15 Orient is both the name and the address of a gallery inside an inconspicuous Brooklyn home located near the Graham Avenue L train station. Its proprietors, Paul Gondry and Shelby Jackson, first repurposed the living room into an exhibition space to showcase their own work back in 2016 and since they’ve mounted nine more shows, mostly by their artist friends. The house is owned by Paul’s father, Michel Gondry, the whimsical director of Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Green Hornet, and a number of music videos. Paul, 26, moved there from Paris in 2006 to live with his father.
Early on a Sunday afternoon, Paul Gondry answered the door, casually dressed in sweatpants and a T-shirt and led me into the gallery space, which he describes as “loosely modeled after a retro-futurist room in a final scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey; an old room in modern times.” 15 Orient has a flair for the phantasmagoric. The first exhibition there was titled Shpongle. When I visited Justin Caguiat’s God is a Concept from a Story Come to Life was on view. A series of paintings hung flush against the wall and a sarcophagus-like sculpture, a human form made of bread and a mask in place of a face sat, in the center of the carpeted room. The previous show, Bradford Kessler’s Prince Drama XV included a scarecrow-looking Halloween-ish mannequin with blood dripping down his face and a decapitated blue head in his lap. 15 Orient’s exhibitions tend to delve into mysticism, the divine, alien bodies, and abjection.
You need to make an appointment to visit.