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Rodi Gallery

vanRodi Gallery. Art lovers are following in the tire treads of food lovers with galleries on wheels, reports Alyson Krueger in The New York Times (5/31/14). Like food trucks, art trucks both reduce overhead and bring their creations to places they otherwise wouldn’t be. "When I see how art is operating now, it’s so insular," says Aaron Graham of Rodi Gallery, which tools around New York and features new artists. "It’s so in its own world, it’s not fighting to be part of everyday life," he says.

A trend toward ‘art on wheels’ is growing, but is hardly new; horse-drawn carriages brought art into St. Louis neighborhoods in the 1900s. Back in 1981, Gracie Mansion "staged her ‘Limo Show’ … in a rented limousine, parked in SoHo, where she invited passers-by into the back seat for Champagne while she pitched her friends’ art." "I’ve heard it all along," says Berge Zobian, who traded brick and mortar for wheels two years ago. "People say, ‘I wish you had a gallery in town,’ as if you can just get up and build a new gallery."

The concept is not without its critics, of course. "I’m a real stickler when it comes to matching the work with its best context," says Edward Winkleman, a former gallery owner. "Just using a mobile gallery because you can’t afford the rent isn’t a good enough reason to show some types of art in it." Andrew Russeth of Gallerist meanwhile questions whether serious collectors are likely to buy art from a truck. Aaron Graham counters that this misses the point. "I have ideals I want to follow," he says.