Saturday, July 11, 2020
Sergio Gomez of 33 Contemporary Gallery
Sergio Gomez is the director / curator of 33 Contemporary Gallery based in Chicago, focusing on premier contemporary realism and figurative art.
What are your first memories of feeling passionately towards the arts?
My earliest memories go back to my child hood sitting in a church pew. My mom used to give me pen and paper to stay quiet during sermons. That is where I started to draw what I saw and create visual stories. It was lots of fun actually.
What made you decide to dedicate your time to helping artists?
Since I opened my gallery and started curating in 2004, I realized the power of
community. I would sit with young aspiring artists who wanted to know how to be
professional artists and how to get in the art world. Later, I started to speak to art groups in the area about the business of art. Eventually, that lead to starting the Artist Next Level podcast and the Art NXT Level Academy to help artists around
the world with the their art business strategies. Those projects also made my
business partnership with Didi Menendez of PoetsArtists so much more meaningful.
Didi has been working with artists for a long time and helping them get published,
gain exposure, and get recognition in the art world. PoetsArtists has launched the
career of many successful figurative artists and continues to parter with galleries
and museums around the world. We both lead our communities and share a passion for seeing artists succeed in the world.
What are some of the reactions you receive from your curated events?
By now, I have curated over 150 exhibitions of all kinds and sizes in 5 different
countries. The reactions have been wide and varied over the years. Everyone
comes to a show with a different expectation. My most memorable reactions are
when one person finds himself/herself confronted by a work of art and looks at it
for a long time. It never gets old. Good or bad press reviews are just that, critics
doing their job. But a totally random person coming across a work of art that
touches them or makes them think and react in such a way that the person has no
option but to freeze in time, tops any good review for me. It is quite frankly what
excites me about curating. I have seen people cry, laugh, rejoice and experience
sadness in front of a work of art.
What do you find most rewarding about the curation process?
Seeing a physical work of art for the first time that you have been staring at in a
computer screen for long time is thrilling and exhilarating. It is so exciting to
experience the art work in person, smell the paint, feel its weight, and see how it
changes with light. That is the part of the process that unfortunately gets lost in
curating for print or digital media. The experiential proximity to the object gets
lost. I love when all my senses are involved in the process.
What are some of the challenges that you face?
The biggest challenge right now we all have in the art world is dealing with the
pandemic and the changes it will bring to the economy, curating, showing art and
the way we experience art. I think this is the top dilemma right now for all of us in the art world. It is uncharted territory. But at the same time, every challenge
brings new opportunities. I tend to focus on the new opportunity rather than in
the problem that got me there. We are putting a lot of effort into our digital
presence and online promotions to give our collectors a great experience when
working with us.
Are there certain qualities that you look for in artists in deciding whether they
will be pleasurable to work with? And on the contrary, any areas for improvement
artists should be aware of?
I always look for honesty and authenticity. Working with an artist is a relationship
that is built over time. Trust is developed overtime as well. You want the best for
your artists and the artists want the best for you in a healthy relationship. That is the goal, to grow and succeed together.
Do you have any specific do’s and don’ts for artists looking to submit their work
Always do your homework first and learn as much as you can about the galleries
you want to approach. Follow the gallery in social media and become part of their
community by commenting, sharing and getting noticed. Do not email 20 images
introducing yourself. Lol. Visit our website to learn how to join our community
and submit work to us at www.33contemporarygallery.com
Do you have future plans for curation beyond what you are doing today?
A curator’s mind is always cooking the next thing. Yes, I have so many ideas I want
to pursue still. I’m also carefully looking at how the world is changing and evolving from the pandemic. That will dictate a lot of how people experience art.
Follow me on Instagram @sergiogomezart
Follow my gallery on Instagram @33contemporary
Posted by Art Lover at 11:25 AM