Words by Kristy Ann Muniz
Over dim sum shrimp dumplings in January of 2009, a mysterious designer/creative director who wishes to keep her identity hidden started contemplating the idea of a blog to catalog the artists who, as she puts it, “inspire her, while at the same time crush her artistic soul.” It would be a page where one could browse through a wide variety of invigorating art in a neatly organized directory. A month later the site went live, and so began The Jealous Curator.
WC: Can you recall a time when you first realized you were developing a thriving interest in the art world or is it something you’ve always just felt drawn to?
JC: My mom is an artist and I started stealing her supplies when I was about two, so I guess it’s safe to say I’ve loved art my entire life. I actually did my freshman year in Marine Biology (it seemed more responsible than art somehow), but after spending most of that year drawing and painting, instead of studying, I decided to switch majors. Smart move I think.
WC: Is there one person or subject in your life that inspires you the most to create art?
JC: I have a thing for mundane nostalgia… suburbs, houses, the regular people who live there.
Most of my own work is based on this theme, not to mention a huge number of the pieces I’ve written about. I think there’s something incredibly beautiful about everyday objects/surroundings that most people dismiss as ordinary.
WC: When first launching the blog did you expect it to have such a positive reaction and receive the amount of attention that it has?
JC: No, not at all, but it’s amazing! I started the blog for myself…I was totally thrilled when strangers (not my parents) started leaving comments to say that they knew exactly how I felt, and were relieved to finally admit it. I think that’s the key actually… I once heard someone say that when jealousy is kept inside it becomes toxic, but as soon as it’s said out loud, it transforms into admiration. I like that. A lot.
WC: What was the first piece of art featured on the site?
JC: Ah, you never forget your first. It was a pink mixed-media text piece titled “Cotton Candy Crotchless Panties” by Canadian artist Ben Skinner. In June of 2010, I was invite to curate a show in Washington DC, I immediately proposed a solo show of Ben’s work.
The nice folks at the Honfleur Gallery loved him too, so now it’s official… the show opens on March 4th 2011, and runs until April 8th. I am beyond excited about it! You should come!
WC: How do you find all of the art you blog about?
JC: I get lots of email submissions, which is fantastic! I can just sip my morning coffee and wait for amazing work to show up. I also find artists through a bunch of other art blogs (who I always give credit to), and I spend far too much time on Facebook and Twitter. I check out every single person who follows me (because almost all of them are artists), I click on just about every link posted by the people that I follow. Other than that I go to as many shows as I can, both offline and online.
WC: Do you have any future plans on expanding the site or creating other blogs?
JC: So far everything has grown very organically. I started with posts every few days, and then decided to do one post a day. After a few months I started putting together “jealously curated” shows, and then this past summer I introduced the “weekend guest” series. I’m not sure what’s coming next to be perfectly honest, and no, no plans for another site.
Right now, this one is plenty… unless I can figure out a way to survive without sleep.
WC: The thing I find most enjoyable about The Jealous Curator–besides being introduced to great art–are the funny blurbs that accompany each post. Do you write for anyone else or would you like to in the future?
JC: ”Funny” is probably the biggest compliment you could ever give me, so thank you.
Yes, at some point I would love to have my own column in a newspaper or magazine, or if I’m dreaming really big, maybe even a book – an entire book filled with big, glossy pages of the art that makes me jealous? Yes! I would love that! I’ve written a few guest posts here and there, and am thrilled to be a regular contributor on sfgirlbybay.com, a fabulous design blog out of San Francisco.
WC: There is a fantastically creepy section on the site featuring a collection of pieces involving masks–you seem to be pretty keen on secrecy, leaving us curious as to whom this esoteric character behind the curtain is. Is there any more you can tell us about yourself with out spoiling the fun?
JC: Let me start by explaining why I’ve kept my “true identity” a secret. It started out because I’m an artist too, and I didn’t want my own work to have anything to do with “The Jealous Curator”. I wanted the blog to be about other artists, not as a vehicle to promote my work. However, I have to admit, now it’s just kinda fun. How often does a girl get to lead a double life? Oops, ok, that’s out of the bag. So, I’m a girl. I’m over thirty so I should probably say, woman, my first name is Danielle, and I have two wiener dogs (Stella & Murphy). Oh, and I’m a Taurus, but that’s all I’m giving up… today anyway.
Click here to see more of thejealouscurator.com.