“Good Taste,” a week-long group show and concurrent book launch opening tonight at the event space 393 NYC in Tribeca, has its roots in the larger arts media sphere. Co-curators Katja Horvat and Paige Silveria have worked as writers and editors for magazines including 032c, Interview and Purple, and connections to many of the artists in the exhibition have grown out of stories and interviews staged in those publications. This is the duo’s first show as curators.
“We have really great relationships with so many different artists at this point after all these years of spending time with them, so it came together in this really beautiful way,” Silveria told me over the phone this week. “Obviously really stressful, too, but I think it was a long time coming and we’re really excited about it.” The exhibition includes 19 artists, mostly on the younger end of the age spectrum, including Jamian Juliano-Villani, Devin Troy Strother and Nick DeMarco. The space, which has in the past been used for events with Beats By Dre and New Balance, was found in collaboration with the “new-wave creative agency” Something Special Studios.
Horvat called their newfound curatorial practice an “extension” of their work writing and editing. “It’s again, communication, and talking to artists,” she told me. The accompanying self-published book consists of interviews conducted especially for the project with each one of the show’s artists; also included is a forward by former 032c editor Thomas Bettridge and a preface by the London-based writer Samira Larouci.
“Good Taste” is sponsored by Budweiser, and a limited-edition shirt made specifically for the event was created in partnership with the brand, designed by Cali Thornhill Dewitt, an in-demand Los Angeles–based artist who has worked extensively with Kanye West and has a long history moving throughout various subcultural communities; for one, he founded the acclaimed underground record label Teenage Teardrops. Alongside a list of artists, the back of the shirt incorporates formidable boldface text bearing the brand’s trademark slogan: The King of Beers. The front spells out the show’s title text with symbolic references, including a Circle A logo that is often associated with anarchism and, sometimes, the British punk band Crass.
Crass started out in the late 1970s, operating based out of a commune of sorts called the Dial House. Located in southwest Essex, it was small farm cottage that operated within anarchist-pacifist guidelines and served as an incubator for a great deal of radical culture. Although “Good Taste” is taking place at a venue that on the surface feels very removed from that reality, the curators remain optimistic about art’s ability to incite change, regardless of context. “If art has the potential to bend our perceptions of reality—and offer an alternative viewpoint on the world around us—it can also function as an instrument of justice,” Horvat and Silveria said in a statement.