I have such a treat for you all today with a BRAND NEW Professionals Interview. The one and only Daria Borisova
It was incredible to speak to Borisova, and realise how much our visions align as curators.
She describes her experience in the creative world so far as a ‘Never-ending rollercoaster adventure’.
Borisova works as a curator, art advisor and activist, whose passion for supporting emerging artists, as well as advocating for gender equality is clear in her work.
“Passion, Focus, Dedication”
We discuss Georgia O’Keeffe, her mentors, collectors and collections, her Project Ghana art exhibition and more. It’s a really beautiful interview, online now.
Daria, how would you describe what you do in a few words?
Passion, Focus, Dedication.
I am a curator, art advisor and activist who is passionate about supporting emerging artists and advocating for gender equality.
I GET THE BEST ANSWERS TO THIS QUESTION, AND SO IT'S A MUST TO ASK YOU:
If you could have a meal with any artist from any time:
a) what would the meal be and
b) who would it be with, and Why?
I would definitely visit Georgia O'Keeffe's house in New Mexico and try her famous homemade bread. O’Keefe was a serious health food enthusiast and lived to be 98 years old. She was always seeking to be artistic in every aspect of her life.
I LOVE THAT. I THINK O'KEEFFE MIGHT HAVE TO BE MINE TOO! Tell me about your earliest memory surrounding art, and when did you decide to pursue a career in art?
Growing up in the Russian countryside, I wasn’t really exposed to art until I started traveling when I would visit museums and attend openings. But my first real interaction within the art world probably happened when I visited an art collective in Soho NY. I fell in love with the artist lifestyle- no 9-5, Monday to Friday grind. Rather, they had the flexibility and freedom to focus on creating. To have that pure freedom and to be surrounded by art was beautiful. The owner of the collective saw my passion and asked me to help with an art auction to help fundraise for a new space. I never looked back since.
AND What was your first position in the ‘art world’?
I met many artists in New York who became my friends, and I was helping some of them to organize exhibitions. I worked on many events and exhibitions for different artists. I started sharing these experiences on my social media, and collectors started reaching out to me to buy directly from the studio. So I learned how to sell art :)
And do you have a top tip for someone starting out in the art world?
Energy and passion is 70% of success. If you don’t have it, always be nice to everyone you meet because the art world can be small. The art world is built on relationships, and you never know who you’ll meet. So keep yourself open to opportunities, and be nice. Also, I think if you’re serious about building a good reputation for yourself, you should pick a few artists to focus on and really learn everything you can on them. For me, I started studying Richard Hambleton and other street artists, learned as much as I could and connected myself to more people with the same interest. In time, business will come to you because you have connections, the passion and the expertise.
What was the first piece of artwork you bought/collected, and what is the jewel in your art collection Daria?
Since my journey started in New York, I befriended a number of street and graffiti artists who gifted me works through the years. My first one was a small painting from Paul Insect, and my jewel is a work by my favorite artist, Richard Hambleton.
This is a tricky one I know! - If you could own any piece of artwork, what would that work be, and where would you hang it?
White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) by Mark Rothko, and I would put it in my storage for now. Something that good goes straight to storage! I would also love a major painting by Cecily Brown, a Nurse painting by Richard Prince, or a Word painting by Christopher Wool.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m self-taught and never went to art school or was exposed to art at a young age. I learned everything through experience and passion, and also my two mentors, Rick Librizzi and Ghada Dergham.
What has been your experience of the creative world so far?
Never-ending rollercoaster adventure.
How would you reframe the conversation around art to get more people involved?
I think there’s this tendency to think of art as something that is out of reach, or only accessible to those with money. In the past, art was something only the upper class and aristocrats had access to, but now it’s available to everyone in different forms. Social media, and Instagram specifically, have completely democratized the art world by creating new entry points of accessibility and communication. You don’t have to be in New York or London to participate in this world, but rather, you can look to Instagram or even your local art scene to be a part of it. Everyone can be involved in different ways, and you meet the most interesting people through art.
AGREE ENTIRELY - What are some things you’re committed to fulfilling in your career?
It’s important to me to build a reputation as someone who instantly recognizes emerging talents and who is able to place works with the right collectors. Nothing makes me happier than discovering a new talent. I also love doing charity work, and believe this is something to continue in my career. Art is an amazing tool that builds empathy and brings like-minded people together for good causes.
What has been the highlight of your career so far Daria?
A couple of years ago, I co-curated the Project Ghana art exhibition for Beauty for Freedom, and it was a really beautiful experience. Our goal was to empower young trafficking survivors as artists and creatives while raising funds for the rescue, recovery, education and reintegration of more survivors in Ghana. 100% of the proceeds of the artwork sold went to Challenging Heights, a Ghanaian anti-trafficking organization, and JR’s Inside Out Project. More recently, ending this June, we wrapped a project in response to Covid-19 with W1 Curates and Amplifier where we held a global call for artists for a digital public art installation in London. There were tens of thousands of entries, and we raised over £100,000 that went back to the winning artists.
What is your greatest indulgence in life?
Taking a day off that I’m not supposed to! I love to have fun, travel, eat good food and spend time with friends and family. Days where I can put the work away, put the phone down, seem like a luxury.
Looking ahead, what do you think could be your biggest challenge?
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
What would be your dream project?
My dream is to have a big house where I can host artists for residency and exhibit their work. Host big dinners for art lovers. I love bringing people together.
Daria, who is your favourite historical female artist?
Georgia O'Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Hilma af Klint, Augusta Savage, Judy Chicago
And who are your favourite current practicing women artists?
Betty Tomkins: https://instagram.com/bettytompkinsart?igshid=gvr9r9c25ucb
Jenny Saville: https://instagram.com/jenny_saville_art?igshid=7w8btfj7hxgn
Shara Hughes: https://instagram.com/sharalynne?igshid=sw5ilvahojr5
Louise Bonnet: https://instagram.com/louisebonnetstudio?igshid=kc9cr2l9u5wq
Jade Fadojutimi: https://instagram.com/jadefadojutimi?igshid=1t9zfxkbuqkc4
Claire Tabouret: https://instagram.com/clairetabouret?igshid=6u0o6s8jnt2k
Genieve Figgis: https://instagram.com/genievefiggis?igshid=4umvol3ebl97
Jesse Mockrin: https://instagram.com/jessemockrin?igshid=1ntotnjwp2kp3
Who should She Curates interview next?
Anne Verhallen: https://instagram.com/anne_verhallen?igshid=1y0nerv7ljued
Vajra Sarcadia: https://instagram.com/vajrasarcadia?igshid=1marxwcxdi2ni
Destinee Ross-Sutton: https://instagram.com/desti.knee?igshid=1u35pshex5jnj
Beth Redmond : https://instagram.com/bethredmond?igshid=178wi8bo6fue8
Angeliki Kim Jonson: https://instagram.com/dynamisk?igshid=1ekz1unwkqava
Is there anything else you wanted to say Daria?
Thank you for promoting art and empowering women in the art world!