27-year-old Daniel Kapp is the co-owner of Kapp Kapp, a contemporary art gallery based in New York and Philadelphia, which he operates with his twin brother, Sam. Daniel worked previously for Marian Goodman Gallery in New York as a part of the Digital and Communications department.
What was the most important thing you learned at your first job in the Arts?
Marian Goodman taught me to show the art moves you.
You started Kapp Kapp with your brother Sam in 2019. What has been the most rewarding part of working together?
To my brother’s credit, he founded Kapp Kapp initially by himself in 2019. Though, I was always a part of the gallery from its inception, it wasn’t official until we opened our first space in New York, in Tribeca, in January 2020 when I joined on as Partner. The gallery is a very natural extension of our relationship, so, fortunately, we have a lot of fun working together. The most rewarding part, for me, has been continuing to learn and observe our shared visual interests.
What was the impetus for moving the gallery to your current Tribeca space?
We moved to our new Tribeca space at 86 Walker Street for many reasons, but predominantly to allow us space to continue to grow. As our gallery artists continue to mature and expand the ways in which they make (both conceptually and spatially), we felt it import to be able to match that.
Tell us more about the artists you work with…
The six artists we represent are really the perfect indicator of our interests as gallerists. Though, much of what we do occurs naturally, when we actively consider our program, we always aim to present a diverse range of shows and voices. We’re constantly considering representation of age, ‘race,’ ‘gender,’ sexuality, etc., as we build out each calendar year. Our roster spans several generations, which we’re particularly proud of as two very young people ourselves. On the more emerging end of the spectrum, we work with Hannah Beerman, Molly Greene, Lily Wong, and Velvet Other World (who are technically a duo), and on the flip side, we work with Gilbert Lewis and Stanley Stellar, who have both made work since long before the gallery came to be.
Is there a milestone or event this year at Kapp Kapp that we can look forward to?
Kapp Kapp celebrates its three-year anniversary this month (June), which is a very exciting measure.
What is the best piece of advice you can give about working in the art world?
Jerry Saltz has said it about artists, but I think the saying can be adapted… if you’re not absolutely sure you want to work in the art world, you probably shouldn’t do it. Not to crush any dreams, by any means, but it’s pretty grim out there and can be a tough place, even for the best of us. If you do dare to enter this world, I would say, simply, listen to your gut.
How do you think the art world can become more transparent?
Unfortunately, I believe there is a level of transparency that will never be attained within the art world, as the privacy of sales in galleries and auction houses is what draws so many people to buy art in the first place. I think the only solution to this comes from a communal effort, as has already begun to an extent. There’s been a tremendous exchange of information between galleries and between artists over the past few years (even particularly since the Pandemic), and I think this exchange is the first glimpse of radical transparency we’ve seen… breaking down this historical wall and empowering one another with information. I’ll be interested to see how this continues, but I think we’re certainly in a new era of gallery ethics and with this hopefully comes more transparency.
If you could own work by any five artists, who would be in your collection?
Discounting Kapp Kapp artists, I would own work by Jacqueline Humphries, Jessi Reaves, Faith Ringgold, Ella Kruglyanskaya, and Somaya Critchlow (in no particular order!).