Today—the finale of our 30 day 2021 Holiday Countdown!—our featured gift epitomizes the ‘last but not least’ aphorism. With gift giving deadlines rapidly approaching, we saved this pick for last, not because it wasn’t worthy of an earlier spotlight, but because it’s digital availability makes it ideally suited for last minute, shipping-free shopping.
From prescient art advisor and fundamentally phenomenal human being, David Behringer, The Two Percent premium membership service is a digital door to the art world through which one is introduced to the nuances of contemporary conceptualism and to the unraveling mysteries behind outstanding—but less than illustrative—installations.
"David Behringer is founder of The Two Percent, [the] highest rated private gallery tour company in NYC… For the last 17 years, he has visited over 40,000 contemporary art exhibitions, uncovering and sharing the most exciting artists today through private tours and various written/video educational resources." (1)
As art lovers and Miami residents, we have spent our fair share of time grazing through the luscious abundance of newly sprouted art gallery exhibitions and navigating the hoards of tourist-minded patrons in the corridors and booths of Art Basel. But, as all art lovers know, there is a limitation to how much art we can make time to see and, more importantly, how much art we have the resources to understand. Especially true with contemporary pieces, the artists’ inspiration for and conceptualization of the works are as important to a complete understanding and appreciation of the pieces as the initial emotional evocation. It is unfortunately impossible to understand, with completeness, every piece exhibited in every gallery, in every city, particularly given the restrictions of this peaking period of the pandemic. Because of this reality, we turn to experts like Behringer, who dedicate their lives and enviably expansive mental energies to understanding art world offerings, for both wisdom and guidance.
In his own words, “because 98% of art is boring, let us save you time and show you the best 2% of contemporary art in New York City” (2). We emphatically agree! Behringer, based in New York, visits galleries and art shows sifting through the roughage and compiling an astonishingly rich mental library and a monumental breadth of artistic experience. He then calls upon this canon of knowledge to curate collections, presented as guided tours, newsletters, and video explanations, through which he shares the brief moments of found brilliance with us mere mortals. When it comes to the art of the Big Apple there is no one—honestly, no one—we trust more than Behringer. Not only does he share ingenious works we would have otherwise missed, he explains why one should appreciate them and offers his own insightful and often instinctual relationship with each piece. Art is a deeply personal experience—one that demands a level of vulnerability in addition to a strictly academic dissection of meaning—and it can be challenging to find experts who are willing and able to guide with authenticity, openness, and candor. Behringer’s sincerity creates an approachable and engaging atmosphere of learning—free of the all-to-common pedantic pretension—that appeals to art world novices and veterans alike.
There is objective verity in his descriptions of each piece; he winds through the history of the artists’s process and pilots us through the significance of the placement of the work and the intentionality of its interaction with surrounding space. Through his content, Behringer introduces us not only to newly exhibited art but also to his profoundly unique perspective—one that is a remarkable marriage of intellectualism and intuitiveness. Most importantly, he invites us to develop our own perspectives and provides us with the ample tools with which to do so.
Let’s talk a bit more about what comprises The Two Percent premium content and why we think it makes an absolutely unrivaled gift. Here is Behringer himself expounding his two premium offerings: the “1 Year Tour” which shares a recorded guided gallery experience featuring 2-3 exhibitions every two weeks for the entire year and The Back Room weekly newsletter designed for those with a minimum $10,000 art budget who are specifically interested in acquiring new works and advancing their art collecting strategies and skill sets.
Additionally, members are granted access to The Two Percent’s map lists: maps of New York onto which Behringer overlays current, spotlight-worthy exhibitions and provides a brief description of what one should keep an eye out for when visiting them. For the art-loving New Yorkers on our list, this map alone is worth the membership fees! The addition of the comprehensive, insider-acquired insight into the world of art acquisition offered in The Back Room subscription solidifies the service’s standing as a life changing gift for those with the financial resources, artistic acumen, and drive to collect that is reasonably required in order to take value from the newsletter.
And for those residing outside of The City, those just beginning their dives into the depths of contemporary art, and those simply with a thirst for knowledge and insatiable curiosity, the 1 Year Tour membership makes an incredible gift. There aren’t many opportunities for us to see the world through the eyes of experts, especially those who are as captivating as David Behringer, so each time we get the chance it feels like magic! Through this membership, you’re gifting your loved ones that moment of wonder, of discovery, and of scholarship every two weeks. We truly can’t imagine a more enticing offering.
So there you have it: 30 days of holiday gifts! We hope you’ve found inexhaustible inspiration and support for your planning of outstanding winter celebrations. Next week we'll return to our regular content but, similarly to last year, we’ll make the Gift Guide content available year round so you can return whenever you need birthday, anniversary, and just-because gift ideas!
Have a wondrous and healthy holiday season!
Cheers to you, our phenomenal audience!
Stay tuned for next week when we return to our non-gift content.