By Jamie Martinez
Jamie Martinez: As being a working artist for many years, how did this shape your curatorial philosophy?
Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont: Well, my curatorial philosophy is shaped by a personal and passionate endeavor to see more artists like myself on the same platform as me. With that in mind, as an artist that curates shows not a curator I bring a different perspective. I think of particular themes such as The Aesthetics of Matter that will create a strong dialogue around particular art practices and ideas that people can relate too.
JM: How does your interaction with an artist evolve from your initial encounter with their work, to studio visit, and then to the realization of a fair exhibition?
MT & RC: If we meet the artist at the same time as when we encounter the work we have a conversation with them about their process and what they’re excited about. If not then we ask for the artists contact info. We go back and do a little research online. With both paths if we’re still interested, we reach out and do a studio visit. If we believed the artists work fit with our concept for the show we sent them an invite.
JM: Racquel, having consulted and advised artist for several years, how would you advise artist to develop intentional practices and habits?
RC: I tell artists to look at their practice as a business. Make sure they develop a routine. Respond to emails and requests in a timely fashion. As an artist you’re running your own business you need to treat it as such, the business side is just as important as the creative. Decide what your weeks are going to look like regarding your studio time. Get in your studio, there’ll be time to party and be fabulous later, your main focus should be your work.
JM: There are 8 different artist with various disciplines in your show at Volta, what was the determining factor in these selected for the fair?
MT & RC: We looked for artists that were using their materials in ways to obstruct, disrupt or interfere with social norms. The eight artists participating are Kennedy Yanko, Christie Neptune, David Shrobe, Tomashi Jackson, Devin Morris, Troy Michie, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Didier William.
JM: As curatorial team working in a space with a social and political consciousness, what can we look forward to in the future from Deuxfemmesnoires?
MT & RC: You can look forward to us helping to push forward the boundaries with artists of color.