On my way to Bond Street Studio, I had one of those lovely Brooklyn realizations: I’ve been living in this city for a decade, but I’ve never walked down this particular block before. I love how this blog project has really given me the opportunity to explore new corners of our fabulous borough!
Like Factory Brooklyn, Bond Street Studio is a blank canvas of a space, which can be rented out for photo and video shoots. They’ve had some really diverse clients, including Google, General Electric, Italian Elle, and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. As Tiasia, Bond Street’s branding consultant, told me, “It’s the right amount of space to make an intimate set, it’s not too grandiose. You really have the option of molding and playing with the space here, the way the light falls, the skylights, everything.” Photographer Robert DiScalfani, the owner, also uses the space as an art gallery, specializing in giving lesser-known artists a new audience. It’s such a versatile space, and Robert’s got plenty of tricks up his sleeve for new ways to use it, so expect to hear about a lot of cool events here soon.
brooklyn spaces: What made you decide to open the studio?
Robert: I’m a photographer, I do mostly fashion photography, high-end wedding photography, and food photography, and I started doing videography a few years ago as well. I’ve owned two studios in Manhattan, and the rents just got too crazy, so I moved to Brooklyn about ten years ago. I owned a photo gallery down the street called Bond Street Gallery, which was a happening little spot. Unfortunately, we opened up just prior to the market crash, and then all hell broke loose, no one was buying anything. So I was working out of a live/work loft in Cobble Hill, and I was approached by some builders in the neighborhood who asked me if I needed a workspace, and I did. This is a new construction, it was a dirt lot a few years ago. When I started renting it out, it was about 80% still photography and 20% video, but now it’s completely the opposite. There’s so much filmmaking going on in the area, it’s incredible. And last year we start having some exhibitions here, as well.
brooklyn spaces: What have been some favorite shoots, or interesting people who have been through?
Robert: Google was here recently, shooting a video called “Chromercise,” about their browser Chrome. Italian Elle comes through several times a year, with a terrific photographer named Paulo Sutch. Kristen Schaal from The Daily Show was photographed here. Recently we had Saunders Sermons shoot a music video here, he’s a jazz musician but he also sings R&B, and he’s played trombone or saxophone for Jay-Z and Fantasia songs. I also had Ted Leo and the Pharmacists here not long ago. It’s great seeing all the creative people come through and whip this place into something you would never imagine possible.
brooklyn spaces: What are some things you’d like to do that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
Robert: A gallery I know in Soho has a monthly photo salon, and I’d love to do that here. I’d also like to do something similar for independent film. Another thing I want to do with the gallery is to showcase more new artists. It’s not easy to get an exhibition in New York; you don’t just walk into a Chelsea gallery and get an exhibition. So I’d like to open up the space to people who need an opportunity to show their work. There’s so much talent out here. I found this artist from Haiti last week, I walked into his apartment in Bushwick and looked at the paintings and I was stunned. His stuff is so detailed and deep and layered. Just beautiful. And this guy has never had a show!
brooklyn spaces: Do you feel Brooklyn has had an influence on the space?
Robert: Oh, I’m thrilled to be in Brooklyn. It’s such a great place, the creativity is just over the top here, it’s fantastic. Whatever your imagination can come up with is possible in Brooklyn.