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An Art Performance That Takes Stock — Literally, Kat Herriman, The New York Times Style Magazine

January 6, 2016

Sarah Meyohas. The performance of the stock, of the exchange, on the exchange, 2015, Oil stick on canvas, 50 x 60 inches

Sarah Meyohas. The performance of the stock, of the exchange, on the exchange, 2015, Oil stick on canvas, 50 x 60 inches

Sarah Meyohas

A Wharton graduate with an M.F.A. from Yale, Sarah Meyohas has impressive credentials — but it’s her extracurricular activities that put the 24-year-old artist ahead of her class. This Friday night, Meyohas kicks off a 10-day residency at 303 Gallery with a performance on financial markets, which she describes as a pseudo-lecture on the current state of affairs. (A related project is her cheekily named art-world cryptocurrency, one unit of which equates to 25 square inches of photographic print.)


For the duration of her stay, Meyohas explains, she will treat the Chelsea white cube like a “home office” for her “stock performances,” which involve her painting and trading in real time on the New York Stock Exchange. Every time she affects a stock’s valuation, she plans to record the virtual movement with a physical line of oil stick. “I’m bringing together being an artist and an economic agent,” explains Meyohas, who has also designed a pinstriped “business smock” for her character. “I’m treating the market as a medium that has as much flexibility as, say, oil paint,” she says. “The market brings together the extremes of the most subjective and the most objective. You hear about traders who do technical analysis, but a trader differentiates themselves on the ability to feel the market better. Given that it’s made up of a lot of individuals, this means the market can actually chart emotion.”


While Meyohas will only trade for a week, her canvases will stay up until Jan. 30. During her occupation, Meyohas will also produce 20 books for 303 in Print, the gallery’s publishing arm. Each will be handmade utilizing a gold-nanoparticle paint that Meyohas developed with the help of Erik Dresden at M.I.T.


When not at 303, the artist will hammer out details for a new exhibition at her eponymous apartment gallery, Meyohas. Located within the Metropolitan, a Philip Johnson-designed residential tower, her domestic space does double duty as a curatorial laboratory for the artist to champion peers like Brock Enright, whose sculptures she plans to pair with early works by Suzanne McClelland at the end of the month. “Meyohas is my home; it’s very much about letting people see what I’m looking at,” the artist says. “It’s always changing. I like living that way.”


Sarah Meyohas’s performance project begins Friday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. and will take place over the next 10 days, Tuesdays to Fridays from 1–4 p.m., at 303 Gallery, Her work will be on display through Jan. 30.