Selena Cerami is the founder of nomadic Eve Leibe Gallery. Living between London and the Italian Riviera, the gallerist acquired her kitty Salem during the global lockdown. Now a powerful artistic duo, we sat down with the pair to learn all about their arty lives.
Who are you both?
Hi, I am Selena! I am originally from Italy. I am the founder of Eve Leibe Gallery, a nomadic contemporary space that promotes future art world stars! I am currently living between London and a small town on the Italian Riviera.
Salem is a two year old total super soft black female cat from a shelter who I renamed ‘Salem’ שָׁלֵם from Hebrew ‘to be safe’. She is a shy lady, who is always up for food!
What do both of your regular days look like?
Salem is a great alarm clock: she wakes me up around 5 am asking for her first round of food! Afterwards, I am allowed to go to bed for a couple of hours until it’s breakfast time and we both start the day! She follows me everywhere I go in the house. Anyone who has a cat probably knows that you can forget your PRIVACY!
Since the lockdown, I have been mostly working from home and Salem and I have been together non-stop. We usually move from the desk to the kitchen and so on. During the day I take some breaks, so while I disconnect from emails and calls she gets some playtime
Around 6 pm it’s yoga time, funny enough she does it too, animals are incredible creatures with marked sensitivity and a great sense of humour.
Is she supporting your art world career?
I suppose she does, she loves when artworks have been delivered. She is a bubble wrap and cardboard box addict!
She has also been very inspiring for me, looking at her every day and being my companion during these past lockdowns got me thinking about animals in art and especially pet portraiture. It’s astonishing to think that artists have been painting our four-legged friends for thousands of years!
Is she creative, too?
Yes absolutely, smart and creative. She has a defined personality. She reminds me of Luna, Sailor Moon’s cat.
Her appearance: Botero or Giacometti?
Did you ever feature her on your IG account and does she already have some fans out there?
I love to include her in my stories, she loves the spotlight!
Own Instagram account?
She doesn’t have an IG account yet, but thanks for the suggestion.
What do you think she thinks about your art world career?
She is happy about the art world and how animals are the most commonly represented subjects for memes on social media. The top #1 of 2020 was the white cat seated at a table. I even saw a plate with that meme for sale at an international Art Fair this summer!
Since I adopted her a couple of months ago, I have started to think of interaction between people and animals, the gratification of animal-owning, and the history of the relationship between species.
I have started to look into animals in art from Lascaux’s Cave to meme 2020! To celebrate our four-legged friends, we are curating a show entitled Cave Canem co-curated with Lauren Powell featuring only dog portraits, more than 40 international artists are participating. It will be online in March, stay tuned for more!
Would she be up for cuddles after a shitty day in the art world?
I have to admit that Salem was extremely important during these strange times, living by myself is great, but with her, it’s much nicer. The power of cute!!! Which is also a title of an interesting book by Simon May, suggested by jameslincoln91 !
Is she upset if you go on a business trip? (Obviously wfh most of these days :))
Yes!!! She is not happy about my trips, she seems quite revengeful. She makes me feel quite special though.
Which piece of art would describe her best?
Medieval art “illuminated manuscripts” and holy books. Every page is filled with beautiful works of art, beautiful patterns of flowers and ivy, and tons of grooming cats!
Any animal grams you enjoy following?
Nominate an art world friend with a pet to be interviewed in the future?