Capla Kesting throws blogger out of gallery

Travis Lindquist [image protected here from viewers]

In Williamsburg last Friday evening Barry and I had just come from a reception and we had a little time to kill before the 7 o'clock hour when the galleries we had planned to visit would be opening their doors for this month's "Williamsburg Every Second".

We were in a festive mood.

We walked over to Capla Kesting to take a look at their Travis Lindquist show. I wasn't very interested in most of the work, but the relatively arcane historical references in some of the drawings arranged in an interesting way on the center wall induced me to take a closer look. I decided to capture a few images for consideration later. I had already taken several photographs when I was told by a woman who was apparently connected to the gallery that they had their own shots of the work and most of them were available on their own site. I started to explain that I liked to capture my own images for my artblog and I would have gone on to try to explain exactly why, but I was interrupted by some words to the effect that they have to "protect the copyright", and I was told that I would not be allowed to photograph the art.

I tried to at least explain what I had been doing and I reached for a card to introduce myself and my site, but neither she nor David Kesting, the Proprietor, would have any of it. Neither wanted to know who I was, but they definitely wanted me out. I told Barry, who had not been a part of any of this exchange, that I wanted to leave. As we turned to go Kesting yelled after us, "Don't come back, you hear?!"

I wouldn't think of it.

Also, to avoid some questions in the future, I should add here that since ArtCal is "The Opinionated New York Art Guide" and as it is the opinion of its editors that Capla Kesting Fine Art has chosen to restrict the public's visual access to visual art, the gallery will not be included in its listings from this date.

i'm not in ny and have never heard of this gallery, but now i know to not bother next time i visit.

thanks, james

they're the hacks who showed the sculpture of Britney Spears giving birth on a bearskin rug. It's art with a capital E!

I am really sorry that I had to forcefully remove you from the gallery on Friday evening, it is not something I enjoy doing.

In the future I recommend whenever you attend a gallery opening as whether or not you are a member of the press, do not insult the people who work there. If you do not understand or like the artwork they are showing, do not insult it, especially while you are in their space and they are entertaining perspective clients. If you choose to photograph the gallery or its artwork without asking for permission beforehand, declare yourself as a member of the press when you enter the space and state the context of your visit to the gallery.

I think these simple things will ensure your gallery going visits are more enjoyable and you will be warmly received by galleries, curators and artists who need support and nurturing from the online art reading community.

David Kesting,
Your statement is a lie and a slander on someone who has never been known to insult, either in conversation or in print, the work of artists or the people who work with them.

I find more than enough in both the visual and performing arts that really pleases me. I don't bother to address anything that does not. The witness of friends and acquaintences and five years of entries on my blog would testify to that.

I have at least three explanations for this sanguine mode: It's certainly possible that my initial impressions on art subjects might be neither well-founded nor final; even now I have no false illusions about the impact of anything I might say or write; and finally, if only for my own mental health and happiness, I prefer to stay positve.

At the same time I admit that none of these considerations operates when it comes to politics, the other major subject of my blogging. Whenever I show displeasure or anger it's not about something in the art world. Rather it's the stupidity and villainy I see in of the rest of the world which present targets for my insults.

As for the particulars of my visit to your gallery, no insult was made to either yourselves or the art being shown. My partner Barry and I were in the gallery for some time and we both asked a number of questions about Lindquist's work. I was attracted enough to some pieces to consider a blog post and before you called me on it I was capturing some images which might have been used to that purpose. We tried to talk to you to tell you that we were media but you told us you didn't care who we were. At least as baffling as anything you said on Friday is your additional lie in comments today on this entry and elsewhere that you "had to forcefully remove" me from the gallery.

Incidentally, Barry and I have been in your gallery before and we have been on the press list of Fountain New York from the beginning; Friday was not the day of the current show's opening, and at the time we were looking at the work we were the only visitors; lastly, because of your inexplicable behavior towards us you are absolutely not in a position to know whether I "understand or like" the work.

That one I am going to avoid. I have been to multiple galleries in Chelsea and not one of them have had a problem with me photographing works on premises. For most of them it is free publicity and only a dolt would turn this down...
Thanks for posting this...

Wow, this is all really unfortunate. Now, i do not know James personally, but after reading his posts for the last 3 plus years, i feel i have enough info on his personality to think Kesting must have misread something here. Its sounds to me like a misunderstanding- like a word or look got misinterpreted? Anyway, its unfortunate because it detracts from the subject at hand and ultimately the artists lose out.

You said it, Mark.It's the artist's that lose out the most in this situation. Both Barry and James have benefited artists all over the city with their coverage and they have helped inspire a a lot of other people who have to do the same. The honest fact is that the vast majority of blog coverage is positive, few people bother doing negative posts and if they do them it's usually about stuff in known blue chip galleries. I really can't remember any negative coverage on James's blog and his images are ussualy very good in ters of showing the work and it's context well.

Of course illiterate comments show up some times.

per·spec·tive (pərˈspɛktɪv)
1. a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface.


pro·spec·tive (prə-spěk'tĭv)
1. Likely or expected to happen.
2. Likely to become or be: prospective clients.

As the "unidentified" employee of Capla Kesting Fine Art I'd like to share my perspective of the incident at our gallery last Friday, and correct some errors.

First of all, you and your colleague were NOT the only people in the gallery during your visit. Other patrons and members of the press stopped in, though thankfully none were present at the time you were asked to leave.

While I don't know you personally, I found you very condescending during our brief interaction. I did my best to answer your questions, and offered to send you images of the work, but you dismissed my offer. When Mr. Kesting asked you what you were planning to use your images for, not only did you continue taking pictures, you didn't even turn around to acknowledge his question.

While we have no problem with photos being taken in our gallery, we like to know what the pictures are being used for, and because of your pompous dismissal of my employer's question you were asked to leave. It was only at this point that you offered some information regarding your blog and the purpose of the images you were taking. In the future it may behoove you to exercise some common courtesy.

Oh, and if you think my description of this incident is slanderous, then it is you who are lying.

Travis Lindquist three prostitutes 24x24" 2007
As I hear more about this, I get more angry. Please good people, don't let this reflect on your attitude about my work. I am a struggiling artist, and expect nothing but professinalism from my representation. That is obviously not the case here, as I didn't hear about it from the gallery, but instead had to find out about it on a internet search on my work.
Wack as shit.
Feel free to take a look at some of my work at
and bloggers feel free to lift anything you like and just let me know so I can brag about it.
[email protected]

Travis, I don't think any of us believes this reflects on you at all, meaning neither the incident itself nor anything that has been said since.

I was very pleased to hear from you when I got home this evening. Thanks for the comment. I will be checking out your site.

About this Entry

Published on September 17, 2007 2:20 PM.

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