Avant-Garde Gigolos

Art Prostitute makes a Move to the big city

Youth becomes Mark Searcy and Brian Gibb, co-founders of Art Prostitute, a slick, relatively new art zine that features both up-and-comers and established artists. Just by looking at the two fashionably subversive and nonconforming chaps, you wouldn't know they'd elbowed their way into critical acclaim among artists from the East Coast to the West Coast as purveyors of a format that designs itself around the art as snugly as a glove fits a hand. Their notoriety is a feat, considering the art world can be--not to go all Dawson's on you--shy and standoffish (read: cliquish and snobby). The gig came about a year after the duo graduated from the University of North Texas. As artists themselves, Searcy and Gibbs grappled with the question of how to make a living off their trade without selling out. Soon after, they began tossing around the idea of starting a publication.

"The name of the magazine comes from an inside joke referring to the crappy freelance work we had while we were students," Gibb says. The purpose of the magazine and subsequent gallery was to be a place where artists, brand-spanking-new and not-so-new, could showcase fine art in a space that would conform to the art and not the other way around.

Now with six sleek, groundbreaking issues under their belt and the seventh expected to launch at the beginning of the year, they've built up a print run of 2,500 and a place in such famed (read: fussy) boutique bookstores as Hennessey + Ingalls in Santa Monica and Turntable Lab 04 in the East Village of Manhattan. So what effect has all of this had on Gibb's and Searcy's own art? They're basking in a moral victory and still doing their own thing. Now that Art Prostitute is getting too big for its britches, the gallery is pulling up stakes and moving from Denton to Dallas. The Dallas Contemporary is doing its part (read: party) by throwing a shindig to raise awareness and funds. Originals and prints from featured artists and limited editions of Art Prostitute will be on sale, with 10 percent of the proceeds benefiting The Dallas Contemporary (read: the boys remain humble and generous despite their success).

 
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