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Meet Clara Darrason

Founding Director
The Chimney NYC
MA Contemporary Art, New York, 2015

What is The Chimney NYC? What does your role entail?

In June 2015 I opened an exhibition and performance venue named The Chimney NYC, a 21ft high industrial black cube with brick walls adorned by a condemned chimney. Jennifer Houdrouge (Sotheby's Institute, 2016) co-runs the space with me. We have organized 18 exhibitions, 2 "Chimney Video & Performance Festival", and worked with over 40 artists in less than 3 years. We oversee every single aspect of a gallery business - from the administrative responsibilities to the curatorial missions of the venue.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Meeting with artists, discussing their ideas and vision for the space, helping them achieve it.

Where did your passion for art begin?

Through photography with works by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, Lee Miller, Stephen Shore...

What is the most unique (weird, wondrous, or exhilarating) moment you’ve experienced in the art world?

The Chimney commissions immersive installations which makes each exhibition quite unique. One of the many exciting moments include the creation of a monumental iceberg made of renewable materials by Finnish artist Riitta Ikonen. Most recently, Jennifer and I have been incredibly happy and grateful for Yasue Maetake's solo show "Reverse Subterrestrial" review in Artforum online critics' picks by Paula Burleigh.

What’s your favorite work of art and why?

Constantin Brancusi "Maiastra". As Brancusi expressed: "In art, one does not aim for simplicity; one achieves it unintentionally as one gets closer to the real meaning of things."

Anything else you'd like to share?

Through their advice, encouragements, and constant support, I consider Kathleen Madden and Kathy Battista as very influential in my decision to open a gallery and to follow this vocation.  

Read more about Clara and The Chimney NYC here.

Image via Brooklyn Magazine