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‘Blues’ Curator Angeliki Kim Jonsson Brings Together 5 Female Artists to the Dubai Art Scene

‘Blues’ Curator Angeliki Kim Jonsson Brings Together 5 Female Artists to the Dubai Art Scene

“It was a hot summer day in Italy. The last day of that summer and the sun was just setting far away in the sea. A strong feeling came over me. A mixture of sadness, longing and lost. It was the beginning and yet the end… I think I had the blues.”

They say blue is the warmest colour. Aiming to explore the emotions which surround the concept of the “Blues,” curator Angeliki Kim Jonsson brings together an online exhibition in collaboration with Four You Gallery in Dubai, featuring works from five powerful female artists: Annabel Faustin, Ania Hobson, Berit Louise Sara Grønn, Cho Hui-Chin and Tilde Grynnerup.

Here the “Blues” are thought of as a blue haze, where dreams and reality meet and entwine into one, resonating with feelings of melancholia, nostalgia, and longing. Jonsson says: “It is a tipping point between opposites, sanity and insanity, extreme happiness and fatal misery. It is a state in which we feel like we have lost our grip and are falling and yet again we have never felt so alive.”

The artists chosen for the exhibition are modern day flâneurs that carefully observe their surroundings, viewing life with all its complexities and imperfections, conveyed through a variety of compositions and motifs, figurative and abstract.

Ania Hobson, My Blue, Paying Me An Unexpected Visit, 2020

“The feeling of blue, is something that we cannot put our finger on but ultimately we can all relate to,” Jonsson says. “Because we are currently in a world where we have never been so disconnected and yet connected at the same time. It is all a sense of wonder, but what encourage us is to know, that we are after all, not alone.”

We spoke to Jonsson about her inspiration behind this show, the power of using social media as a tool to connect with artists, and what’s next for the artrepreneur as she continues to curate shows around the world through her art advisory firm, Dynamisk (including a current one with G/ART/EN Contemporary Art Space in Como, Italy featuring artist Johan Deckmann.)

Installation view of works from Cho Hui-Chin, Tilde Grynnerup, and Berit Louise.

Tell us a little more about Four You Gallery.

Four You Gallery it’s a travelling venue-by-appointment that showcases contemporary art. It offers female artists a global audience, whilst allowing art enthusiasts to discover thoughtfully curated artworks produced by international talents. Apparent is the lack of representation of female artists in galleries, as well as the exclusion of women from the mainstream art market. They offer a space that encourages cross-discipline dialogue led solely by women aiming to inflict change, regardless of their nationality, medium, or career-status.

I’ve been writing a couple of art columns for the gallery, my latest piece was The Uncanny, Ugliness and Beauty, Pain and Humour, Yin and Yang on Heidi Ukkonen’s solo show ‘Hide and Seek’ back in November. It was through the writing that I got in contact with the gallery who approached me. Getting to know them better and connecting with their mission statement, I was very happy to agree to curate a show when I was asked. There is so much work to do for women artists in the art world and despite Dynamisk is not solely focusing on female artists I’m very happy to be able to work and support great initiatives as these.

Berit Louise, We Tossed Coins Under the Stone and Said What We Really Wanted To, 2020

People may know you more as Dynamisk, which is the name you have in your Instagram profile. You’ve been very good in engaging with a real community of both artists and other professionals.

Ha, that’s true. Some people even write “Hi Dynamisk” on Instagram messages. I don’t mind. When I founded Dynamisk it was important to find a name that really connected and represented me and my curating. So it’s always a great honour to hear that I really am ‘Dynamic’ both as a person and in my work.

Translated into Swedish, from the English adjective Dynamic: dʌɪˈnamɪk/ “characterized by constant change, activity or progress. Positive in attitude and full of energy and new ideas: as a force that simulates change or progress.

Annabel Faustin, Reflection of the Past, 2020

How do you think Instagram has changed the work of a curator? What kind of opportunities it can offer as a curatorial tool, both in terms of talent scouting and creating new projects?

I think that Instagram is a great platform that connects us worldwide. I’ve encountered great artists, collectors and art professionals alike online that have turned into real, physical conversations and many have also become great friends. As you say it is a great tool to use as a curator, I do a lot of my research there. I’ve also been asked to come aboard on multiple virtual initiatives such as open calls and jurying. 

As I have been using Instagram now for a couple of years it has also become a sort of ‘Dynamisk Archive’ not only can you follow me on my art adventures on a day-to-day basis but with the thousands posted images and shared stories you can really sum up and have an honest perspective on my practice as a curator and art advisor. So I’m trying to share both about my work in the art world but also from my personal life.

“When I curate a show I don’t curate it because I think it it’s beautiful, I curate a show to convey a message, to share a common ethos, to tell a story, to highlight a political change, et cetera.”

–Angeliki Kim Jonsson

How do you see that Instagram has changed the way a young artist, and a young woman artist as those in this show, can present and market their work to a global audience and build a career? 

I think Instagram is a great tool for artists, collectors, curators, galleries alike because you can really follow the process of the artist and come along “behind the scenes” and work in progress in the studio. This gives us a chance to understand the process of the making, as well as seeing a wide variety of art works which ultimately gives a richer context and places things in perspective.

I don’t think that one has to see art in real life in order to purchase art but I also don’t see online presence and the traditional gallery business as two opposing things. I’d rather like to look at them as ying and yang, a concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected and interdependent. Online offers a great reach, but even an all online gallery are selling art works for a physical space.

I’m a very social person and the social interactions is what I enjoy most working in the world of arts, studio visits, gallery openings, private dinners, running into people at Art Basel while having a break at the raclette stand! Unfortunately, there is no comparison to seeing art in real life, whilst saying that, I am really happy for all the tools, especially in times like these, that help us to connect with art, to present artists and their work but yet again they are tools, because we live, breath and exist in the real world. After so many years, I still see a studio visit and sitting down with an artist as a true treat.

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