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Where is home to you?
Lucky for us, home is Los Angeles. Our house has been our refuge during the stay at home order. We have a 15 month old, so it’s hectic but amazing.
How did you become involved in the art world?
I certainly entered an Art World via photography, which is a love affair I started in high school… I ended up moving to Toronto when I was 19 to attend Ryerson’s School of Image Arts… and it was that time that I met other artists and musicians. When I was in Toronto, the art scene and the music scene were very connected, as one cultural insurgency.
One of the great artworks that expanded my understanding of what “art” is was witnessing one Kelly Mark’s “Glow Homes” in 2005 with Victoria Cheong and David Armstrong Six. A house illuminated by TV light. Its immediacy was simple,
brilliant, profound, and perfect. That was definitely an important moment in my trajectory within the arts.
What draws you into an artwork?
Simplicity and straightforwardness speak to me the most. That is where you see an artist’s genius, when they aren’t hiding behind anything.
What makes the Canadian arts community uniquely vibrant?
I think the fact that I started my journey in the arts within the Canadian art community, it certainly shaped the person I am today. Some of the most amazing artists Night Gallery has worked with are Canadian – Wanda Koop, who is on our roster and is one of Canada’s most legendary painters, as well as Tau Lewis, Vanessa Maltese, Divya Mehra, Elise Rasmussen, and Rachelle Sawatsky, all of whom have participated in group or solo exhibitions at the gallery in the past two years. I do miss the Canadian art scene, and I try to stay connected through different collaborations namely with Cooper Cole.
Do you have a favourite exhibition you’ve seen in the past year?
In thinking about this question, one show sprang from my heart: Derek Fordjour’s solo show “SHELTER” at the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) in St. Louis. The exhibition was curated by the Wassan Al-Khudhairi, and was installed amid an immersive maze of corrugated metal structures, with sand on the floors. The show was perfectly titled, since the concept of “shelter” really played a starring role. My experience of seeing that show will stay with me forever… It was on Feb 28th, and for me the pandemic panic had already started. Thinking back to it, being there was an out of body experience, as I thought about displacement, shelter, time passing, all against the backdrop of a looming “shelter in place” that has become our reality. Thinking of that show, I count my blessings for the roof over my head.
What are you working on currently?
It’s amazing how busy we have been during this “stay at home” time, having leapt right into action by launching our own viewing room, as well as participating in viewing rooms hosted by the Dallas Art Fair, Frieze, David Zwirner, and the new association of art galleries Gallery Platform: Los Angeles.
How do you see the current global situation pushing the art world to evolve?
I hope it evolves .into a more eco-friendly industry. There are aspects of the art world that create such an embarrassing carbon footprint. What we were doing before was unsustainable, not only on an environmental level but also on a physical and biological level… We shouldn’t be on a plane every week. That can’t be good for you.
As far as the industry goes, I do feel fortunate that we are well prepared for a robust digital artbuying interface – in fact, it has already become the norm in many ways. There is nothing strange about buying an artwork off a JPEG. That isn’t to say it can replace the in-person experience of living with an artwork, but it is incredibly useful for galleries to be able to share work virtually, and something that the whole arts industry is sure to continue to invest in as we have experienced this seismic shift.