The Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize Judging Panel is a selection of highly respected and renowned individuals in the art world, who cover a wide range of viewpoints and varied tastes for all movements, mediums and types of Fine Art.
In the latest of a series of interviews, we ask guest judge Averil Curci, the questions many artists have asked us. These including understanding what famous art and artists the judges like, more about the judges' expectations, their involvement in the art world, the exciting projects they are involved in and their own tips to help your career. If you have any new questions, feel free to comment below...
Averil is a London-based art advisor specialising in Photography. Her work focuses on acquisitions, sales and commissions for international private clients. She also mentors photographers providing creative direction, strategic and commercial advice. In Spring 2019 she will offer a programme of London Contemporary Art tours and studio visits.
Her keen eye comes from 15 of years of experience working in the art world - starting in New York where she was the director for Hamburg Kennedy Art Advisory & Projects, an established photography consultancy. Following this, she became the director of Brancolini Grimaldi, a contemporary photography gallery born in Florence and Rome which expanded to London, Mayfair in 2011. There she worked closely with both emerging and established artists, curating exhibitions and art fairs, developing special projects, events and publications.
See more about Averil Curci at www.averilcurci.com
Q1: Tell us about your pathway into the Arts?
A1: Growing up between Rome and London allowed me to be incredibly immersed in and surrounded by art and architecture. After university in Boston I moved to New York. I wanted to begin a career in photography and knew that New York City would be one of the most dynamic and developed markets to begin on my path. New York has always maintained such a vibrant art scene championed by one of the most informed and discerning collector bases I have witnessed thus far.
Q2: What are your values within the arts – why do what you do and what do you wish to champion and develop within the art world?
A2: Great artwork deserves to be seen and I am passionate about bringing it visibility, whether it be via an exhibition, a purchase, a studio visit, or even just making an introduction. Championing and sharing artistic talent and vision is one of the greatest elements of what I do.
Q3: Tell us what you have been working on most recently?
A3: I have been developing and growing my art advisory business where I assist private clients in building collections. I am excited to be developing a new facet to the business. This spring I will begin offering a program of art tours around London’s contemporary gallery network. Visits to artists' studios will also be included as these can be such inspiring and enlightening places to witness.
Q4: Where does your interest in photography stem from?
A4: Photography has always gripped me from an early age: my father setting up a dark room in our spare room was certainly pivotal. Later, in my teenage years, I started to understand the power of the image and its multiple uses within our society. The directness and potential of the medium was greatly appealing and I became attracted to working with artists within a gallery context.
Q5: What photographers or projects have really caught your eye in recent months?
A5: Women in Photography: A History of British Trailblazers just opened at The Lighthouse in Surrey. I have yet to visit but this survey exhibition is of massive importance as it highlights the achievements of female photographers working in Britain from the mid-19th century through to today. From early innovators such as Anna Atkins to contemporary artists Helen Sear, Hannah Collins and Clare Strand.
Q6: As the judge on our new Photography Award what are you looking forward to seeing in entrant’s applications?
A6: An ability to understand and represent one’s personal aesthetic and how it sets them apart from the rest. It is therefore an astute ability to edit one's work and chose an entry that speaks honestly about their practice; work that has the ability to make an emotional impact, and not purely for technical reasons.
Q7: If there is one piece of advice you would give those thinking of submitting work to the photography award what would it be?
A7: Many artists forget that beyond the quality of the work itself, the presentation of the object itself really makes a difference. This is an incredibly important element that must be well researched and thought through. One aims to achieve a harmony of sorts between image, paper, size and support. I suggest visiting galleries and art fairs for inspiration and also seeking professional help.
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Interview by Caitlin Smyth
Oaktree & Tiger Team
Art experts giving advice to emerging artists to build their careers and find success. Organisers of the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2020, artist agent and art consultants.