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She Sets Paris on Fire
Curating artworks (and even fashion objects) inside for-sale, million dollar residential properties....
Fempire 12 Apr 2018

Art Theorist & Curator, Founder of ART partment & Art Writer for Highsnobiety Magazine,
New York City

As a cultural theorist, design-gallery director, art curator, event designer, and creative strategist Anya Firestone combines her experiences to launch ARTpartment, a nouveau “pop up” concept wherein she curates artworks (and even fashion objects) inside of for-sale, million dollar residential properties in NYC. ARTpartment operates reciprocally as a program to help real estate agents exhibit their apartments in an engaging, creative manner. Her first ARTpartment took place in SOHO in one of Ryan Serhant’s “Million Dollar Listings.” !
Born and raised in NYC, Firestone moved to Paris, France in 2010, where she established her own arts and culture education practice (which she continues to do this whenever in Paris and gives the most engaging tour of the Louvre you will ever experience).

In the art world currently I find most exciting that… 

Ironically, the most exciting thing I find about the art world is that it keeps trying to get outside of itself. Galleries, artists, and museums, are all attempting to do something “new” with art’s presence through collaborations—with brands, designers, fashion, technology, musicians, and other pop cultural stars and phenomena. To me, this is no longer about the art world anymore, but rather about simply art in the world. The “art world” is not exciting. The world is.

Number of unanswered emails in your account today…
I will not answer this question in order to hint at my answer to it.

Perfect working outfit…
That depends on the environment and the project, as no working day is ever the same. I am dressing relative to what I am doing, where I am going, what kind of objects and art I am going to be interacting with. If I am hosting an ARTpartment, which might involve a hodgepodge of artsy aficionados combined with real estate magnates, then I might go with something that aesthetically blends both sides— such as a double breasted onesie suit and tie, and then embellishing the ensemble with bejeweled turtle cufflinks and a pair of sculptural shoes.

Favourite new brand discovery…
Olympia Le Tan. I prefer to buy books over handbags, but I also need handbags more than I do more books. Olympia makes handcrafted clutches that look like books. It’s a win-win.

Your everyday online art read is…
While I enjoy reading about art, I don’t frequently read new publications online. Occasionally, I’ll turn to the New Yorker, amuse myself with what Jerry Saltz has to say, and keep up with the cool kids by reading Highsnobiety’s culture features. However, more regularly I read literature and criticism from the past, mostly 19th and 20th centuries. I love to read Walter Benjamin for theory, and TJ Clark for art history, and French or English fin-de-siècle literature that concern themselves with philosophy and living with art. I prefer to find out how these relatively antiquated ideas can be read and understood anachronistically, relative to contemporary art and culture. This program is what drives all of my critical theory [art x fashion] Art-icles.

Your necessary extravagance is…
Personalized monogrammed Japanese socks from Paris.
Most ridiculous thing you ever bought…
Personalized monogrammed Japanese socks from Paris.

Ultimate secret after long working hours…
A Clean Dirty martini at the Bar Hemingway.

Favourite collaboration in the art and fashion world…
My “Art-icles” published in Highsnobiety Magazine are precisely art theoretical critiques of all of these collaborations. One example I noted as a strong one was the Opening Ceremony x René Magritte collab, which magnificently struck an ideal balance with the French artist’s surrealist paintings, that were reprinted on sweaters, dresses, Vans, and even Manolo Blahnik’s classic BB heel. This worked because the selection of artworks — such as Magritte’s Hegel’s Holiday, which features an umbrella under a glass of water above a warm pink ground — manages to extend the very heritage of surrealism itself, which revolves around irrational juxtaposed images and the body: when worn, the umbrella’s wings sprawl across the shoulders, and the water glass visually balances on the chest. The impact is just as trippy and intriguing as the artwork itself, and the collection successfully resonates both with Opening Ceremony’s own penchant for whimsicality, as well as with Magritte’s artistic movement.

Favourite hashtag…
On your office table, you always have…
I don’t have an office table, because I do not technically have an office. Every ARTpartment I curate takes place in a different magnificent property, so the “office” is always changing, and always magnificent. Especially when I am in Paris, wherein I often give tours of the Louvre (perhaps my nicest workspace). No matter where I am, I always have my mini-laptop and usually a chapeau. It is true, I wear many hats….
The most arty city is…
Paris, France.
Who are the best dressed in the art world…
Any woman in a De Kooning painting.
Describe yourself with three emojis…
? ? ?

Art-world gent I would like to have lunch with…
Artist Claes Oldenburg, amidst his giant hamburger sculptures. And also Aby Rosen, at the Seagrams Building for a talk on Real Estate and Rothko.
Artists we should have on our watch list are…
ERIDAN, Reginald Sylvester II, Beth Katleman.
Instagram: @AFireinParis
Photo via Tiffany Meehan and Maverick Inman

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