Gallery Girl Best Of 2019

2019 has been a turbulent year full of ups and downs, adventures and uncertainty. Looking back, I feel extremely grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had, all the people I’ve been able to work with, and all of the art I’ve been able to work with. Picking my favourite pieces of this year hasn’t been easy, in fact, with over 100 articles published in various outlets, it’s been almost impossible, but I have managed to whittle it down to my best 15. So, without further ado…

1. Mai-Almoataz-White-Rose-II-Digital-rendition-on-silver-gelatin-print-2-1024x610
The Lovers That Never Meet, Mai Al Moataz, 2016, digital rendition on silver gelatin print. Image courtesy the artist

I began this year interviewing artist and designer Mai Al Moataz 

 

5
Liz Johnson Artur, There is only one…one 2019, Grace Wales Bonner: A Time for New Dreams. (Installation view, 18 January – 16 February 2019, Serpentine Galleries). © 2019 readsreads.info

My favourite exhibition of the year, took place right at the beginning at London’s Serpentine. Grace Wales Bonner’s A Time For New Dreams

 

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A conversation with Ayman Baalbaki about the iPhone photographs that influence his paintings for Tribe Magazine (print publication)

 

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For My.Kali I spoke with Tamara Al Mashouk about negotiating borders

 

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In May I got my name in Vogue Arabia, documenting the Arab women making a splash at the Venice Biennale

 

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Meanwhile, in June, I wrote about three Iranian women artists – Azadeh Fatehrad, Rana Javadi and Maryam Tafakory – about rewriting the troubled history of feminism in Iran for Dazed

 

The Tempest 20x16 inches, oil on panel 2018
The Tempest, 20 x 16 in, oil on panel, 2018. Image courtesy Fatima Ronquillo

Soon after, I spoke to the incredible Fatima Ronquillo about her work

 

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Perhaps my absolute highlight, I outlined the artsy moments in Gossip Girl for The Art Gorgeous 

 

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Probably the most fun piece for The Art Gorgeous, the pros and cons of dating an artist (with real input from former and current romantic partners of creative souls)

 

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Hayv Hayv Kahraman, “Not Quite Human 1” (2019), oil on linen, 60 1/4 x 90 3/8 x 2 1/8 inches (all images courtesy of the artist)

A conversation with my all-time favourite artist – Hayv Kahraman – for Hyperallergic

 

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Thana Faroq. Untitled 18 from In Search of Lost Photographs series. 2018. Digital photograph

For Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, an article about how Romooz Foundation is supporting art in Yemen during times of conflict

 

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Vahram Galstyan’s “383 Souls” (2018) light Installation in an abandoned theater (images courtesy Anna Kamay

Meanwhile, for Hyperallergic I spoke to Anna Kamay about organising the Artsakh Fest

 

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For The Art Gorgeous, I explained how the Kardashians are related to the art world

 

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Imagining Home workshop, facilitated by Lizzy Vartanian Collier with Leen Jarrar, Darat Al Funun, Amman, Jordan, September 2019

Perhaps the most important piece on a personal level, what I learnt from my residency

 

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Ai-DA with Her Paintings (Photographer Victor Frankowski)

And finally, I interviewed the first ever artist robot for The Art Gorgeous

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier is a London-based writer and curator. She is the founder of Gallery Girl - a London-based curatorial platform and website dedicated to modern and contemporary art from across the globe. Her work is primarily focused on supporting emerging female artists from the Middle East and the Caucasus. She has written for Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, Suitcase and Vice Arabia among other publications. Her exhibitions in London and Armenia have been featured in Vogue Arabia, The Art Newspaper, The Art Gorgeous and numerous other news outlets. Gallery Girl has also spoken in the UK, UAE and Belgium about the contemporary art scene in the MENA region, and is planning further events in London and Amman.

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