Spotlight: Object_ify 139

Object_ify 139 is an art and object store located in New York City. The prints, books, accessories, and sculptures for sale there are made almost entirely by local artists. Object_ify 139 was opened by Maria Candanoza in 2014.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. My name is Maria Candanoza I was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia and moved to the States for school when I was 17. I started off at a SCAD in Georgia and then transferred to SVA, where I did Fine Arts. As far as my own work goes, I started with painting but quickly got into other things, which is why I transferred to SVA. My thesis was in video installation with projectors, but the one thing I did all through school and still do is printmaking. I also like to do ceramics and sculpture, mostly mold-making.

How has living in New York affected your work? The work that I do at Object_ify is a direct result of living in New York. Everyone that is involved in the shop I met here, whether it was in school or out. As in most big cities people in New York have a strong sense of community I feel, and in mine there’s a lot of talented and hard working artists that I wanted to showcase at the shop.

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? Right now I’m trying to explore different media at the store. Our first round of prints for our “prints wall” was mostly photo work; also our book releases have been mostly photo. Now I’m trying to take a different direction for the next selection and explore painting, drawing and printmaking, while conserving the aesthetic we’ve been working with. We’ve always have an open submission policy, but for this I made it more clear and made a call for artists on social media, so hopefully that will bring more new people to the store. Also following that idea, our event for September is a collaboration between artists Claire Christerson and India Menuez. Claire is going to curate the book section (which we ask different people to do every two months or so) and India is going to curate a video series for our back room, something we’ve planned from the beginning but hadn’t done until now. You can see our current and past book selections here.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Recently we published our first book, which was a very positive experience. My friend Chad Moore, who has been involved with the store from the beginning, had a idea for a new book he wanted to put out. We worked on the concept and design together and with his friend Philip Cronerud, who’s a great designer and put out June. It’s a small book of his recent photographs, but there’s a lot of small details in it that I love, like the gradient silkscreen cover and the three pullout risograph prints that go in the middle of each book. The book is also organized in a gradient by color from blue to pink, which is also very nice.

Up next we are hosting an event for Tunica magazine called Pool Party, which will be a very fun summer event, and in September we are doing the collaboration with Claire and India.

Favorite pizza topping? Cheese — does that count? If not, prosciutto.

How did your interest in your work begin? I saw the need for a space that showed new work by young emerging artists without the pretentiousness that galleries tend to have, and I wanted it to be accessible to both the public and the artists, which meant a more informal setting and prices that the general public could afford.

How long have you lived in New York and what brought you there? I’ve been in New York since 2010. I moved here for school, but really I’ve wanted to live here since I was 10 and came for the first time. I remember telling my mom this is where I wanted to live, even though we were staying in Times Square.

What do you want a viewer to walk away with after experiencing your work? I want them to experience a new way to see, buy and engage with art, to get to know new artists, new publications, and new music, that all comes from their neighborhood/city, and for visitors to experience New York in a different way.

What was the last lie you told? I sometimes pretend to be our intern on the phone…

Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? A lot of people walk in and look around and just say “what is this place?” It’s not a gallery but it also doesn’t look like a store I guess, so people get confused. I made our sign outside say: IT’S A STORE and then a list of everything we sell, but people still ask this everyday. It’s fine though; sometimes I get into interesting conversations when I explain the concept of the store.

Also someone said it looked like a pharmacy…which was odd, but also a lot of people have very positive reactions to it when they first walk in.