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Candice Madey : Gail Thacker’s Midnight Call


Candice Madey opens its second exhibition space in New York at 1 Freeman Alley with the debut of Gail Thacker’s Midnight Call. The exhibition in the contemporary art gallery features black & white Polaroids as well as related analog photos captured on film Polaroid 665 camera, dating from 1994-2002.

Thacker is a visual artist known for what she’s captured over the years through the lens of a Polaroid camera. She’s candidly captured New York’s downtown artistic culture from the 1980s to the early 2000s.Photographing artists, performers, friends and neighborhood locals, she documented the ever changing and evolving landscape of New York City where the artist explored her own talent for storytelling and freedom of expression.

Thacker’s artistic process is unique, in which she first ages the Polaroid photographs before developing them. She sometimes left some unrinsed photographs wrapped in plastic, leading to the distortion of the images. She has even allowed images to sit in their chemicals for months to years before developing the negatives. Thacker has said,,“I have distressed my images to express a sense of inner agony. I sometimes feel a crippling knowledge that I am invisible and alone.” These views are some that Thacker has tried to express through her art. Deeply impacted by the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, a time where she found herself losing many of her artistic friends and confidantes, Thacker has metaphysical views on life, death and the idea of temporality. Her photos and the development process speak to these personal viewpoints and thoughts.

Candice Madey, Owner and Director of the Gallery commented on the exhibition prior to its opening. “We are thrilled to be inaugurating our new gallery with a substantial body of photographic work by Gail Thacker, with works dating from the ‘90s through the present. As the manager and artistic director of the Gene Frankel Theatre for nearly the past 20 years, Gail has been an important conduit for experimental theater and performance in the downtown New York scene, capturing her friends and other artists in her work. Most of this work has been in storage in the basement of the theater for all these years, until recent institutional interest in her work brought them back into attention, notably the Art after Stonewall, 1969–1989 exhibition at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery in 2019 and the forthcoming As the World Burns: Queer Photography and Nightlife in Boston at Tufts University Art Galleries in early 2024. The work captures a joyful spirit of play and collaboration among artists, with a performative aspect that is reminiscent of surrealism.”

The exhibition is a walk through memory of New York’s downtown artistic scene, a fitting showcase for the opening of Candice Madey’s opening of the art gallery’s second exhibition space. With a foothold in the Bowery, the gallery now has spaces at 1 Rivington Street and 1 Freeman Alley. Gail Thacker’s Midnight Call opens on October 24 and runs throughout December 9.


Candice Madey : Gail Thacker’s Midnight Call
October 24-December 9, 2023
Candice Madey
1 Freeman Alley
New York, NY 10002

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