Tom Roberts and Gonzalo Gelso are the owners of La Casa Art House, a new gallery in East Williamsburg that focuses on featuring the works of underground artists from all over the city. La Casa Art House has been doing pop-ups all over Brooklyn for years but, this December, has been calling Metropolitan Avenue home. When asked about how they found the location Roberts told Bushwick Daily: “We originally shared this spot with Bobblehaus, a Shanghai-New York retail brand. After our collaboration, the girls did their thing and we stayed here. We’ll be here till the end of April”
From the moment you step through the door, you realize La Casa isn’t your average art house. With its inviting storefront displays and house band, La Casa has been a welcome addition to East Williamsburg’s art scene. Though they may not be here for long, Roberts and Gelso say they are determined to stay. They say that their exhibitions will display not just art but also “design, tech, fashion, you name it.”
Their low-key, grunge style approach to the fine art world shows that even things we know and love can be recreated in fun and interesting ways. “Everyone loves gallery hopping but a lot of galleries are very formal,” Gelso said. “You don’t get the feeling that you can hangout there. So we wanted to build an atmosphere where people feel more comfortable. Over time, shows grew larger, we became a community and eventually that led us to where we are today.”
The La Casa boys say they are genuinely interested in artists, rather than focusing on influence or popularity. “Everyone’s creative in their own way but it’s very difficult to make a living as an artist,” said Roberts. “For most people, it’s just their side hustle and changing that is part of our mission at La Casa. Large expensive pieces are cool but we want to provide a platform for local artists to share their work.”
A Bushwick artist named Gazoo recently had an exhibition by La Casa that ended last week. An artist whose work is all over the city, but whose face is seldom seen, the show was a once in a lifetime opportunity: “I would definitely recommend La Casa to other artists,” Gazoo told Bushwick Daily, suggesting that La Casa’s approach to galleries attracts underground artists. “They’re very hands-on but still allow you creative freedom,” he said.
La Casa has a focus on artists from different races, ages and economic backgrounds who often don’t display their work in galleries around the city, simply because they feel like they don’t fit in. La Casa wants to change that. “Around eighty percent of the artists here don’t even have their own website,” Gonzo explained. “Since they don’t have as big of an online presence as other artists we do our best to help them get attention.”
La Casa Art House is located on 650 Metropolitan Ave in East Williamsburg. Follow @lacasaarthouse on Instagram for updates on shows and exhibitions.
Top photo credit: Phil Rizdon
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