Twin Brothers and Gallery Partners Sam and Daniel Kapp Prioritize Pork Buns, Glitter, and an Inherited Collection of Southern Folk Art

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Twin brothers Sam and Daniel Kapp, founders of Kapp Kapp Gallery, share more than their looks. The brothers, who opened Kapp Kapp’s first location in Philadelphia in 2019, have a killer eye for contemporary art and a lust for life in common, too.

This infectious energy has yielded impressive results for Kapp Kapp over the past four years. In 2020, the gallery opened a second gallery space, in New York. By 2022, the brothers had expanded the New York footprint, moving into a 1,800-square-foot Tribeca gallery. Prior to opening Kapp Kapp, Sam and Daniel had each cut their teeth at prominent New York galleries. Sam worked with what was Dominique Lévy Gallery, and then Lévy Gorvy, as a liaison to Pat Steir, Senga Nengudi, and Karin Schneider. Daniel, meanwhile, worked in communications for Marian Goodman Gallery for nearly half a decade.

A few years into this venture, Kapp Kapp has already defined itself as a space for fostering exciting young visions, with such artists as Hannah Beerman, Velvet Other World, and Sydney Vernon on their roster. As summer closes out, we caught up with the brothers, who filled us in on what they value in art and life, from their grandmother’s Outsider art collection to their dream of meeting the Olsen twins.

Daniel Kapp's pendant.

Daniel Kapp’s pendant.

What is the last thing that you splurged on?  
Sam: A Thom Browne tuxedo to wear to my wedding.
Daniel: A freshwater pearl pendant from Halloween, a magical jeweler in Philly.

What makes you feel like a million bucks?  
Sam: A facial at Rescue Spa.
Daniel: Vintage Comme des Garçons. 

What is something that you’re saving up for?  
Sam: Coffee at Blue Bottle.
Daniel: A rare Comme Speedo on eBay.

Daniel's Comme Des Garcons speedo

Daniel’s saving up for this Comme des Garçons Speedo.

What would you buy if you found $100?
Daniel: Pork buns in Chinatown. There’s only one spot for me (those who know me already know!): Sweets Bakery, where the end of Walker Street meets Canal. I’m a sucker for the fresh steamed buns, but the roast pork is also worth the visit. Note for newbies—cash only!

What do you think is your greatest asset?  
Sam and Daniel: Probably our looks. 

What do you most value in a work of art?  
Sam: Glitter.

Sydney Vernon, Kitchen Table (2023). Courtesy of Kapp Kapp.

Sydney Vernon, (2023). Courtesy of Kapp Kapp.

 

Who is an emerging artist worthy of everyone’s attention?  
Sam and Daniel: Obviously all of our Kapp Kapp artists, though they’re not all emerging. We’re gearing up for our September show with Sydney Vernon, which will be our first together since announcing our representation earlier this year, followed by our third solo show with painter Hannah Beerman, which will open in November. 

Who is an overlooked artist who hasn’t yet gotten their due?  
Sam and Daniel: Flo Milli, a rising rap starlet, parallel to the likes of Doechii and Ice Spice, who found her earliest virality on TikTok during the depths of the pandemic. Despite Flo Milli being lauded for her talent critically, she hasn’t gotten mainstream support quite in the same way as some of her contemporaries, and we would like to see that change. Listen to her song Back Pack (Flora The Explorer), only available on YouTube, a sample from the animated children’s television series Dora The Explorer.

What is your most treasured possession?
Sam and Daniel:  Our late grandmother’s Southern folk art collection, which we inherited. Our grandmother, who was from the New York area originally, spent many years of her later life living in South Carolina, where she developed an affinity for all sorts of local crafts and artworks—most of which would be considered “outsider” in our world. Historically and perhaps most notably, South Carolina and the coastal South are home to Gullah culture, and there remains a population of local Gullah artists, dollmakers and artisans, etc., living and making work, with whom our grandmother fell in love (she was quite a character). We grew up surrounded by her objects and artworks not quite understanding how special they were. Happy to say that has changed!

What’s been your best investment?  
Sam and Daniel: Opening Kapp Kapp. 

Sam Kapp with his cat Paul.

Sam Kapp with his cat Paul.

What is something small that means the world to you?  
Sam: My cat Paul. Paul showed up one day last year in our small, enclosed backyard in Philadelphia. My partner, Harry, called me while I was working an art fair; he thought we had a skunk in our backyard (note Paul’s skunk-esque coloring). He was emaciated and filthy. Over the ensuing months, we got him cleaned up and healthy. Harry and I completely fell in love. We named him Paul Child, after the famous chef Julia Child’s husband.

Daniel: My skincare routine. 

What’s not worth the hype?  
Daniel: Bode (sorry!). 

Sam McKinniss, The Olsens, 2019, oil on canvas, 96 x 84 inches. Courtesy the artist.

Sam McKinniss, (2019).  Courtesy of the artist.

What do you believe is a worthy cause?  
Sam: NPR.

What do you aspire to? 
Sam and Daniel: To befriend the Olsen twins.

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