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The Ultimate Art World Typology
Those Characters You’ll Meet Sooner Or Later
Uncategorized 05 Dec 2019

The art world is full of all sorts of peculiar characters. Unlike other jobs, we don’t spend so much time in traditional offices, wearing suits or in front of spreadsheets. We are also often more flamboyant, extravagant and difficult to understand. Networking in the art world can be a maze, navigating the who’s who of each and every city, which artist and curator is in fashion this week, and who will be the star the next week. So, to help you out a little bit, here’s the low-down on who you might bump into the next time you find yourself at a private view or arty party!
 
The Curator


The one being chased by all the young artists. The curator has the power to make or break a young artist’s career, but equally they are also trying to sweet talk artists, institutions and gallerists to work with them and give them the chance organise exhibitions for them. On the outside they are cool, calm and collected, but on the inside, they are hustling just as much as the rest of us.
 
The Gallerist

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Naomi ✨

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Like the curator, the gallerist is trying to coax artists to join their side. But they do have the upper hand, usually gallerists have their own permanent space and, unlike a lot of curators, they are able to generate artists sales, meaning they are often in hot demand.
 
The Collector

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Uma Thurman, German Vogue, by Sheila Metzner, 1992

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Literally everyone loves an art collector. I mean, how could they not? Owners of fabulous art, they often also have big houses, galleries and all sorts of other fabulous things. Everyone wants a piece of them, from artists to gallerists. If you are a collector, you are bound to be popular. 
 
The Critic


Critics are able to make or break an art world career with only a few words. Often polite in person, they normally keep their cards close to their chest. They’ll be nice to your face, but will tell you how they really feel in mainstream media. Artists and curators: beware. 
 
The Art PR Girl

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Angelina

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The social butterfly of the evening. Art PR girls are always at all the parties. With VIP invites to all the top shows and events, they have contacts everywhere to get you in. 
 
The Art World Superfan

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Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface, 1983.

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Notice anyone geeking out at the art party? It’s probably not a gallerist or curator, but someone who wants to be a gallerist or curator. Their enthusiasm is cute, but it’s not something anyone else within the art world will be doing. We can sniff an outsider from a mile away.
 
The Artist

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Angelina Jolie Interviewed by Clint Eastwood: EASTWOOD: "Are you studying French with a class? " JOLIE: "I’ve been studying on and off my whole life, and I figured, my kids can speak it, and it’s embarrassing that I can’t as well as they can, so now . . ." EASTWOOD: "You’ve got to pick it up. " JOLIE: "Now, I have to. I’ve kind of half tried everything. It’s like deciding to write something or deciding to direct or make a score of a film. It has to become a priority. " EASTWOOD: I’ve got Rosetta Stone in French. JOLIE: "Oh, we should have a competition! Which one of us can learn French first? Oh, we’ll do it! I’ll work on writing something that’s in French, you direct it, and I’ll speak it. " EASTWOOD: "Okay. " JOLIE: "And then we’ll have some time, and we’ll hang out with our families in France. " EASTWOOD: "But then maybe you should direct the movie, because if I have to do anything in French, I can only do one thing at a time. " JOLIE: "Well, we can take a really long time. Do it the very French way. We’ll just have short hours and relax a lot. It’ll be a three-year process of making the film. " EASTWOOD: "I’ve got to learn French because I’ve been going there for years and still, the only words I know are the swear words. " JOLIE: "Which can get you pretty far. A glass of wine and a few swear words. "

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If anyone is acting a little different during the party, it will be the artist. Now, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all explanation for this one. Artists come in many shapes and sizes, some are all about the attention, while others literally run away from it. What you can be sure of, is that most people at the party will want a piece of them. 
 
The Girl Who Wants To Date An Artist

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Halle Berry Interview: “Berry graduated from Bedford High School in 1984, she had been a cheerleader, editor of the school paper, a member of the honor society and prom queen – though the crown wasn’t won without a struggle. After the votes were tallied and she beat out “a blue-eyed blonde,” she says, students accused her and her friends of stuffing the ballot box. A coin toss made Berry the winner. “I felt like I was accepted there until it came to being prom queen,” she says. “It took me a long time to get over it.” At 18, the 5’6″ doe-eyed beauty entered the Miss Teen Ohio pageant. She won and the same year was named Miss Teen All-American. In 1986 she was first runnerup in the Miss USA pageant, and the same year she was the first black woman to represent America in the Miss World contest in London. Earlier, in 1984, she had enrolled in Cleveland’s Cuyahoga Community College to study broadcast journalism. But when a former pageant judge suggested she try modeling in Chicago, she packed up and left home for good. And for bad. Within months of Berry’s arrival in Chicago, a roommate skipped out leaving her with a $1,300 rent bill. Her mother refused to float her a loan. “She made me realize I had to either sink or swim,” says Berry. Though at the time she was angered by her mother’s refusal to help, she came to appreciate the tough love. Says Berry: “From that moment forward, I became independent.” Modeling gigs, says Berry, soon began covering the rent – but barely. “Me and my model friends hung out at a lot of happy hours eating [free] drumsticks.” In 1989 she got a call from New York City talent manager Vincent Cirrincione, who had heard about her from a client who knew Berry from their pageant days. Three months later she’d moved to Manhattan. “I sent her out for a NYNEX commercial, and she showed up having cut off all her long hair,” says Cirrincione, who remains her manager. “I looked at that short crop and said, ‘Well, there goes your commercial career.’ And she said, ‘That’s not why I’m here.’ ” Berry wanted to act and landed her first TV role 2 months after arriving in Manhattan…”

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You know the one, dressed to kill, eyeing up the arty guy candy, making a beeline towards every artist in sight. She’s usually harmless, but be careful if you’re dating an art boy because you’ll always have someone out to steal your man. 
 
The Art Girls Out For Free Drinks

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Met Gala in the 90’s part 1

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Most of us have probably been that girl at least once. Yeah, she’s into the art, but really she just wants a night out on the town with her girlfriends that doesn’t cost $$$$. Living the high life the easy way, we’re not judging.
 
Text Lizzy Vartanian

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