By Dan Nielsen for Scrimshaw Collective
New York is a city of layers, from its massive architecture and bustling exterior, down to a world of underground shows and word-of-mouth events. We’re always on the hunt for a new exhibit or gallery opening, and it just so happens a friend of ours recently pointed us in the direction of Fillin Global, an innovative artist agency in New York. We were invited to their second ever event, SK8-ART, and couldn’t have been more stoked.
Walking up to the address we realized we’d arrived at one of our favorite underground dance bars on Bowery, King’s Cross, which for whatever reason has tragically closed its doors (pour one out for all those late night dance sessions we’ll never forget). Confused, we quickly reread the invite. We definitely had it right, but there was no one working the entrance to indicate where to go. A simple, handwritten note by the door caught our eye – it was taped to the call box for the housing above King’s Cross. The directions on the note were simple enough (buzz 3) and they led us up some aged, creaky stairs (as I’m sure you’re all too familiar with living in this city). At the designated landing, a bouncer waved us into what used to be an old apartment, but now resembled a veritable shrine to street art and skate! The simplicity of the space and set up only lent to the authenticity we hoped we would find – not much more than a couch, a table for serving drinks and every inch of the walls covered in skate decks.
We quickly grabbed an old fashioned and began mingling with the crowd. Clearly we had stumbled across an intimate setting of friends, fellow artists and family members. The core gathering was welcoming nonetheless, and seemed happy to share some inspiration about the work on display. Some of the featured artists included Dain, Gum Shoe, JPOart, Kat Hoelck Goblé, and many more.
Besides speaking with a handful of the artists, the best part was meeting the two partners of Fillin Global; Jackie and Tommy. Per their newsletter, the agency co-founders are well rehearsed in the struggle of being artists and creatives themselves, and felt compelled to dedicate their time, energy and passion to the industry, and those working within it. They described the artists as friends as opposed to clients, often broke conversation to give a quick hug and hello to family members, and beamed with pride as “sold” stickers went up next to the pieces that had been claimed.
The combination of the unassuming space, artists on-hand speaking to their work, meeting the founders and event coordinators, plus the old fashioneds, we were feeling pretty elated. Honestly, it could not have been a better start to a weekend – well, perhaps if we’d been able to lock down the Dain masterpiece (pictured below), but to be frank if was a bit out of our price range so probably for the best! Head online to FillingGlobal.com and check out the artist bios and the remaining work still for sale – if you are a fan of NY street art and skate culture you will definitely find something to your liking. Stay tuned for more events from Fillin Global!