Meet Bianca Zaltcovitz, curator and creative manager
Hi Bianca, can you tell us more about yourself, background, experience, and projects.
So, I'm Brazilian, from Rio de Janeiro and I have been working with arts independently for the past 6 years,
I have a background managing and being the lead designer at an established art gallery back in Rio, and after 2 years working at the high-end art market from Brazil, I co-founded an art gallery startup to empower the independent and alternative art scene of my city, with a special focus on urban contemporary art.
I started to see myself navigating between the "conventional and institutional" side of the art world as well as the underground and subversive. During these years I started to build my career as an independent curator and also as a facilitator to assist independent artists, something that I love doing.
I left Brazil in 2017 and ever since I have been dedicating most of my time in research about disruptive ways to work with the arts internationally, post graffiti culture and urban contemporary art and how it relates to concepts like community, gentrification, and self-awareness. This research led me to New Zealand, New York, Canada and now Israel.
What is the last project you enjoy the most?
All the projects I made were important to me and brought me joy but one project that boosted my career was assisting David Choe and Herbert Baglione on a painting they made in the Vidigal favela back in Rio. In recent years other cool highlights were: volunteering for Mural Festival 2019 in Montreal, participating in an art fair in Manhattan, and giving consultations for the only Urban Contemporary Art gallery in New Zealand.
As a curator how do you enjoy social media?
The social media I use the most is Instagram, throughout my travels, Instagram has been an essential tool to find artists and artistic institutions to connect with.
The good aspect of Instagram is the sense of intimacy it can provide, it can promote intimate connections with new people and I find this really helpful, especially working with the arts where emotion is one of the main fuels for creation and connection. I see social media, especially Instagram as a promotion tool, so if you know how to promote yourself well, the rest will follow.
For instance, once I gave counseling to an amazing Brazilian urban contemporary artist and we understood that the challenges he was facing to get jobs more aligned to what he wanted, he needed to change how he was promoting/showcasing himself on Instagram. After understanding that, he deleted all his previous photos, made everything new and as a result, his followers increased and the people contacting him for work were more related to the type of jobs he wanted to do.
How do you use social media usually? (Research, interactions, posting, hashtags, details what you think is important)
I use social media to get inspired, to research and to approach people. Instagram is the main channel I use, I share my artistic experiences, research, travels, projects I've been working on, and I also use it to interact with interesting people I find in the network.
Instagram taught me that the majority of amazing people out there are in fact open to connect, and when we connect, we grow and lives can be changed.
My life changed on a Sunday night, (I was living in Christchurch, New Zealand), and I was watching an Instagram live of this local social enterprise whose work I was amazed by, there, the director was talking about vulnerability in the work environment and the arts, it spoke to me so deeply that I could not text him, so I did and we met, I fell more in love with the social enterprise and that became my dream job. During the time I lived in Christchurch I had the privilege to work in this amazing place, fully immersed in empowering the arts and the community of the city. More than one year later I still miss it deeply and haven't found anything like it in other cities and countries. But because of this experience, I now have something to look for, and if I can't find it, I have now the aspiration to build it.
So basically, my life changed because of Instagram.
What do you think about online exhibitions?
I think this is the way to go, it is very important to think about ways of showcasing art digitally, and to create engagement virtually as well. Something that I'm super into now is VR/AR+ exhibitions/artworks, here in Israel a good example is artist Damien Taab and all of his experimentations and another good example is Shepard Fairey`s Damaged Exhibition from 2018 where he and a VR company created a digital warehouse to showcase his largest exhibition so far, you can walk around the space, read what each artwork is about and even listen to the artist personal explanations. Now, in corona times I came across Sebastian Erra Zuriz new developments, he is an artist that combines art and tech a lot, and he created a way to showcase works through AR, so an artist can increase they're selling changes by letting the customer see how the artwork would fit on they're home.
What do you recommend to Artists during this period of social distancing?
I feel this moment is an invitation for self-connection, to ask yourself the big questions and deep dive into them.
To think about how your art helps you as a human, how are you telling your own story and why is your story important.
When we know our narrative (not only as artists but as humans) we better connect with others, when we connect with others, we create community, when we create a community we become stronger. And we need to be stronger now. For me, art is all about connections between me, you, us and all.
Luckily, when can do that during quarantine!
Do you have any ideas for a project that you want to do during this period?
After all my travels and experience working with the arts in different niches, I now see art as a living ecosystem and like any other ecosystem, we need to understand it in order to nurture it. I want to help in this understanding and nourishment, let me explain: even though art and culture are an essential part of human creation and expression, quite often it's considered not a priority. But what are we without it?
So this I why one of my main goals is to create bridges between parts, or, following the ecosystem metaphor, to help pollinate it.
This can be done when the public knows how to buy art, how to approach artists, how to commission works, also this can be done when artists have venues interested on showcasing them and promoting them without taking advantage and finally, the cycle is complete when we have venues and artistic institutions coping well with funding/ financial stability that enables them to do more conceptual and free projects other than only doing commercial work, so its a cycle, and I'm constantly looking for ways to nurture it.
What kind of project you are planning -anyway?
After all this journey I am focusing on telling my story, sharing the things I've learned to find artistic community and people out of the digital world to connect with and give assistance to.
How can we work with you?
Artists: I'm here to assist you as a facilitator via one on one consultations to help you develop your narrative/ artist statement/ bio and strategies, and also as a curator to create narratives for projects and exhibitions. Artistic institutions: I am here to help you think and creatively manage your institution and all other things you might need! I'm super open to developing things together and empower the art scene here in Israel!
You can find me on Instagram @bianca.zltcvtz
Hit me up!