Marjan and Humboldt were recently interviewed by The Toronto Star
Here is a link to the article, we have also included the text below.
By: Diane Peters Special to the Star, Published on Sun Aug 23 2015
Beyoncé is 33 (but she’ll be 34 in September). A bit of pop-music trivia, sure, but the pop superstar’s age is suddenly relevant to Toronto’s visual arts scene.
Why? A new studio cheekily tagging itself Younger Than Beyoncé nurtures artists below that age via a collective, nomadic organization.
It began this way: Humboldt Magnussen and Marjan Verstappen met while doing MFAs at OCAD, and ruminated together about the future. What gallery would show their work? Would they have to give up on fine arts careers?
They asked a veteran of the industry what they should do. “I don’t know, it changes,” she replied. The seasoned artist suggested they look to their own peers for a solution.
They did, and saw themselves surrounded by talent with no place to show it off. “There’s a lot of people with art stuffed away in the basement near the kitty litter,” says Magnussen.
So they decided to create a gallery — but with a twist.
They’d operate as an artists’ collective — with themselves as co-directors — but one that shows in pop-up spaces. That will keep overheads low and allow themselves time in between operating hours to do their own creative (or just-pay-the-bills) work.
Inspired by the exhibit held at the New Museum in New York called Younger Than Jesus, Magnussen thought up the name Younger than Beyoncé (and these young artists are indeed big fans).
The gallery kicked off with a fundraising dance party last December in which every second song was a Beyoncé tune. That, coupled with an Ingiegogo campaign, raised enough money for rent and to pay the artists for the first round of shows.
The launch also landed the duo on CBC. After that airing, they got a call from Mitchell Cohen, president of Daniels Corp. He liked their concept and offered them a deal on space in Regent Park.
They moved into a spacious concrete-and-glass gallery space in July. They’ll be there until Oct. 31, and will show 33 artists over that relatively short period. (These are the best of the best: the gallery got 250 submissions when they put out a call to artists). Shows turn over every two weeks and in between openings there are events, live performances and workshops.
Of course, the original concept for the gallery involved co-directors showing off their own work. So far, they haven’t had time to do that, and worry just how that would look now that they’re at the helm. Currently, they run the non-profit as volunteers — they also hope to pay themselves some day.
Having already secured funding for the next pop-up, which will be in Parkdale, the gallery’s concept clearly has legs. Big success and infamy, like those of its namesake, surely will follow.