Stalked: Marcelle Joseph, Independent Curator and Author
7 April 2015
Curator and supporter of young designers, Marcelle Joseph, is a well known face on both the art and fashion scenes. Having begun her career in law Marcelle chose to leave this industry to pursue her passion in the arts and is now a highly respected curator, running projects at interesting pop up locations around London. Her love for young creatives also extends to the fashion industry by supporting emerging designers and in result has a killer wardrobe to accompany that passion!
I caught up with Marcelle while wandering around Studio Voltaire to see the latest exciting young female artists in which the gallery is supporting.
Why did you decide to start Marcelle Joseph Projects and how do you pick your artists and projects?
After toiling away for over a decade as a corporate lawyer at a mega firm with over 700 lawyers worldwide, I went back to study Art Business at Christie’s. After finishing this degree, I wanted to do something entrepreneurial and curatorial and shied away from working for a large gallery or auction house. Founding my own roving projects company gave me the opportunity to work with a myriad of artists from emerging artists discovered at their MA degree shows to established artists such as Sir Howard Hodgkin and Louise Bourgeois. Given that I work nomadically, I first have to find the venue for an exhibition and then a curatorial construct if it is not a solo presentation. At that point, I can pick the artists according to the exhibition theme. I am always visiting gallery and museum exhibitions in London and endeavour to go to at least one international art fair each year. This year, it is Frieze New York in May after visiting Artissima in Torino last year and Art Brussels in 2013. Seeing so much art develops the eye and I try to stay true to my own eye and love to make discoveries, giving young artists their first solo shows in London.
Who are the artists to watch at the moment?
At the moment, zombie formalism or process abstraction is incredibly trendy (Lucien Smith, Oscar Murillo, etc) but I prefer the Dusseldorf Academy abstract artists such as Chris Succo, David Ostrowska and Henning Strassburger and recent RA Schools grads Hannah Perry and Alex Clarke who have become and are becoming market darlings over the last few years. The young artists I have discovered in London that I admire are Charlie Billingham (RA Schools 2013), Stefania Batoeva (RCA 2014), Jesse Darling (Slade 2014), Zadie Xa (RCA 2014) and Jennifer Caroline Campbell (Slade 2014).
What has been your favourite project/exhibition to date?
My favourite exhibition that I curated was 2Q13: Women Collectors, Women Artists at the Lloyds Club in London in 2013. It featured 59 women artists featured in the collections of seven women collectors from established artists such as Kiki Smith, Gillian Wearing, Tracey Emin, Laurie Simmons, Rachel Whiteread, Cornelia Parker, Penelope Slinger, Catherine Opie and Nan Goldin to important mid-career artists such as Chantal Joffe, Katy Moran, Becky Beasley, Karen Knorr Alexandra Birken, Alex Prager and Maaike Schoorel. I am a strong believer in gender equality and love to give a leg up to women artists in today's male-dominated contemporary art world.
How would you describe your personal style?
Although the contemporary art world is known for its love of black, my style is colour and print which translates into lots of Marc by Marc Jacobs, Peter Pilotto, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, etc. I also love my collection of brogues and trainers as I need to be able to go from a studio visit in Hackney to a private view in Mayfair in the evening. I rely on the Tube to get everywhere so I need to have sensible footwear. Skater shoes by Marc by Marc Jacobs, brogues by Grenson and trainers by Acne Studios are some of my favourites.
Who are your favourite emerging fashion designers at the moment?
I discovered a great young designer in A/W 2014 - Rejina Pyo. I bought an amazing overcoat designed by Pyo. I get compliments every time I wear it. It is an over-sized blue coat with big turquoise and white colour panels. Like a colour field painting by Rothko.
Where do you shop and eat in London?
I hate shopping in stores so I am a big proponent of online shopping. Matches Fashion, Net-a-Porter and Shoescribe are my favourites.
I love Japanese food so Nobu rates high on my list of restaurants but I have become a big fan of Peruvian food over the past year so I look forward to dinners at Coya and Ceviche. Chotto Matte in Soho combines Japanese and Peruvian food so naturally, it suits my taste buds.
Five items you can't live without?
Unoco coconut water, my giant 5 metre tape measure, the Art Newspaper for keeping up to date, my RA Schools Patrons card that allows me to meet 17 amazing new artists every year and my Land Rover Discovery 5 which is perfect for art transporting.
STALK THE STALKER ON