There are few shops as unabashedly cool as Object_ify 139. Opened last fall by super charming local Maria Candanoza, the pristine Lower East Side space stocks art objects, vinyl, posters and zines from all your favorite local cool kids. Not only does 24-year-old Candanoza have exceptional taste, she runs with a scene of ambitious young musicians, photographers, artists and weirdos who were more than happy to fill her new spot with their latest creations.
“The shop came out of being part of such a creative community – everyone has a studio and makes work, but never ever seeing it,” she says. “I wanted to create a space where these things could be shared not only within our ‘community of artists’ but also with the general public.”
From freshly pressed vinyl from downtown it-band Threats to posters and postcards featuring Chad Moore’s dreamy nude photographs, Object_ify is full of impossibly hip oddities. “Pretty much everyone I know makes art of some sort,” Candanoza admits, but although she kept the first round of covetable goodies in “the family,” now she’s expanding her repertoire. “I’ve been asking for references and making studio visits. I also want to have an open submissions policy. I’ve found awesome work from people that come into the store.”
Object_ify is hardly all work and no play. Every short while there’s a party to fete the store’s newest item or site-specific window installation (she plans to change the window monthly). Most recently, pals cracked PBRs to honor artist Priscilla Jeong’s Passive Blisters, a slick sculpture that mimics the shop’s clean aesthetic. “I met Priscilla in school at SVA and always loved her work. She has such a good understanding of materials and her stuff is always weirdly beautiful,” Candanoza says.
The shop feels right at home on the Lower East Side, steps away from its owner’s favorite haunt, Welcome to the Johnsons (“It’s the bar I frequent the most, for sure”), as well as the hood’s fancier outposts, (“There’s a lot of cute shops on Orchard like Coming Soon and Project No. 8″). “The Lower East Side is where I hang out and where I met most of the artists in the store,” Candanoza says. “It has a good combination of old and new, shitty and nice.”
Object_ify 139 is located at 139 Essex Street in New York.