Everyone has fond memories of photo booths from their childhood; piling in and seeing how many people can get their photos taken at one time; it was a playful experience, much more real than a digital file that makes it to a Facebook wall but rarely makes it onto a piece of paper.
Houston photographer Simon Gentry's new venture, The Photobooth on Montrose, aims to bring that playful, informal spirit to the arts scene. At the studio's grand opening last night, gallery-goers stopped to have their pictures taken, look at fashions hanging from the walls, and watch a raucous performance art group, all in the spirit of community and fun.
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Located in the old laundromat building next to BB's Cajun Po Boys sandwich shop, The Photobooth on Montrose is a place for artists to show their work without the computer screen in between them and the viewers. With 17 floor-to-ceiling windows and a blank canvas on every wall, this giant, well, photo booth is brimming with anticipation of creative shows and performance pieces.
"The entire front half of this space is windows, making every piece of artwork or show that goes up inherently a performance piece because the people outside can see what's going on on the inside," Gentry told Art Attack. He was giddy as he talked about the future of the studio at last night's grand opening, describing every possible fashion show, painting gallery, dance performance and graffiti wall that could show at Photobooth.
While he plans to use the space as his studio (Gentry shoots portraits during the day to pay for the space), the artist gallery events will be low-cost and relatively affordable for the artists. "As long as a show covers the overhead of this place it can happen here, I am not trying to rip off the artists here," Gentry said.
Photobooth on Montrose is located at 2710 Montrose. Stay tuned for more happenings.