The Newsstand closes its doors
by Chase Collum
Jan 31, 2014 | 1047 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Lele Saveri was approached by two of his friends who work with All Day Everyday’s art production wing asking if he wanted to host a month-long zine fair in a vacant subway newsstand, he had no idea how well received it would be, or that he would be keeping the space open with a full compliment of events for much longer than originally planned.

With the help of several dedicated artists and with funding provided by All Day Everyday, Saveri was able to keep The Newsstand – an underground arts space dedicated to the DIY aesthetic and located at the intersection of the L and G trains at Lorimer and Metropolitan streets – open for seven months.

“There are 10 people helping me out,” Saveri said. “They get paid for the day that they work, but they get paid very little. For the passion of it, they work for me every day. I give them projects, and everyone does their own project. Without that, I could never do it entirely, obviously.”

On its final night of operations, Julian Gilbert and Ray Martinez, two of the artists who have aligned themselves with Saveri, staffed The Newsstand.

Gilbert said he and Martinez have been working at The Newsstand since September, and that while he’s sad it’s closing, he will continue to work with Saveri as he refocuses his attention on Muddguts, a studio space at 41 Montrose Avenue in Brooklyn that is dedicated to the same value set that made The Newsstand an exceptional space.

“We’re a team-slash-crew-slash-posse-slash-gang,” Gilbert said. “No, yeah we’re definitely a gang. I mean we don’t walk the streets with bats and knives or anything. Except on Halloween.”

While he is sad to see The Newsstand go, Gilbert understands that all good things must eventually come to an end.

“It’d be cool if this was around forever, but in a way it’s not,” Gilbert said. “ You were either here and you came through or you weren’t.”

Martinez, who is the youngest member of the All Day Everyday gang at 20 years old, said he is sad to see The Newsstand shuttering.

“The Newsstand was extremely life changing, for me” Martinez said, who moved from Kansas to become more integrated into the New York City art scene. ”It just made sense to be a part of this life and this group of artists.”

As part of the final exhibit, Saveri posted several dozen of his own photographs of subway riders who came through The Newsstand during its seven months of operation in a sort of tribute to all of those who made the effort to accept a subway kiosk that didn’t fit into the traditional mold.

“It’s all about combining the normality, the mundane life to something that’s more artistic and underground like zine culture,” he said. “The underground is the perfect place to be. Here in New York, it doesn’t matter what class you come from. Everybody catches the train, so everybody gets to see The Newsstand.“

Even as The Newsstand was coming to a close, Saveri remained hopeful that he would one day be able to turn his focus back onto a project similar to The Newsstand, whether that project should take form in New York or in other cities with subway systems.

“I’m not thinking of closing, I’m just thinking of taking a break,” Saveri said. “The beauty of it was that there was always something new, always something fresh that’s going on and it was so full of energy. If I don’t have that energy, I’d rather just not do something that’s less powerful.”

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