Max Fish, World’s Most Unlikely Art Gallery

12.09.10 Bucky Turco

Max Fish, a soon-to-be-closed (and possibly reopened) Lower East Side bar, has been faithfully saturating New York City’s downtown set with booze and art for a decade. Although it was never the most conducive space for showing work, many young artists willingly squeezed their canvasses and paintings onto its cluttered walls.

Bast, Faile, DALEK, Dash Snow, Frank Kozick, and Shepard Fairey are but a few of the names that exhibited at the Fish when they were still considered “emerging” and who have gone on to establish successful careers.

Then there’s the pool table and bathrooms, both of which are littered with tags and stickers from some of the city’s most celebrated vandals. At the end of January, its doors will be closed for good, and many have taken to Twitter to declare this as an end of an era.

But didn’t people said the same thing when the Gas Station on Avenue B or any of other dozen or so old school NYC venues like the Red Zone, Save the Robots, CBGBs, and all the weed spots in the East Village closed? (Photo: Rohan Travellin/flickr)