Meet Five Women Changing The Art Gallery Scene

Photos via Getty Images

It’s their art world, we’re just living in it

In 2011, Mindy Kaling wrote a piece in the New Yorker about fake female movie personas. One of them was "The Woman Who Works in an Art Gallery." "How many freakin’ art galleries are out there?" she wrote. "Are people buying visual art on a daily basis? This posh/smart/classy profession is a favorite in movies."

Kaling was referring to the so-called "gallery girl," or the more derogatory "gallerina," young women who work as assistants in art galleries, in the hopes that one day they'll achieve some level of success. But what would that success look like, and if you were Mindy Kaling, what would you call it?

Well, if Kaling was referring to one of the following five women, she'd probably write: "The Woman Who Owns an Art Gallery."

Photo by Paul Redmond / Getty Images

Mieke Marple (right) of Night Gallery, Los Angeles.

Birthplace: Palo Alto, California

Age: 30

Where did you go to school? UCLA

How did your career get started? I quit my gallery assistant job and partnered with Davida [Nemeroff (left)] to run Night Gallery at 25.

Professionally, where were you five years ago? I had just partnered with Davida and was still making drawings for Karl Haendel on the side.

What is the biggest challenge of running your own gallery? Making sure you stay interesting and cover your overhead as you continue to expand.

What are you most proud of so far in terms of your career? All the artists and staff we support through our combined efforts.

If you could have an exhibition of any artist’s work in all of history, who would it be? Caravaggio.

Who is your art hero? David Zwirner and Davida.

What is the biggest problem with the art world today? The impossibility of being in the middle. It seems like you can only be successful on the emerging level or the blue chip level. It's very hard to be in between for both artists and galleries.

What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your footsteps? Surround yourself with good people and don't expect to make a lot of money!

Rozsa Farkas of Arcadia Missa, London

Birthplace: London

Age: 28

Where did you go to school? Central Saint Martins

How did your career get started? Accidentally. I wanted to continue conversations I was having at university, and so I opened a DIY space after graduating and it evolved, becoming a gallery that represented artists in late 2014.

Professionally, where were you five years ago? I was a recent graduate and illegal poker room waitress.

What is the biggest challenge of running your own gallery? Maintaining constant affective labor on and offline.

If you could have an exhibition of any artist’s work in all of history, who would it be? Ana Mendieta.

Who is your art hero? This is hard—so many! Mendieta, all the artists I work with of course (Amalia Ulman, Harry Sanderson, Maja Cule, Jesse Darling, Ann Hirsch, Hannah Black Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, Phoebe Collings-James), Emma Talbot (my old tutor), Sharon Hayes, Penny Goring, Rita Keegan, and the list could go on and on.

What is the biggest problem with the art world today? I guess all the problems in the art world could fall under the rubric of the fact that power is held in the hands of the few, and not only is there resistance in its redistribution but further, there is resistance to the desires to shatter the formation of power itself.

What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your footsteps? Well, I didn't pay much rent to live is how I set up and ran a space. I first moved home to my mother's for a year, then basically squatted for a year, then I lived with my partner who had to pay more rent than me. That's kind of gross advice, but it's really true and practical. Running a space drains money, and living in a city like London is near impossible as it is—you have to find the cracks which are your privileges in order to exist.


Photo courtesy of @jessireaves / Instagram

Bridget Donahue of Bridget Donahue, New York

Birthplace:  Iowa City, Iowa

Age: 36

How did your career get started? I found my first gallery job on

Professionally, where were you five years ago? Working for Gavin Brown’s enterprise.

What is the biggest challenge of running your own gallery? Finding time to be proactive, not always reactive.

What are you most proud of so far in terms of your career? The trust I’ve been able to build with my audience and peers.

If you could have an exhibition of any artist’s work in all of history, who would it be? Alighiero e Boetti

What is the biggest problem with the art world today? Short-sightedness.

What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your footsteps? This job is less glamorous than it may appear, but when you love this job, there are endless rewards and infinite moments to learn and expand one’s worldview.

Photo by Jerome Soimaud

Karla Ferguson of Yeelen Gallery, Miami

Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica.

Age: 36

Where did you go to school? I went to Florida International University for undergrad and Tulane Law School for my J.D.

How did your career get started? My career in art began after law school when I relocated to Paris and immersed myself in culture. I have always been passionate about art and social justice, and my legal background enabled me to combine the two fields by curating exhibitions I feel are crucial to the evolution of our society. I moved back to Miami in 2006, opened up my first space in Wynwood, which matured into the Yeelen Gallery we know today, and thanks to the brilliant artists I have had the pleasure to work with, we have become a voice that captures the pulse of the people.

What is the biggest challenge of running your own gallery? Keeping the lights on. We depend on sales as most galleries do, therefore, we need collectors willing to support the work we defend. It would also be nice to have the support of various foundations. However, Yeelen is about maintaining an independent voice. Censorship and conformation are not my thing.

What are you most proud of so far in terms of your career? My contribution to society. I have been able to create a space that takes on tough civil rights issues such as racism, women’s rights, LGBT issues, or socioeconomic issues. Creating dialogue, raising awareness, and offering solutions fills me with an immense amount of pride. I aim to do no harm while I am on this earth, and if I am able to improve it, all the better.

If you could have an exhibition of any artist’s work in all of history, who would it be? This is a really tough question. I admire many artists for their unique perspectives, narrowing it down to one is simply impossible. I would probably just have a huge group show with the likes of Jackson Pollock, Gordon Parks, Augusta Savage, Jacob Lawrence, Gaugin, Dorothea Lange, Egon Schiele, Elizabeth Catlett, Yayoi Kusama, and Julie Mehretu meanwhile throwing in artists I represent such as Tim Okamura, Jerome Soimaud, and James Clover. It’s a good thing that this is fantasy because that show would be insanely mind-blowing!

What is the biggest problem with the art world today? The biggest issue in the art world is playing to the highest bidder. Silencing your voice just to make a dollar does no one any favors—quite the opposite actually. Only truth can set us free. Only truth can help us to evolve and become a better society.

What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your footsteps? One step at a time, don’t give up. Adapt, perhaps, but don’t stop and please enjoy the ride, after all, this is the adventure. 

Rachel Uffner of Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York

Birthplace: Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

Age: 38

Where did you go to school? Washington University in St. Louis

How did your career get started? I have been working in some capacity of the art world since I graduated from college, starting with an internship in the Contemporary Art Department at Christie’s. I worked at a great gallery in Chelsea called D’Amelio Terras which closed several years ago. There I learned a lot about how a gallery works and started forming relationships with artists and collectors and curating shows.

Professionally, where were you five years ago? I started my gallery eight years ago, so five years ago, I was almost three years in and looking back at the exhibitions, the gallery was starting to fall into stride. I had a smaller space on Orchard Street, and I think I was hosting some good exhibitions. I was also probably still sitting at the gallery by myself or with one part-time employee. A couple years later, I had enough success that I was able to move into a much larger space that is much more fun for the artists to show in and have a couple of employees to help out.

What is the biggest challenge of running your own gallery? The commerce of it can, of course, be challenging at times. There are certain artworks and artists that sell easily and others who deserve to be widely collected, and it doesn’t come so easily. I am committed to continuing to promote the artists that I believe are smart and making great work, and I believe it will all level out in the end. Running a well-oiled gallery is a very long pursuit that takes many, many years to achieve and it takes a lot of work to keep it strong.

What are you most proud of so far in terms of your career? I’m proud that I’ve overcome a lot of work and life challenges and shown a commitment to making a strong gallery and building something.  

If you could have an exhibition of any artist’s work in all of history, who would it be? Well, the most moving exhibition I’ve seen in the last couple of years was "Louise Bourgeois. Structures of Existence: The Cells" which I saw while visiting Leonhard Hurzlmeier, an artist I work with, last summer at the Haus Der Kunst in Munich. This traveling exhibition was the largest showing of Bourgeois Cells which are very large structures that have both beautiful formal and architectural qualities as well as being hugely psychological and emotional. The work is so tough and vulnerable and weird at the same time—that is pretty much what good art is.

What is the biggest problem with the art world today? I think there are great exhibitions in museums and galleries and artists making great work. I prefer to focus on the positive.

What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your footsteps? Put on good shows with good artists and remember to figure out how a business works.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.