We don’t know how he does it. Cornell DeWitt took the reigns of PULSE in 2010 and hasn’t looked back, finally bringing the fair to LA for it’s west coast debut. For the next few days you’ll be lucky to find him on the floor of the fair at LA Live but we’ve got the inside scoop from the man himself.
(Portrait by Adam Golfer for Whitewall Magazine)
The Standard: What does it mean for you to finally bring an art show the caliber of PULSE to LA? Is it different when you’re dealing with new terrain?
Cornell Dewitt: We’re really excited about it! LA is a great city, and a great opportunity for us. It is very important to us to be integrated into the community. What we love about LA is all the energy, excitement, and buzz that is really a groundswell in the local community. That’s what it means for us - that we are excited to be a part of sharing the local community with the world and vice versa.
With New York as our home base, it is very important to us that we are part of a ground-up movement. We are very sensitive to not come in with the attitude that we are this great art fair who is coming to bestow our thing on the community, or like carpetbaggers from New York. This sensitivity to, and enthusiasm to promote and integrate with, the local community has been very successful in Miami, and we come to LA now with that same attitude. So LA is new terrain, but we are approaching it with a proven tactic.
How is the LA art world similar/different to NY or Miami?
Each one is so different! The fact remains that New York is (arguably or not, depending usually on whether you are from New York or not) the most important contemporary art market in the world - so it is taken very seriously. And Miami is (arguably or not, depending usually on whether you are from Miami or not) a scene that was pretty much willed into being by a small group of very passionate collectors, and Art Basel. And it is FUN. Just a really great atmosphere. Heading into the LA fair, honestly, I’m not sure what it is going to evolve into, but I think - and hope - that it is going to evolve into something of a hybrid - people here are passionate (amazing collectors), serious (Pacific Standard Time is an amazing program), and really ready to show themselves to the world.
What are some highlights we can expect to see at PULSE? How are your artists curated?
Our PULSE Projects series of specially selected artist installations and commissions is a critical part of how we connect with the local art community. We have a lot of amazing projects from LA-based artists like Kiel Johnson, Martin Durazo, David Adey, Kim Rugg, and Mineo Mizuno. Not to mention the Dave Kinsey mural at The Standard, Downtown LA. We have a great Manager of Special Projects, Sasha Okshteyn, who coordinates it all, but the curation of the artists is a really collaborative project that we start thinking about as soon as we select our galleries.
What is the one thing you are most looking forward to seeing this weekend at PULSE, Art Platform or PST?
See above. Plus all of the excited, passionate art people who are in LA and coming to LA.
For more info, go to Pulse-art.com