Gertrude Stories: Gaelle Porte

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Gaelle is a French-born, New York-based contemporary art curator and studio director of artist Prune Nourry’s studio. She’s also one of our all-time favorite curators here at Gertrude, and guests love her (she has an average guest rating of 5/5 on her 4 past Salons!) . At her Salons, Gaelle shares access to the privacy of an artist’s studio, allowing for better comprehension of the artists’ purpose.

What do you think about the format of Gertrude Salons? The unique format of the Gertrude salons lies in the fact that the audience has the opportunity to actually ask questions to the artist directly. The curator helps guide  and open up the discussion when some may feel intimidated or not always know where to begin the conversation. In order to really understand the process of an artist, there is nothing better than to hear and see it directly from the inside.

Past Salon: Prune Nourry Studio Visit

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Gaelle talks as artist Prune Nourry and guests look on during Prune’s studio visit.

Can you tell us a little about Prune? Prune is an artist I have known for years and have had the joy of working closely with for 2.5 years. I am constantly surprised by her intelligence, avant garde ideas and determination. She is not 30, yet she has the mind of an empress conquering the world with a noble cause.

She reflects upon gender preference in China with her latest project Terracotta Daughters. Appropriating the familiar symbol of China’s Terracotta Soldiers, Nourry created an army of 108 life-size Terracotta Daughters a symbol for the unborn girls.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to host their own Salon? Make sure it is a subject you feel passionate about. Know it well so you can go deeper than what anyone could easily find online. Try to make the audience feel comfortable enough to join in the conversation and make it an enriching experience to all. Everyone, the curator and the artist included, should walk out having learned something new. The discussion should feed new inspirations.

What people are saying about Gaelle’s Salons:

“Really enjoyed studio visit: -even more intimate -deeper insight into artist process and work setting.most salons/galleries/museums would only display finished work. Seeing intermediary elements (molds etc.) gave better understanding of how final pieces are created.”
          - Jeff A.

“5 stars for my first event with Gertrude. I spent a whole hour inside an artist’s head, an unforgettable experience. Gaelle, the curator, was a perfect host. she made the connection incredibly quickly between the artist and the audience.”
          -Matt V.

Gaelle’s Past Salons
Daniel Horowitz Studio Visit
Oliver Jeffers’ Studio Visit
Kyia Kim and Chong Gon Byun Studio Visit

Other links
Gaelle’s Profile
Gaelle’s Instagram
Prune Nourry’s Instagram
Interview with the Prune Nourry

Prune Nourry’s ongoing and upcoming projects
- Collective show - Girls, curated by Pharrell Williams at Galerie Perrotin, Paris - Opening May 27th
- Collective show - La Part Animale, curated by Tatyana Franck at Galerie Sophie Sheidecker, Paris - Opening May 27th
- Solo show - Terracotta Daughters, curated by Tatyana Franck, Flux Laboratory, Zurich - Opening June 13th

Want to host your own Salon? Start here.

July 17, 2014 0 Share this

Gertrude Stories: Karen Huber

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Karen is an independent contemporary art curator in Mexico City with a background in photography and painting. Her cosmopolitan and sophisticated vision has led to the innovative way she conceptualizes and implements group and individual exhibitions. Her current curatorial project is called WHITE SPIDER.

What do you think of the Mexico City art scene? Mexico City is a very inspiring city. Every year I see so many projects emerging from different directions with different points of views. From galleries, museums, and collections, to more independent and experimental projects. There are so many talented artists coming from all over the world to share their experience. Some say it’s the “New Berlin”.

Do you think that it is expanding globally? Yes! The market here is growing; everything in art is moving very fast. With Mexico’s cultural and historical heritage, I find it to be an extremely attractive, creative and inspiring place to foreigners. Both it’s past and present are very interesting to people all over the world.

It doesn’t feel local anymore, living here its starting to feel like were an international art community from all over the world making links from outside to here…so watch out world!

Salon:  Álvaro Castillo: ‘Conversaciones Rurales’ Led Tour & Conversation
Karen hosted a Salon in Mexico City with an artist she greatly believes in. It was a three part Salon that began with a short talk with the artist, Álvaro Castillo, a led tour of the exhibition, and a discussion between the artist, gallerist, and guests. The Salon was followed by some wine and tapas to celebrate the evening.

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The artist Álvaro Castillo speaks about the concept of his exhibition during the Salon.

Why do you think Álvaro Castillo is an important artist to know about? As a painter I find him very challenging and his work is so organic with lots of investigation and contextual background around it. He belongs to one of the most respected galleries in Mexico. As a person, he is charming character with many transcending ideas. I think he is an important element in his generation of artists.

Other Links
Karen’s Profile
Karen’s Instagram

Karen’s Upcoming Projects:
- Upcoming WHITE SPIDER curatorial project
- September, October, and December: Karen is producing and curating two solos shows and residences for Adriana Minoliti (painting, digital intervention and installation, Argentina); Daniel Horowitz (collage, painting, installation - Brooklyn, NY) and a collective show with artists living in Mexico
- August: Solo show in the gallery Art Space Mexico. Karen will present recent works by Felix D’ Eon
- In September, with Adriana Minoliti’s exhibition, Karen will present her own show (which is currently untitled) 
- Karen will be hosting more Gertrude Salons in August, September, October, November, and December, so watch out for those!
- In November, WHITE SPIDER will present a new concept of an art auction called PIG ME

Want to host your own Salon? Start here.

July 17, 2014 0 Share this

Gertrude Stories: Karen Huber

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Salon: Álvaro Castillo: ‘Conversaciones Rurales’ Led Tour & Conversation

“Mexico city is still a very wide canvas to make interesting things. Anything is possible here.”

Karen is one of the leading contemporary artists in Mexico City. Because she wanted to spread her passion for the Mexican Art Scene in an educational way, she decided to start hosting salons with Gertrude.

5 Contemporary Artists Living & Working in Mexico You Need To Know About According To Karen:

1. Rafael Uriegas

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Rafael Uriegas, Adan y Eva, 2012, oil on wood, 200 x 305 cm, Image courtesy of TOCA/Galería at Zona MACO via Installation Magazine.

2. Andrés Orjuela

3. Mateo Pizarro

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Mateo Pizarro, Ladron que roba ladron, 3, 2010, Original graphite drawing, Original Collection, Ladrón Roba Ladrón series, Image courtesy of BLESSA 22.  

4. Ary Ehrenmberg

5. Fabiola Torres-Alzaga

Fabiola Torres-Alzaga, House of Games, 2013, Image courtesy of Steve Turner Contemporary Gallery.

How would you characterize the art scene in Mexico City?

Mexico City is a very inspiring city. Every year I see so many projects emerging from different directions with different points of views. From galleries, museums, and collections, to more independent and experimental projects. There are so many talented artists coming from all over the world to share their experience. Some say it’s the “New Berlin”. The market here is growing; everything in art is moving very fast. With Mexico’s cultural and historical heritage, I find it to be an extremely creative and inspiring place to foreigners. Both it’s past and present are very interesting to people all over the world.

What is your involvement in this scene?

I’m completely involved collaborating with initiatives, galleries, museums, and art fairs. I have my own curatorial project, which is launching a limited edition project with fine art artist’s prints. I am managing and curating a new idea for an auction and am creating my own gallery. I also teach about curating as a medium for communication. Overall, I believe that one of my responsibilities, which comes from being immersed in the art world and being a curator, is to talk about art. My role is to explain an artist’s work and it’s importance. It is to be a guide on how to collect art, to give people perspective of what’s going on right now in the art world, and to really understand [the artwork] and its context. Basically, I hope to open minds and engage people to believe in art.

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An image from Karen’s past exhibition Sing Sweet Songs of Conviction in Mexico City.

How do you think the art world in Mexico City differs from the art scene in New York?

I think there are so many opportunities in Mexico, and so many projects to create that haven’t been done yet. Mexico city is still a very wide canvas to make interesting things. Anything is possible here.

What is the best art spot in Mexico City that most people don’t know about?

I wouldn’t say that people don’t know about it, but to me, and I speak from experience, one can take an art experience anywhere (an exhibition, a piece of art, etc.) and make it a great spot. I adore the city’s buildings, Porfirian Architecture, Art Deco, and historical houses from every decade. I see an opportunity to make something there, to give it life. It is the same life that happens when an artist finishes a piece of artwork.

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The Edificio Vizcaya in Mexico City is one of these historical and beautiful buildings in which Karen has done one exhibition and will do three more in the future.

Why is it important to pay attention to the art scene in Mexico City?

There is so much energy here. Galleries and promoters are engaging with exquisite and talented artists to present their work and ideas to the world.

As I said, artists, and even gallerists, from all over the world, are seeing and developing opportunities here. It doesn’t feel local anymore. Living here is starting to feel like an international art community from all over the world. So watch out world!

Want to host your own Salon? Start here.

June 25, 2014 1 Share this