New York: Sasha Wolf
par Stéphanie de Rougé
From her first encounter with photography to the opening of her gallery…
Sasha’s father made television commercial and taught her photography. She was making her own photographs when she was 14.
At the age of 15, she was offered a hard cover monograph of Paul Strand (Aperture) and discovered formalism: “ that you could photograph part of a plant or part of a machine and that this was art”. That’s when she understood how her work fit into some kind of art: “that was what was interesting to me so I was very happy to see that this was a type of art … that I could turn everything into a graphic. And it is still what I do and love now.”
She studied photography and writing in college and art school (Purchase, NY) and graduated in 1987. Then she turned to filmmaking. Her short film “Joe” was selected at the Cannes film Festival in 1997. “It really looks like I took a bunch of photograph put together.”
In 2002, she asked her long time friend Peter Kayafas if she could sell her work. She tried and it worked so well that she became a private dealer until she opened her first space in Tribeca in 2007.
Sasha is what she shows, she likes when things are strong and simple, in the work she does as a photographer and filmmaker but also when she works on the philosophy of the gallery, on installations, on organizing shows or promoting artists. She think it is importance to invite people to take time off in the day to watch her or her artists’ work”.
A good memory…
The first show she put up for Paul McDonough. She had always thought he was one of the great street photographers of all times and was really happy to be able to give him his first solo show in a New York gallery. “ The show was fabulous, we worked really hard on it - Paul was just so happy- it got a beautiful review in the New Yorker – It was such a feel good experience!”
She adds that it is always very moving to see her artists discovering their own shows just after installation or to witness that precious moment when someone walks in her gallery and has a strong connection to a piece.
A bad memory…
The recession. It started in 2008 just after she opened her space and she remembers how intense it was: “we had a lot of sleepless nights, it felt like [the City was stuck], once Lehman Brothers was down, we didn’t know if we were entering another Great Depression. It was really terrifying.”
A photograph that has a special importance in her life…
Eleanor and Barbara (On Bed), 1954 by Harry Callahan Sasha says that Harry Callahan is without hesitation the photographer that influenced her the most. She says of all the photos of his wife Eleanor that they have this formalist touch that elevates the images from what could be mundane portraits. “At first you love the photograph but soon you love the person in the photograph which is quite a brilliant talent”.
On her bedroom wall…
2 anonymous old little prints from the 50’s – one is 2 silhouettes playing baseball and the other an old motel sign.
Central Park couple with baby in newspaper 1978 Paul Mcdonoughs A black and white Still life photograph that she made in New Mexico
Havanna, Cuba, 2001 by Peter Kayafas
A few Milton Rogovin
Stéphanie de Rougé
Stéphanie de Rougé