RABBIT RUN: Lauren Taubenfeld's Take on POISON EVERYTHING Pop up Show By ANTHONY TAFURO at the ICP-Bard MFA studio


In a new segment of interviews called "RABBIT RUN", we are showcasing photos and dialogues we have with artists and writers and rad people that show up to events featuring our Rabbits.

Lauren Taubenfeld's Polaroid shots of Anthony Tafuro's pop up show popped up on our Facebook feed, so we automatically liked all of them and then DM'd her like the creeps that we are to ask how the show went. We didn't know Lauren, but now we do, and she's super rad. Lauren is a gem and let us publish her photos and did an interview with us regarding Anthony's show.

Who came up with the show title? What was the thought process behind that?

‘—- Anthony came up with the title after we had mapped out the use of space in great detail, we wanted to spread his work all throughout the galleries and make sure it was seeping into every corner so that had something to do with the title’s allusion to a gesture on the offense. I’m also drawn to the title because of the operative word “everything.” Especially right now, I think a lot of people relate to the idea that everything is poisoned, like it’s always been poisoned and the antidote we’ve been working on is getting buried by a small group of people who want to persist in these conservative ways of working that have kept them in power. On another level, I like to wonder what exactly the “poison” refers to, and I’m inclined to challenge the sources that would be telling us this or that should be avoided like poison.’

Hi Lauren! How do you know Anthony? Do you know Sam and Timothy?

Hi Amy! Anthony and I attended the Photography BFA program at Parsons The New School for Design around the same time. We didn’t know each other well then so I wasn’t too familiar with his work until more recently. I know Sam and Timothy because we attended the ICP-Bard MFA program in which I am still currently enrolled. Timothy and Anthony have been friends for a few years so I ended up meeting Anthony more recently though Timothy.

You're a photographer? How did you get into that? Do you currently work in the field? What do you do? 

Yes, I am a photographer. I got into photography when I was maybe about 15 years old, and I’ve been in school for photography ever since. I got my BFA in Photography from Parsons and I am currently an MFA candidate in the ICP-Bard Program.

Can you tell us a little about the event? Who did you come with? How did you get here? Have you been to other events here before? 

The event was a lot of fun! It was a pop-up exhibition for just one night and a lot of people came by the gallery. I would say the show was a success. I was able to witness the curators work on some of the planning and printing for the show, so that was really interesting. I arrived alone to the show about an hour early because I wanted to take some pictures of Sam, Anthony, and Timothy working on finishing touches before too many people arrived. I have been to many events here before as many of my former classmates have had solo shows here, but this show was very different.

What was the gallery experience like? Was this different than the kinds of gallery shows you usually go to? 

This is an interesting gallery space because half of it is a gallery space which includes two rooms that can be used as gallery spaces, and the back part of the space is a working studio space for the students of the ICP-Bard Program. It was very different from the shows that are usually in this particular space because of the breadth of work Anthony was showed us from multiple projects and he included a few surprises as well. 

How would you describe Anthony's work? 

I was first introduced to Anthony’s work when I looked at one of his books; “Where Ya Been?”. I immediately was drawn to his very original aesthetic. I would describe his work as highly experimental. Anthony’s aesthetic is quite different from mine but I have always enjoyed his stark, ominous images and the way he plays with text, illustration, different mediums and printing methods. His work looks stunning in book form. I love his new book, “Left Hand Path” which I haven’t been able to get my hands on. I loved the way it was installed at the show; Anthony made prints from “Left Hand Path” to have on the wall, taking the work out of its book context. This was just one body of work Anthony displayed in the show.

Can you tell us a little about your own work? How did this influence how you viewed Anthony's? Like, are there any elements you paid attention to because of overlap in your interests, or elements that surprised you? 

My work is extremely different. I work on projects that are a little more straight forward, as in more thematically driven, not as experimental, and I mostly shoot in color. I was very happy and pleasantly surprised to see Anthony’s new color work which will be part his new book called “Where Ya At.” The new images were printed on 17x24 newsprint and look really nice. In that body of work, I could could feel more of an overlap in interests concerning my own work. 


You shot Polaroids at Poison Everything? Did you shoot on anything else, or just Polaroids? Do you think this changes the way the subjects interact with the photographer and what kind of shots you're taking or end up with? Had you already known everybody you took photos of? 

I did shoot Polaroids that night. I’m not really sure why I decided to shoot Polaroids because I usually don’t. I wanted to have fun and not take such “serious” pictures. I think the Polaroid does allow for a more engaging, fun and social way of interacting with people because its both so spontaneous and instantaneous. People really enjoyed looking at them after I had a few laid out on a desk and I knew most of the people I took photos of.


Was any of the art available for purchase? Who do you think would buy Anthony's art? Have you ever purchased art your friends make? Why do you think this is or is not a thing?

I know that one painting Anthony made is or was available for sale. Anthony has published a few books with S_U_N_ Editions and Rita Books, and they sell really well. I own a few of them as well as some of his prints.  I would assume people who would buy Anthony’s work are others who enjoy photography, photobooks or art in general. I love owning my friends’ art and am a fan of Anthony’s work. I think the desire to want to own your friends’ art stems from the fact artists and friends like to support each other. Also, owning a piece made by someone you know makes the viewer or buyer have a deeper connection to the piece.


 Have you purchased art from a gallery? What kind of art do you have at home? Where do you get it?

I have never purchased an expensive work of art from a blue chip gallery but I am an avid photo book collector. The work I have at home is a mix between some of my own prints, friends’ art work and some posters that are usually replicas of famous photographs I love.


What was your favorite part/piece of the show? What made that your favorite? 

My favorite part of the show was the room filled with new color prints which will be in Anthony's upcoming new book. I also loved the photograph that wrapped around a white wall, depicting a tattoo that Anthony got specifically to make the piece. I also really love the painting in the show.