My name is Lizzy Vartanian Collier, but I am also known as Gallery Girl. I am passionate about art. Image is a huge part of our lives. Visual media dominates society, shaping our tastes and ideas. Art is a powerful tool of communication and although it is usually audibly silent, through it’s visible nature, art has the ability to speak volumes in ways the written or spoken word cannot.
I have a BA in Art History and an MA in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa. I believe that contemporary art in particular can tell us a huge amount about the world around us. It is through their artworks that artists are able reveal aspects about our environment that may otherwise by ignored. A work of art is a product of its time and reflects the society it is borne out of. Sometimes a visual object can say something that words cannot. We react immediately to images all the time without even thinking, reading or hearing.
In a globalising artworld, I am becoming increasingly more interested in how arts outside of Euro-America are being presented on the world stage. Should art from outside the West be considered different at all? As humans we are fascinated by culture and exploring the unknown. We are always going on holiday, watching travel programmes and eating different cuisines, yet, when it comes to art how should it be presented and understood? It is often shown as the primitive or the unknown. Should work from a different culture to our own be written about as foreign? Should it be written about by critics from a different background at all?
It is also worth considering how art is displayed. From whatever circumstance an artwork came from, it is usually displayed from the viewpoint of the educated gallery-goer. While art is becoming more accessible, the artworld is still somewhat exclusive. As well as reviewing shows from my favourite artists and genres, I am also attempting to answer these questions.
Besides spending an unhealthy amount of time running around galleries and museums, I dance, model and have also curated an exhibition (Hidden Visions, April 2015, Chelsea Old Town Hall) which used contemporary art as a tool to address the stigma surrounding mental illness in young people.
In March 2018 I curated Perpetual Movement during Arab Women Artists Now Festival at Rich Mix in London. The exhibition used the work of seven female artists with roots in the Arab region to question the relationship with migration and memory. The exhibition was featured in such publications as Vogue Arabia and The Art Newspaper.
I have written for After Nyne Magazine, Arteviste, Canvas Magazine, Finestre sull’Arte, the Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia Art, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, REORIENT Magazine and SUITCASE Magazine.