By Katarina Hybenova
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“56 Bogart? What?” Christina Ray, the co-owner of Soho gallery Kesting/Ray , was pretty surprised when I told her about the rumor that the Bushwick location of her gallery was supposed to be at 56 Bogart, the new gallery arcade across the street from Cafe Swallow. After the reports from Artnet and The L Magazine, we know that the location of Kesting/Ray is 257 Boerum Street in East Williamsburg.
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A building in the shape of a little hangar seems to be very familiar to almost everyone in Bushwick. I was curious about new location of Kesting/Ray, and went to chat with Christina Ray directly. Christina – accompanied by her cute orange cat – showed me their new space, which is still partially under reconstruction, and she told me that Bushwick location won’t have regular gallery hours like the Soho gallery. “It will be an event and project space,” she said. Christina also said that they would like to experiment in Bushwick more than they do in Soho, and they have already made some exciting plans. In March, they will present an architectural installation of a Brooklyn-based sculptor, Ben Wolf.
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Kesting/Ray represents several awesome artists, including street artist Swoon. They currently have two of Swoon’s pieces hanging inside, and there is another awesome Swoon pasted on the outside. Christina said that they didn’t know about that when they were buying the building. It’s just a lucky coincidence.
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While Kesting/Ray is, with its love for street art and experimental installations, nothing like the art world giant Luhring Augustine who also bought a building in Bushwick, one cannot help but wonder what the move of the galleries from the city will create in the neighborhood. Christina said that she went to the Confronting Bushwick talk at The Bogart Salon held last month, and it was interesting. Both she and her husband David Kesting used to have galleries in Williamsburg, and so they can tell “how the history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes“. Christina says that she does observe the change, however doesn’t like to get involved in the politics of it.
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Christina Ray and David Kesting are both also artists and Bushwick residents. Christina said that they have so many friends in the neighborhood, it was only natural to open their second location here.