Ask A Curator

The Jealous Curator on ‘California Girls’


Although summer is coming to an end, Saatchi Art and The Jealous Curator are collaborating to bring you heat and sunshine with our upcoming exhibition, California Girls. Curated by The Jealous Curator, the show features the striking works of six Los Angeles-based artists: Ophelia Chong, Kelly PuissegurLaurie Raskin, Jill SykesErin Tengquist, and Stephanie Vovas. The California-inspired exhibition will run at the Helms Bakery District in Culver City, CA from September 22 to September 29, with its opening reception taking place September 24.

In anticipation of the show, we sat down with The Jealous Curator herself, Danielle Krysa, to chat about her inspiration for the show, her curating process, and her love for California.

The artists in this show are all women artists. Was this intentional or something that happened organically?

It was intentionally organic. How’s that for an answer? I started planning this show very organically. I poured myself a coffee, sat down at the computer, and then fell into an art-filled rabbit hole! I spent hours and hours going through the portfolios on Saatchi Art, and bookmarked so many favorites. But, it became quite clear quite quickly that there was a theme emerging at the top of my list. Women. Being a female artist myself I find that I’m often drawn to the work of other women… and just like that, the planning went from organic to intentional, and the idea for California Girls materialized.

Being from Canada, what was your earliest experience with California? Did it tap into a certain ‘golden west’ mythos or was it counter-stereotypical?

Ah, my first memories of California were very ‘golden’. The summer I turned 11, our family set out on an epic road trip to Disneyland in a station wagon with windows that didn’t roll down in the back. My first thought … California is hot. But once we finally got out of the car, I clearly remember sitting by the motel pool, under a palm tree (for the first time in my little Canadian life), brag-writing a postcard to my friend back home. I was beyond cool. Oh, and while we were there, I used my allowance money to buy a pair of white sunglasses that had “California” written in small script across the top corner of the lens. See? Ridiculously cool. I was in love with California from that moment on.

Do you find any unifying principles among the works in the show that say to you–‘this is so California’? And what is it that makes them so (or not)?

I think it goes back to that ‘golden west’ idea. There is sun-kissed warmth to this show. Oranges, pinks, and just a touch, ok maybe more than a touch, of sexiness… to me that feels like California.

How does your work as an artist influence the way you curate?

When I started my art blog almost seven years ago, I came up with this tagline:  “Damn, I wish I thought of that.” And, that’s still how I choose art for all of the projects I work on today. Being an artist helps me appreciate, and choose, really great work… work that I wish I had made.

Tell us about how you discovered each of the artists’ works—what stuck out about them?

While I was searching for artists, there were so many pieces that I loved… but I was not only looking for work that made my heart skip, I was also trying to create a strong, cohesive grouping. I needed pieces that were outstanding on their own, but also complemented the work of the other artists. All six of the women in this show make work that stops me in my tracks. Their use of color, composition, scale, boldness, and warmth is what drew me to each of them, and also unified them so beautifully.

What’s on your to-do list while you’re in town for the show?

Hopping in a station wagon and going to Disneyland! Ok, no, maybe not this time. I cannot wait for the opening of the show on Thursday night. It’s always so satisfying to see a show that you’ve been planning for months magically appear on a beautiful white wall, and even more of a thrill to finally meet these talented artists in person. I’d also love to visit The Broad—it reopens while I’m in town… oh, and of course, there will be a lot of eating. A lot.