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Good things do come in threes, at least in the case of bicoastal “It” girls and budding artists Gia Coppola, Sage Grazer and Tracy Antonopoulos, who will mount their first group show tonight in an empty former gallery space on Melrose Place.
The young women met and honed their crafts while students in New York City: Los Angeles native Coppola, 23, graduated from Bard College last spring and has since returned home; fellow Angeleno Grazer, 21, is a senior at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and Antonopoulos, 23, graduated from NYU last spring and now shuttles between coasts. It was the profusion of “all boys shows” in New York that led them to plan an all-girls exhibit, according to Coppola, a blossoming fashion photographer whose work has already appeared in i-D Magazine.
“I think it’ll be exciting to see the difference between the guys’ work and our work,” says Coppola, whose section of the exhibit, comprising personal portraits, Polaroids and fashion shots, is displayed salon-style, from the top of one wall to the bottom. “I hung the whole show like a giant bulletin board.”
Grazer’s pieces, meanwhile, have more of a fine art bent, with a focus on colors, textures and symmetry. “Most of my subjects are spontaneous, taken while I’m walking around or traveling. I like capturing what it looks like to see something for the first time,” she says. Her small-scale prints, ranging from 5-by-5 inches to 8-by-8 inches (including a shot of dad Brian Grazer’s pool), “are more intimate and real. It’s too easy to take a photo, blow it up and think it’s artistic,” she notes. Grazer is working on a project with cult street skateboarder and artist Mark Gonzales, shooting his mask designs on various people.
Rounding out the show is aspiring director Antonopoulos’ section, which comprises three projects: a short film titled “Piece of Meat” that explores male-female relationships and gender roles via a Greaser-era couple and music; a trio of “film trailers” that delve into human emotions without actually being linked to a full-length film, and a video loop of musicians she shot performing, including Julian Casablancas, The Virgins (with whom she toured this summer) and Be Your Own Pet.
“I love directing because there’s movement. It’s like choreographing a dance to me,” says Antonopoulos, a former ballerina who counts old boss Ryan McGinley as one of her biggest inspirations. So far, she and Coppola have cowritten and directed videos for Built by Wendy and Opening Ceremony, and her goal is to one day put out a full-length feature.
But for now, the ladies remain focused on their debut group effort. And they all agree that, while coordinating their schedules was the toughest element of their endeavor, the show prep also has been the best part. “It’s more fun to put it up than anything else,” says the soft-spoken Coppola. “What makes me nervous is trying to talk to everyone at the show.”