In Conversation with Egyptian Painter Ghada Amer

Ghada Amer is an Egyptian painter, sculptor, and installation artist whose work addresses the issues of femininity, sexuality, and gender roles. Creatively she customizes ideas and symbols of religious fundamentalism and cultural identity via unique paintings and sculptures that illustrate her wide and varied talents. Ghada began her artistic training in Nice, France. As a student in the BFA and MFA programs of Villa Arson, Amer was excluded from painting classes because they were reserved for male students only. Refusing this narrative, she pursued an exciting career that continues to break boundaries. She injects a unique perspective on art, using different mediums to redefine what it means to be an artist. Ghada Amer now lives and works in New York City.  It was a pleasure to interview her for  Occhi Magazine.  Read the full interview here

Photo Credit: Arts/Industry, photographer Scott Seifert.

In Conversation with Gallerist Jenn Singer

I met Jenn Singer several years ago at a gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan. She struck me as a warm, personable and professional individual with a genuine passion for the arts and a natural ability to engage with people, particularly prospective buyers. It is no surprise she celebrates 5 years of running her gallery with the launch of new artist additions, expanded services,  a new look and redesigned website where collectors can purchase artwork online. On behalf of Occhi Magazine,  I had the pleasure of speaking to Jenn about the gallery, the industry and what we can look forward to.

Jenn, when did you first gain an interest in art and how did it lead to you becoming a gallerist?

I first started my career in the visual art world, nearly 15 years ago, from the perspective of a trained dancer who had been in the performing arts since I was 5 years old.

When I found myself working in an art gallery, almost by accident, I felt at home immediately. My first sale of a painting, that first day on the job, spurred the question “but how much does the artist make?” This question was important for me to ask because, in my experience as a dancer in NYC, the path to making a real living from one’s art can be a tiresome struggle. The answer I received was music to my ears “the artist will make 50%”. I was hooked. That was a good payday for them, and I learned this particular artist’s work sold well. This artist made a living from doing what they loved the most, and from then on that was my “why”. I sell art so that artists can get paid to do what they love.

The gallery is now in its fifth year. Are there any role models in the industry who have inspired and motivated you to be where you are now?

I receive most of my motivation and inspiration from the artists themselves, as it’s their passion that leads to creation that drives me to support them. Without art where would any of us be? It would be a very different, less bearable world for sure. I am very grateful for my teachers along the way, the gallery owners who I’ve worked for in the past. Without them, I would not have learned the business of art. I asked a lot of questions and learned a lot (and a lot of what not to do). But over the past five years in business, the art world has changed dramatically. So I’ve mostly looked for inspiration from business leaders and role models from outside the art world, which seems to be somewhat lacking in innovation when it comes to dealing with shifting business models. I’ve never been comfortable with the lack of transparency and “coldness” of the white box gallery model. I have also witnessed and experienced the lack of support of women in the arts. So, my inspirations have come from women in business who are also creatives but not necessarily from the art world proper.

One of my recent inspirations is Mary Portas and her book Work Like a Woman. The white male dominance of the fashion world she describes reminded me of the hurdles that women who work in the art world face. It seems that in creative industries, there would be more, not less, support of women and their invaluable intuition at work, but that’s not how it is. It’s still mostly run by men who care more about their bottom lines than people. Mary has powered through, broken down the systems that weren’t working and rebuilt her business as a leader who gives back, encourages working from the female seat of intuition and supports other women in business to do the same. I have a long way to go in developing this business, but it’s leaders like Mary that I look to when I need a boost of confidence and encouragement.

How would you describe the gallery’s program?

We represent a diverse, international roster of emerging and mid-career contemporary artists, including Anne Austin Pearce (USA), Al Luke (South Africa), David Stenbeck aka@dovneon (Sweden), Emily Weiskopf (USA), Faatimah Mohamed-Luke (South Africa), Frida Harari Sitton (Mexico), Michelle Rogers (Ireland), Timothy P. Wilson (USA) and Virginia Wagner (USA). Our artists & exhibitions have been featured in Wallpaper*, Cultured Magazine, VICE – The Creators Project, The Huffington Post, Glamour and Hi-Fructose Magazine, among other publications.

Our expertise and global reach make collecting contemporary art easy, but our services reach well beyond this, including sourcing and consigning artwork from the secondary market, trade accounts for international art advisors and interior designers for residential, corporate, hospitality, film & tv set design, public art & commercial projects, custom framing and representing and connecting artists with global brands for mid-large scale licensing and commission projects….

 

You can read the full interview on Occhi Magazine’s official website. 

Jenn Singer Photographed by Peter Roessler

In Conversation with Musician Ray ‘Mr Goldfinger’ Angry

Raymond Angry, David Emmanuel Noel & Occhi MagazineRay Angry is a classically trained pianist, producer, musical director and one of the most sought after artists today. Aside from his documented talents, he’s a very unassuming, respectful and admirable individual, which I’m sure is an attraction for the plethora of acts who have worked with him. Ray’s first-class resume features collaborations with Jeff Beck, Wynton Marsalis, Mark Ronson, Q-Tip, Yolanda Adams, Daniel Winans, Joss Stone, Sting, Me’Shell Ndegéocello, Esperanza Spalding, Dionne Warwick, Dianne Reeves, Queen Latifah, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Kelis, Christina Aguilera and ongoing associates The Roots. Currently, in London, we managed to catch up to discuss his current residency, initiatives and future projects. The full interview is available via Occhi Magazine

For further information on Ray Angry please visit his official website, TwitterFacebook and Instagram accounts

Ray appears with Daniel Merriweather at LAYLOW, Golborne Road, London, UK this evening from 8pm

Raymond Angry Photo by Jill Greenberg

In Conversation With Musician Richie Goods

Richie Goods, David Emmanuel Noel, Occhi Magazine
Photo by: Kasia Idzkowska

Richie Goods is someone who comes to mind when I think of an artist who excels in the techniques of musicianship. Possessing an extremely professional and buoyant approach to his art, Richie Goods is a celebrated bassist, bandleader, and producer, who has worked with a plethora of universally recognized acts including Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, and Alicia Keys.

His new album entitled  ‘My Left Hand Man’ celebrates the legacy and compositional talents of his late mentor, Mulgrew Miller.  It is an intoxicating collection of tracks that respectfully pay homage to Miller. Confidently fusing elements of jazz, blues, and funk, the album successfully delivers a broad-stroke of psychedelic sounds, solos, and memorable renditions delivered meticulously by a cohort of some of the finest musicians on the circuit. Featured artists include pianists Shedrick Mitchell and Mike King, guitarists Tariqh Akoni and David Rosenthal, Lil John Roberts on drums, vocalist Jean Baylor, vibraphonist Chien Chien Lu, and percussionist Danny Sadownick. The composition and musical arrangements are what we expect from an artist of Good’s standing, leaving it easy for me to recommend this to your record list. It was great catching up with Richie to discuss the album and his career in general. The full interview is available on the Occhi Magazine website.

Article 25’s 10 x 10 Art Auction 2019

I’m looking forward to Article 25’s 10 x 10 Art Auction 2019 at the Royal Institute of British Architects. The event supports ongoing work with vulnerable communities around the world. Article 25 is an architecture charity based in London that has worked on more than 90 projects in 34 countries, making it arguably one of the most influential architectural NGOs in the world. It uses design to improve health, livelihood, and resilience to disasters and is driven by Article 25 of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to adequate and dignified shelter. The charity’s vision is a world where all communities have access to better housing, safe school buildings and effective clinics and hospitals, and they provide the skills and expertise needed to make this a reality.

The ’10×10 London’ event is the charity’s flagship fundraising event.  It is a unique concept, bringing together 100 prominent artists, designers, and architects to create 100 pieces of art, offering 100 unique reflections on the constantly changing landscape of the city. The initiative covers a grid of 100 squares across London’s Isle of Dogs, parts of Greenwich and Poplar, so as not to miss out on the architectural riches on display in these neighboring parts of the city. The Isle of Dogs has a long history of change. It was a major shipping market hub for London acting as a gateway for international shipping both imports and exports for the capital. Today Canary Wharf sits proudly at the center of the same Isle of Dogs location, exporting global financial services, real estate development and associated corporate consulting services. The theme encourages artists and architects to illustrate the rich tapestry of historic landmarks, diverse communities and cultures, and champions of commerce past and present.

The event takes place at the Royal Institute of British Architects, Portland Place 66 Portland Place London, England, W1B INR on Monday, November 18, 2019, from 19:00

For ticket sales, further information on Article 25 or artwork to be auctioned please visit the Article 25 website.