Art Truck Parked at Pool Fair Gives New Meaning to ‘Outsider Art’

The Art Truck. Photo: Courtesy of Dominka Ksel, Maureen Catbagan, and Pamela Giaroli

One of the nine art fairs in the city this weekend is the Pool, a three-day showcase of mostly unsigned artists at the Chelsea Hotel. But there’s a hierarchy even amongst the unsigned: Dominka Ksel, Maureen Catbagan, and Pamela Giaroli will be displaying ten of Ksel and Catbagan’s paintings and several of Giaroli’s photographs, not at the fair, but in a 24-foot U-Haul parked outside on 23rd Street. (Ksel and Giaroli live in deepest Williamsburg/Clinton Hill, Catbagan in Washington Heights.) “We wanted to enter,” Ksel explains, “but we found out it cost $2,000.” The U-Haul, by comparison, runs about $60 a day (they got a police permit to park for the duration). They made custom stained-wood platforms to display their artworks, which are as much as seven feet high, inside the truck. Their work is not quite as lighthearted as one might expect from the setting: Ksel says it addresses themes of alienation. “Depending on how you look at it, being on the outside isn’t always so bad. You know, on the outside of society, or of the art world, or of the Chelsea Hotel.” —Catrinel Bartolemeu