Naima Morelli

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Tag "Paris"

ArtStage2017

Asian webmagazine and collectors’ platform CoBo has just published my report from Art Stage Singapore 2017 titled “Why Having Less International Galleries at Art Stage Singapore 2017 was Actually a Good Thing”.

As the title suggests, I see the tendency to develop a “glocality” in the art market as generally positive – giving character to art fairs which would otherwise be all lookalikes. The regional features of Art Stage 2017 are far from being a directed by the organizer of Art Stage; it all depended from a series of circumstances that modified the Asian art ecosystem.

I spoke with the present and absent galleries to explain what happened.

Here’s the link to the article

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richardstreitmatter-tran

Since I have started writing about contemporary art for magazine – around 2007 – I have collected a number of interviews. Some have been published straight away, others have been used later on as sources for articles or in books. Then there are all the others that have never been published, and are part of my personal archive, informing every word I write.

Every now and then, I decide to pull an interview out of the archive, like this one with Richard Streitmatter-Tran, who I have met and interviewed first in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo, then in Rome, where he was attending a sculpture workshop. The new art magazine I’m collaborating with, D/Railed by Deianira Tolema, was the perfect home for the piece.

Here’s the link to the interview

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book
I’m a big fan of reading how writers organize their research and how they put their books together. I figured it would be interesting to detail the way I’m working at my new book on young artists in Singapore. In this post I’ll walk you through the first few stages from the preliminary research to the first draft.

First phase: preliminary research.  I read articles about Singapore art scene and books on Singapore urbanism, political and economical situation. I interviewed Lee Wen when he was in Rome, I met up with Italian artists who went to Singapore on a residency, and talked to a couple of Singaporean curators visiting Italy, included Paul Khoo. I stayed two weeks in Paris for the Singapour en France event, composed by the Paris Art Fair and the exhibition “Secret Archipelago”. In both case I interviewed artists, curators and gallery owners. Back home, I talked with via skype to other Singaporean artists, mainly for magazine articles. Finally, I went to Milan to visit the exhibition “Bright S’pore” at Primo Marella gallery and saw some works in person.

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3
I have just came back from two weeks in Paris. It has been an incredible time. I was there for the Art Paris Art Fair and the exhibition Secret Archipelago at the Palais De Tokyo – yet again on a reporting mission for Art a Part of Cult(ure), the Italian magazine I write for. My boss at Art a Part is the M to my Bond, the Charlie to my Angels, the Xavier to my X-Men, well, you get my drift! In Paris I’ve met with a number of interesting people and had chats with artists I wanted to talk to from a long time, including Eddie Hara and Richard Streitmatter-Tran.

The first week has been a whirlwind of interviews. I already knew what it means to do three interviews in a day – I did it before, and it was crazy! But five interviews in a day? That’s don’t-try-this-at-home insane! Luckily enough, I generally feel energized by working under pressure. Plus, all the artists and gallerists I talked with have been super nice. I can’t wait to share their interviews with you! In this situation it also helped to have the most amazing sidekick a journalist can ever had, a gorgeous Sorrentinian gal called Marta, who also hosted me in Paris. We jumped from metro to metro chatting endlessly about everything from Catilina (ancient republican Rome anyone?) to haircuts, all that while chewing a pan au chocolat (aux amandes, aux pistaches…) and rushing to the next interview.

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blog2
Do you remember MSN? That fairly basic chat you used to spend hours on, chatting with your faraway summer friends during winter? Ten years ago MSN was one the first ways to keep all your “contacts” together.
Back then, my friend Enrico was very big on “contacts”. He was – and still is – a very friendly person who is comfortable with pretty much everyone. When he was thirteen the idea of having all his friends in one single place was to him the most exciting thing ever – right after Harry Potter I suppose. As for me, I used to considered other people being an annoyance most of the times – fictional people like Harry Potter included – so the fact that he was bragging about the number of his MSN’s contacts sounded funny to me. Fast forward to the Facebook era, my friend’s account is bursting at the seams, and so he periodically purges it – only to repent short time after and re-add his unfriended ones.

Today as a grown up girl I finally understand the importance of other people. I gave up my antisocial punk attitude and I started to appreciate talking and exchanging ideas with people big time. If I have to spot a precise time I decided cut on my misanthropy, I would say when I first encountered the Roman art world. At nineteen I was going to plenty of vernissages, often with my two best mates – “compagni d’arte” – and we were wondering about why all those caryatids, err, older people, didn’t want to talk with us. If you are not familiar with art openings in Italy, you should know that you seldom see younger people there. This was far from bothering me. I figured I just had to be more stylish, so I started wearing a little black dress, red lipstick and the right amount of boldness.

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gdd6
Many moons ago, when was a graffiti artist in Rome, I was introduced to Roman rap music by my then-boyfriend, who used to wear annoying hip hop clothes and a very nice rapper hat. I didn’t know anything about rap back then. I grew up on punk rock and when came to the spoken word I couldn’t go farther than Patti Smith’s “Piss Factory” – which still hold the title the most moving songs about ambition and an aesthetic vision of life, if you ask me.

Anyway, at the time I was listening to all those people you probably never heard of unless you are from Rome and you wear annoying hip hop clothes. Corveleno was my favourite rap group, followed by Colle Der Fomento, Gente de Borgata and – here I have some reticence to admit it – Noyz Narcoz and Saga Er Secco. As bad as it sounds, my writing style in Italian was heavily influenced by that music. You should read my art reviews from that time on Art a Part of Cul(ure). Imagine reviewing Sandro Chia with this super aggressive attitude – which let’s be honest, the Transavanguardia deserves a little bit. Plus, those reviews were great fun to write. I remember a mail exchange with Art a Part of Cult(ure) director Barbara – who usually let me go away with everything – saying: “Don’t you think that passage is a little offensive?” Offensive was a nice way to describe that passage.

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live1
I remember one beautiful evening few years ago in Rome. I was walking with my new friend Francesco, a mime just met at Cinema Trevi. Quite strangely for a mime, he was a chatterbox. I thought that was because he couldn’t talk on stage, so that was his way to vent. Since I just came back from an opening at Gagosian gallery, I was wearing red lipstick, a little back dress and red shoes. Francesco and I keep on whirling in the street paved with cobblestones and he said: “You know what the beauty of life is? That you can live wherever you want. You just have to choose a city, and you can move there anytime.” Then he went on telling me about when he was my age – twenty-one at the time – and he moved to Spain by himself. He was working in a bar near the beach, studying as an actor at the same time. He also told me about that time that he saved a girl abused by a group of guys – an anecdote he clearly unsheathed to impress me. Aside from that, the beautiful thing about Francesco was his constant excitement and exaggerated optimism. He could have been banal and cliché in his representation of happiness, fancying sunsets on the beach and the like, but he was still infusing me merriness and even a little inspiration.

Over the years I kept on asking myself: Is that true? Can you really pick a city you like and decide to move there on the whim?

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monet7

Media Previews, along with the free catalogues of the exhibitions, are among the advantages to be part of the “media”.
I have no idea how the NGV has come to know that I’m a journalist, but you know, I got this mail and the object was “Monet’s Garden Media Preview”. I couldn’t say no.

The ingredients were all there.
The National Gallery of Victoria. One of the most famous modern painters of all the times. Pastels colors  Frenchness. I was sure the dynamic NGV would adjust itself to the élégance et finesse required from such event.
So I wore my little back dress with fuchsia stockings and I invited my boyfriend to come with me.
He was not sure he wanted to came. It was too early for him, I mean, nine o’ clock!
“The whole thing would be to classy for me anyways!”, he mumbled curling up in the sheets.
“Come on! Since we are in the City, we can also go do groceries at your favorite Mall after!” I told him.
This convinced him and he finally woke up. He wore his never washed second world war German coat, he grabbed his grannish blue and grey groceries trolley and we were ready to go.

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