New Kid on the Block: A.M. Bjiere

Extending the Tribeca Gallery District west is the new A.M. Bjiere — the melding of two art-centric minds who have roots in Tribeca. Tess Bjiere is a visual artist whose studio on Broadway and Franklin was home base for her immersive, abstract, emotive audio/video commercial work for musicians. Aria Mahboubi is a lawyer who spent his free time in law school visiting artist’s studios and collecting. The two met when Aria discovered Tess’ work and they’ve been friends ever since.

They are both drawn to experiential work — much like the work Tess does for her clients — and they were not seeing enough of that in the blue-chip galleries of downtown.

“The primary motivator for the gallery was to bring to the world site-specific work that is less likely to appear in galleries,” Aria said. But many of the artists they work with also have paintings or sculpture to round out the shows. “We wanted to bridge the worlds,” Tess said.

It’s worth stopping by in the next weeks to spend a few minutes downstairs in the show up right now. The paintings of Mexican artist Mareo Rodriguez are soothingly beautiful, but his arrangement of LED ropes strapped to galvanized steel wire along the walls downstairs (I saw landscapes, but the artist intended a portal, or a fracture to another world) are transporting.

The pair picked Tribeca as a landing spot because of the neighborhood feel, and the commute: Tess lives on the Lower East Side and Aria in Soho. The corner spot on Harrison and Staple makes for a great gallery space, and Aria and Tess said neighbors have gone out of their way to welcome them. “When I lived here, I kind of kept to myself, and now I see how warm people are. They really want to see us win.”

Their pattern will be five to six weeks for each exhibit, with a week and a half in between to stage the next one. This show, which attracted 30 people a day when it first opened, is up till April 23; starting May 5, they will host the work of Australian Ash Keating, whose exuberant site-responsive paintings should bring a completely different look to the gallery.

So far, they are following their instincts, and it seems to work. “We don’t have connections in the gallery world,” Aria said, “so we hoping people will connect with the art.”

A.M. Bjiere
5 Harrison at Staple
Wednesday to Friday: 10a to 6p
Saturday: 10a to 5p



  1. Welcome to the neighborhood. I was very happy to see the space rented. I will stop in this weekend.