Wet Paint in the Wild: Artist Genevieve Goffman Art-Handles Her Own Work and Confronts a Three-Headed Death Hound


Welcome to Wet Paint in the Wild, an extension of Annie Armstrong’s gossip column wherein she gives art-world insiders a disposable camera so they can give us a peek into their corner of the madcap industry.

Genevieve Goffman’s incredibly detailed ice sculpture at Alyssa Davis’s gala earlier this summer may have been the best part of a pretty incredible party. Since then, her star has only risen, as confirmed by her work in Fragment Gallery’s group show, “Maximum Destruction.” The artist is an avid 3D printer and a seasoned partier, so let’s see what she got up to the week of the show’s opening…

Over a year ago, my friend Rachel Rosheger and I decided we wanted to do a show along with Clare Koury called “Maximum Destruction.” The show is inspired by the seductive fear of the end. Pulling from countless narratives of societal and technological collapse, we created a show that charts the relationship between paranoia and desire, terror and obsession. This is a picture from early in the install.

I was feeling pretty wazzed out during the install and it was good to have something to focus on other than the . This is a picture of one of my sculptures in the show. It’s called . It’s a giant neon green key made of 3D-printed transparent resin.

One of the worst parts of installing art is “the schlep.” I box up all my art really really really well and find a way to transport it to the gallery. I don't have a driver's license so this is always a bit of a challenge. Everyones who knows me says that it’s really good that I don't drive though. The night before and in the car on the way to the gallery I just sit there and pray nothing breaks. I also pray that one day I will be successful enough to hire real art handlers. This is a picture on E Broadway at 7am.

One of the worst parts of installing art is the schlep. I box up all my art really, really, really well and find a way to transport it to the gallery. I don’t have a driver’s license so this is always a bit of a challenge. Everyone who knows me says it’s really good I don’t drive. The night before, and in the car on the way to the gallery, I just sit there and pray nothing breaks. I also pray that one day I will be successful enough to hire real art handlers. This is a picture of East Broadway at 7a.m.

Thank god for boyfriends, especially mine. The art-thot-gf-art-handler-bf couple is time-tested and it works. I would be in so much trouble without Arthur. Arthur Sillers is good at everything and can do anything art-related, including drive a car and play piano. I love him. Here is a picture of Arthur helping me bring my art to the gallery at 8 a.m.

Some people think that because a lot of my work is 3D printed, it’s easily reproducible. It’s not. The work takes days and days of monitoring and fussing and finessing to print. And just because it prints once doesn’t mean it will print again, nor that if it does, it will look the same. I make my work large with lots of fine details because that’s how I like it. But the larger and more detailed it is, the harder it is to reproduce and the easier it is to break. Here is a picture of a piece I made that tells the history of the world.

Tuesday evening I got home and my friend texted me: “My week: Jamians show, genevieve show, heavy traffic launch, willems bday, club glam, david zwirner party at rhe bowery, dinner w korey tmw, peters show.” I told her I was going to spend all this week installing. Texts like these are important. First you think “Who is William?” and “Why wasn’t I invited to the Zwirner party?” But then you remember that a lot of art events are not for artists and there is zero reason you would have been invited. I feel a lot of tension between the social aspects of my life and my practice at times, in part because it’s unclear in what ways mediating social relationships affects your levels of success and because people often conflate my career and my social presence with varying degrees of judgment. Here is a picture of Yulu Serao and Vita at the Zwirner party, which was pretty fun.

There are lots of things to think about when you install an art show. You have to consider lighting, how the proximity of two pieces creates a dialogue, and whether your art is good or not. You have to ask yourself, “Does this feel too crowded? Are my parents proud of me?” You need to keep in mind various sight lines, and you need to keep in mind how you might not sell anything and this might be the last time you ever show art and you will probably slide into obscurity. So it can be a bit of an emotional whirlwind. This is a picture of Rachel installing her piece, . Rachel made three sharp steel blades which she attached to a ford motor to create an evil fan.

Sometimes you can get into real mind fuck of, “What am I doing with my life, why am I doing this? Is this kind of evil? How did I let this get this far? I should have gone to school to be a therapist.” But it’s important to not be navel gazey. Here I am with , a three-headed dog. He is part cerberus, part hellhound, part church grim. He is an omen of Death with capital D, an enforcer of death and a guardian of the dead. He is a representation of our world collapsing into the world of perpetual apocalypse. I think he is very sweet.

In the end I think we did a pretty incredible job. And if you haven’t been to Fragment Gallery yet, now would be a great time to visit. This picture is of Anton Svyatsky, Fragment’s gallerist and curator, posing with Clare Koury and Rachel Rosheger around .

Opening night! Here is Anton drinking a Monster. He might still be mad at me for not making my art modular enough. But I think he is pretty happy.

Gutes (if you don’t know who Gutes is, all you need to know is that she is everything) and model and writer Taylor Jeanne pose with my piece .

Imani Elizabeth Jackson (who is god’s gift to poetry and will absolutely be Poet Laureate someday) standing underneath The key is the key that opens the gate of hell. It’s like a video game level key, but for our impending doom.

Rachel Rosheger standing next to her sculpture, . This tower is a giant copper transmitter powering a plasma ball completely engineered and fabricated by Rachel herself.

Kelly and Kendra are my niche internet celebrity hot girl friends (full names not included because Twitter is a scary place). They both have like billions of followers on Twitter and go way back with all the Twitter girl lore.

I’m good at at least two things. Making art and ordering food at restaurants. We went full Maximum Destruction and got one of everything. This is a picture of artist Clare Koury, Arthur Sillers (my boyfriend from above), and Travis Fairclough, who is also an amazing artist.

And that’s pretty much a wrap. We had a crazy after-party at Mr. Fong’s but I lost the camera from that. It was fun though. Grimes played and Kanye was there and Barron Trump and the whole Zwirner family too. Good times. A party at the very end of everything.


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