UPDATE: Aaron Bondaroff has now stepped down from Know Wave following allegations of sexual misconduct. After the news broke yesterday, Bondaroff announced that he resigned from his co-founded gallery, Moran Bondaroff.
Read Know Wave’s statement on his resignation below and scroll down to see our original coverage on the allegations.
“As part of Aaron Bondaroff’s resignation from Moran Bondaroff, he will also be stepping down from Know Wave. The accusations levied against Aaron are serious, and sexual harassment goes against everything that Know Wave stands for. We have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment of any kind. With that said, we would like to reiterate what we do value: creativity, humanity, and perseverance.
Know Wave began as a humble platform for expression, which over the years has developed into a diverse, extensive, and vibrant community. Since 2012, Know Wave has gone from broadcasting one program in one city, to presenting over 200 programs spanning four continents. Our community is much bigger than one person and represents so many voices.
We want the women who have come forward to know that we hear you. We take these allegations very seriously, and we are dedicated to participating in the ongoing conversation on the topic of sexual harassment.
Effective immediately, Paul Simone has been named Director of Global Programming, and Kai Lily will be the Director of UK Programming.
“To me, Know Wave represents all of the creative people that I’ve had the privilege of working with over the last three years, in particular, the show hosts who have cultivated such a strong community through their powerful voices. Moving forward, I plan to provide an even stronger stage for these diverse individuals to have an open dialogue, in order for Know Wave to realign itself with whatever direction the community dictates. It is important for me to play a leadership role in elevating the voices that should be heard, and promise to work tirelessly in that effort.” – Paul Simone
“I have been working for Know Wave in London, producing radio shows in partnership with an incredible group of creatives. I always understood Know Wave to be a safe space run by and for young people, with a focus on promoting education and consciousness, providing a venue for those without a voice. The actions of one individual do not reflect the hard work of all of the amazing contributors who make Know Wave what it is. I feel privileged to continue programming shows which reflect the progressive and inclusive nature of this loved station.” – Kai Lily
Following the shift in our culture, we will continue to provide this platform for expression, open to all contemporary discourse. We look forward to working with Paul and Kai to ensure that Know Wave remains true to its core mission of fostering a kind and respectful community.”
Aaron Bondaroff (also known as A-Ron) has been accused of sexual misconduct by three women, as reported by artnet. Bondaroff helped run Supreme’s first store in 1994 and in 2001 launched his own brand, aNYthing. In 2008, he co-founded the Moran Bondaroff Gallery (formerly known as OHWOW) which, among others, represents Daniel Arsham and the estate of Robert Mapplethorpe. The gallery also founded the radio station and clothing brand Know Wave. Following the allegations, Bondaroff has stepped down from his position at Moran Bondaroff.
The first allegation emerged on Instagram Sunday night when Canadian singer and model Dana Wright posted a screenshot of an exchange between a mutual friend Jeff Potocar and Bondaroff (artnet has since verified Bondaroff’s number).
In an interview with the magazine, Wright alleges that while driving her home, Bondaroff groped her, putting his hand down her one-piece bodysuit and ripping it. “The whole thing was very violent,” she told artnet. “I tried to grab his arm and he wouldn’t budge. It was rock solid.” Then, Wright alleges that Bondaroff asked her to not tell anyone what happened, and said that he would try to help her advance in her career.
Three of Wright’s friends told arnet that she told them about the allegations, including Lele Saveri, who quit his Know Wave radio show on air the day after the alleged incident.
A second woman, DJ and photographer Musa Alves came forward with allegations against Bondaroff. Alves met Bondaroff in 2015 while doing a radio show for Know Wave. Shortly after, they began texting and Bondaroff invited her to his place. When she arrived, Alves alleges that Bondaroff began kissing her non-consensually. She then suggested they go to a restaurant, while Bondaroff repeatedly asked that they go to a sex shop and buy BDSM items (BDSM is a recurrent theme in Alves’s artwork).
“I was like, ‘No, I’m into the aesthetic of it, but I’m not really into that and don’t want to feel pressured to have sex with you because you bought me stuff,’” she told arnet. “He kept trying to force himself on me and I was like, ‘Why don’t we try to go somewhere,’ and he kept saying, ‘Yeah, I’ll buy you stuff [at the sex shop]’. It was a broken record.”
The third allegation comes from an anonymous artist who alleges that Bondaroff contacted her on Instagram to set up a professional meeting, which then turned into what arnet describes as “an unwanted sexual encounter.”
When the artist allegedly met up with Bondaroff, she suggested they go to a restaurant, when driving there together Bondaroff passed a motel where the late artist Dash Snow used to work and suggested to stop. “He said, ‘It might be really inspiring to you,’” the artist said. “I thought in my gut that this was off, but I was so naive.”
Via his lawyer, Bondaroff responded to the allegations writing that, “My recollection of these consensual encounters is very different from what these women described.”
The gallerist continued: “There was never a moment where someone told me to stop and I kept going. However, hearing these allegations has given me the opportunity to reexamine my behavior in all my past relationships. I am far from perfect and realize that I was insensitive and inconsiderate at times. That’s unacceptable and something I want to remedy.
“I recognize that I have sat in a position of privilege in this industry and perceptions are everything,” Bondaroff wrote. “As a result, effective immediately, I am resigning from Moran Bondaroff. I will take this time to focus on improving myself and making amends.”
Head to artnet to read the full story.
If you have been sexually assaulted, there are resources to help you.
- Main & Featured Image: Supreme