Despite the down-home intention, however, there was much ado on opening night about The Virgins Show, the space's inaugural exhibition. Marilyn Minter guest-curated, selecting four of her own MFA students from The School of Visual Arts to present work. They joined her along with an entourage including Cattelan, Gioni, note-taking press, photographers, and a fashionably ragtag-clad crowd of artists—all jamming together like guppies in an overpopulated fish bowl.
"Comparatively this place is a palace, it's our Versailles," joked Gioni, making reference to The Wrong Gallery, the Chelsea space he co-orchestrated with Cattelan and also Ali Subotnick in 2002. (Literally 100 times smaller, the "gallery" was just a locked glass doorway on 20th Street with a shoebox space behind, yet showcased work by dozens of solo artists ranging from Tino Seghal and Elizabeth Peyton to Lawrence Weiner.) "But unlike at the Wrong Gallery, there is more emphasis here on the idea of collaboration," Gioni explained. "We invite artists to show their work but also show the context of relationships, friendships and families in which that work is born—that's why we called the space Family Business."
Smack in the middle of NYC's most lucrative art district and just next door to the Gagosian Gallery, Family Business is sort of "a guest room," likens Gioni, "where people are invited to try out different formats and ideas, with really no pressure."