher’s career, or are you looking at a single body
CJ: I typically look for single bodies of work, as we do
not have the space to properly exhibit a photographer’s career. I also love a good two-man show.
PDN: Your gallery is an unusual space in terms of
size and shape. Does the layout present any chal-
lenges to you as a curator?
CJ: The space is on the top floor of a four-story building.
It is a cube, but with a few caveats: there is a circular, center staircase, a large circular skylight and some support
columns. These features might be distracting, but I also
see their value. The natural light is beautiful. I love that
you can still stand any where and take in the entire show.
PDN: Do the photographers you’ve exhibited also
have gallery representation elsewhere?
CJ: Some do have representation and some don’t. They
might have a gallery abroad, but not in New York City.
My experience with galleries has been very positive.
It’s all about supporting the artists, so they see it as a
Cory Jacobs says the gallery shows artists who
“share the same core values as the house of Hermès:
a dedication to and love of their craft.”
great opportunity and simply another venue to show
and sell the work.
PDN: Would you encourage photographers to
think more expansively about the kind of venues
where they might exhibit their work?
CJ: Certainly. Even though certain things are harder in
our current economy, there are still many foundations
doing great work. Then there is the ever-present pop-up gallery. And I honestly feel that getting your work
picked up and “exhibited” by some of the great photography blogs out there now can have a huge impact.
in touch to set up a studio visit.
PDN: Is there anything you wish photographers
understood better about how to contact—or how
not to contact—a curator like you?
© victoria samburnaris/courtesy of yancey richardson gallery
CJ: I think most photographers are pretty up to speed
with the best way to be in touch now: an e-mail with a
link to images and an artist’s statement. If at that
point, the work seems like a good fit, the curator will be
Gallery at Hermès
691 Madison Avenue, Fourth Floor
New York, NY 10021