I recently sat down with twenty-seven-year-olds Stephanie Krasnoff (Theory’s former wholesale planner) and artist Olivia Wolfe of American Two Shot, a brand spanking new clothing store/gallery/coffee shop in SoHo, to talk about their art program. What’s remarkable about the space is that all three of its functions receive the highest degree of attention: American Two Shot isn’t another run-of-the-mill storefront dotted with art and elitist espresso connoisseurs. Rather, it’s a highly creative multi-purpose space where its founders’ interests converge yet receive specialized, individual attention.
Its gallery component functions veritably as a two shot, showing two decidedly disparate artists for three or four months at a time. Right now, Christi Birchfield and Erik Foss are on view in the inaugural exhibition. The space also contains a large basement, which Krasnoff and Wolfe plan to use more flexibly for art, perhaps beginning with film screenings.
The tones in Foss’s tongue-in-cheek collages resonate with Birchfield’s abstract compositions, which are colored with dye that’s been soaked out of deli flowers. While both artists create intricately layered compositions, their visual motivations are quite distinct. Foss is “a New York fixture,” as Wolfe put it, coming from the Dash Snow crowd. Birchfield, now working again in Cleveland, received her MFA from Columbia two years ago.
The duo behind American Two Shot explains that the ethos of the store and of the gallery are the same: both women had a bunch of friends making interesting art and clothing for which they wanted to provide a platform that would feel accessible. Even though they’re personal friends, they don’t want their selections to be seen as coming from a closed coterie. In fact, they plan to invite a number of guest curators to propel their vision of creating a nerve center for inspirational odds and ends.
American Two Shot is located at 135 Grand Street, New York.