Guest Curator

Alex Tieghi-Walker lends his highly-cultivated eye to a Guest Curated Collection of Art

We’re thrilled to have journalist and editor Alex Tieghi-Walker guest curating an exclusive collection of art as part of our ongoing Guest Curator series. Read on to discover the role art plays in his life, the first piece of art he bought, the artist he’d most like to meet, and the last great exhibition he attended.


(Image: Alex Tieghi-Walker)

Alex Tieghi-Walker is a writer living in South London. In 2011, he started with his friend, writer Rosa Rankin-Gee, A Tale of Three Cities, an anthology of stories by artists and writers living in London, Paris, and Berlin, which spawed the wildly-popular and internationally heralded Book Club series of parties.

On the heels of A Tale of Three Cities’ success, Alex continued his interest in collecting and categorizing peoples’ experiences to found The Anonymous Sex Journal, a printed compendium of secretly submitted anecdotes where he invites different artists to illustrate each issue.

Writing about design and architecture for publications including Wallpaper*, Fantastic Man, NOWNESS, Condé Nast Traveller, AnOther and Under The Influence, Alex clearly has his finger on the pulse of contemporary culture, and we’re pleased to share his top picks by artists on Saatchi Online.


(Image: Alex Tieghi-Walker)

Alex Tieghi-Walker
Editor, The Anonymous Sex Journal

How would you describe your taste in art? What are you most drawn to?

My taste is really expansive but probably best described as international – I lived in South America and have travelled a lot elsewhere too. Looking around my sitting room now and I can see Berber wall hangings, African and Brazilian masks, complex and detailed prints of Seychelles flora, antique chinese plates, and work by architectural photographers like Andreas Gursky.

How would you describe your personal style?

I wear a lot of heavy prints – from African batik prints to Liberty fabric shirts. I used to wear all black but I had a colourful epiphany about 3 years ago.


A snapshot from Alex’s travels. (Image: Alex Tieghi-Walker)

What role does art play in your life?

Art is really important to me. My mother was an art historian so I was brought up surrounded by art in the home and out of it. My family had lived in Gambia and the Seychelles, so our house was full of Michael Adams prints and I was always encouraged to produce art from an early age. When I’m on the tube I’m drawing architectural plans and sketches, I probably buy art in some form several times a week.

What do you collect?

I have quite a few kitsch little collections, including matchboxes, indian figurines, keys and papier maché bowls. My favourite, though, is my green glass collection. I have a tabletop full of glass gizmos in varying shades of emerald. Most items are from Finnish glassware company Iittala but I also have old finds from markets and a margarita glass in the shape of a cactus.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

Self-portrait with Bonito,” by Frida Kahlo. Or any of Kahlo’s self-portraits, really.

Which artist would you most like to meet?

Dead: an afternoon spent with Lucien Freud and his hawk. Living: Cindy Sherman would be loads of fun, wouldn’t she?


(Image: Alex Tieghi-Walker)

What was the last great exhibition you attended?

It was small, but I really enjoyed George Catlin: American Indian Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery. He painted with great respect, personality and attentiveness.

Do you have a favorite museum or gallery?

I love John Soane’s House in Lincoln’s Inn Fields and the nearby Petrie Museum which is a little secret tucked underneath UCL – it’s full of ancient Egyptian bric-a-brac. The Marianne North Gallery in Kew Gardens keeps me busy for hours and the Getty Collection in Los Angeles also blew me away, mainly because of the incredible landscape design around the museum – full of cacti and succulents.


(Image: Alex Tieghi-Walker)

What was the first piece of art you purchased?

I definitely picked up small trinkets and sketches from a very early age, but the first time I consciously considered buying art was when my mother took me to the [Royal Academy] Summer Exhibition aged 16 and I bought a print by architect Ian Ritchie. It’s in my kitchen next to the boiler.

If you could paint, draw, sculpt, photograph, etc. which skill would you mist like to posses?

I’d like to be able to blow glass.

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