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Features

A SEASONED VISION

A Sneak Peak of MALLICK WILLIAMS & CO., the New Gallery of ZAK WILLIAMS and ALEX MALLICK

Profile by Lori Zimmer

May 2011

When you meet Zak Williams and his wife Alex Mallick, the first thing you can’t help but notice is how incredibly in love they are. A genuine, enviable love that restores faith in jaded New Yorkers like myself–it’s kinda nice. Refreshing even. What’s more refreshing is the happy couple’s ambition to open a new Chelsea art gallery in the midst of a recession. (I know people are saying the recession is over, but I’m not having it just yet). Mallick Williams & Co. is brand spanking new, having opened their doors just a few months ago. They have already pulled off three thoughtful, impressive, and extremely well-attended shows.

I met the lovebirds through their gallery director, Jeremy Kaplan, whom the world has been determined for me to befriend for a few years now. Both having Philly roots (Jeremy a native, and me a transplant), our mutual friends there were perplexed at how we didn’t already know each other, being that we ran in some of the same art circles. It took a Blek le Rat show in New York and a random trip to L.A. to finally make it happen. Jeremy had been working for Shepard Fairey at Subliminal Projects when I went in for a visit, and relocated to New York last year when he started working his magic with Zak and Alex. He and Zak became friends years ago, when Zak was rooming with Jeremy’s pal at NYU. Jeremy would pop up to New York for visits on weekends, crashing at Zak’s apartment, dubbed “the Red Room,” where they’d host an influx of transients including  artists such as Katsu, (and a homeless chess master who would teach the boys chess in exchange for a couch to sleep upon–which Jeremy sometimes had to share). Alex came into the mix when Zak briefly dated her best friend. After several failed attempts at remembering her phone number, Alex somehow decided that Zak was not an idiot, and the two have been inseparable since.

True, before Mallick Williams & Co, Jeremy was the only one with true gallery experience. Zak, being the son of actor and art collector Robin Williams, had been around art all his life, likewise to Alex, who grew tired of her hedge fund job before deciding to plunge into the arts.

Together, the three form sort of a trifecta super power, each balancing out the other’s  strengths and weaknesses.  Alex is the master of organization. A younger, hotter version of what I’d call a “Mother Hen,” she keeps everything under control, running flawlessly and with grace. She is also a born negotiator, having managed to score their gorgeous ground floor space on 11th avenue.

Jeremy is the one with the vision and the eye. He got into the “street art” scene by contacting legendary wheat pasting veteran Blek le Rat on a whim then developed a relationship with him, ultimately bringing him into the Subliminal Gallery fold, and perfecting his contacts under Shepard Fairey–while also bringing his vision to Subliminal Projects.

Zak adds vibrance, and a business sense. He is currently going for his MBA at Columbia, but is already naturally business-minded, excelling at collaborations, commerce and genius ideas–like a NASA-supported lunar art time capsule. (seriously)

The upcoming program of Mallick Williams & Co is pretty exciting. The gallery itself is unlike many Chelsea galleries in that it is welcoming. Music is always playing, a smiling face (and faces) always say hello and engage whomever enters. The power trio actually understands the concept of curating, rather than slap dashing two artists together that have nothing to do with each other (a trend I have seen more often than not lately). The most recent show, Hueless, combined a slew of amazing artists including Shepard, Katsu, FAUST, Nathan Pickett and Haze, unified in solely monochromatic tones.  The next is the antidote to Hueless, entitled Spectrum, featuring six artists working in bright, vivid colors, including my buddy Kiji McCafferty (who participated in my epic Scope New York  project).

Hooray for altruism in the art world–especially with a seasoned vision such as Jeremy’s, Alex’s and Zak’s.

Mallick Williams is a contemporary art gallery located in the historic Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. Our goal is to resurrect the free-spirit and fun that is inextricably associated with art. At Mallick Williams, opened in November of 2010, our mission is to create a dialogue through the exhibition of emerging artists along with their established counterparts. We offer art without pretension–an outlet for creative boondockery.

LINKS:

Mallick Williams & Co. Official Site

Written by Lori Zimmer

Photography by Jonathan Grassi

Design by Marie Havens

Captions:

Captions: Cover/Page 1:

Jeremy Kaplan, Zak Williams, Alex Mallick Williams, & Olive the pug, April 2011, Mallick Williams & Co. Gallery, Artwork by Kate Pane, NYC, Photography by Jonathan Grassi

Page 2:

Zak Williams & Alex Mallick Williams, April 2011, Mallick Williams & Co. Gallery, Artwork by Kate Pane, NYC, Photography by Jonathan Grassi

Page 3:

Jeremy Kaplan, April 2011, Mallick Williams & Co. Gallery, NYC, Artwork by Erik Otto, Photography by Jonathan Grassi

Page 4:

(L & R) Zak Williams, April 2011, Mallick Williams & Co. Gallery, Artwork by Kate Pane, NYC, Photography by Jonathan Grassi

Page 5:

Alex Mallick Williams, April 2011, Mallick Williams & Co. Gallery, Artwork by Kate Pane, NYC, Photography by Jonathan Grassi

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