Art should be lived with and experienced every day. Sometimes that involves purchasing original pieces or books, but many people’s daily interactions with art are more mundane, from their choice of computer background to the bookmark in their novel. In an era where the art world takes itself so seriously, and emerging photographers are competing for recognition and accomplishment, one photographer-turned-curator is taking a light-hearted approach to the juried exhibition process with his new project, The Curated Fridge.
The idea came about when Boston-based photographer Yorgos Efthymiadis decorated his refrigerator with an assortment of postcards and promos that he had collected, and posted the photo of his “curated fridge” to Facebook. The response from his online photo community was overwhelmingly positive: “Everyone seemed excited about this small gallery. Some wanted an opening, others loved the group show, I was even offered magnets!” And with that, The Curated Fridge was born.
On a bimonthly basis, a new fridge exhibition is announced and features a wide variety of imagery. Photographers from around the world send in their promotional materials and artwork at a size no larger than 6 x 9” for a guest curator to select. The resulting exhibitions are installed on Efthymiadis’ refrigerator doors and are published on a website and corresponding Facebook page. The inaugural show was held earlier this month and curated by photographer Caleb Cole. Boston’s own Frances Jakubek, Associate Director of the Griffin Museum of Photography, will curate the next exhibition. The concept pokes a little fun at the juried show model with its somewhat silly display space, while still managing to produce a thoughtful online presentation of contemporary photography. As “Gallery Director,” Efthymiadis keeps all submitted artworks for possible inclusion in a larger exhibition at some point in the future.
As the project evolves, it will be interesting to see how closely the exhibitions mirror the traditional gallery model. Will there be any sales inquiries? Will there be any openings in Efthymiadis’ home? After all, who wouldn’t love an opening where the refreshments are an integral part of the space? For now, it is amusing enough to see how living with art in the most ordinary of ways can turn into a clever, community-oriented art project.
Kat Kiernan is the Editor-in-Chief of Don’t Take Pictures.