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The Jealous Curator: A Force for Good for Artists

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Danielle Krysa has a neat trick: She's turned her own soul-crushing artistic jealousy into a creative showcase for up-and-coming and undiscovered artists – and fueled her own creativity in the process. Recently inducted into the SAY 100, Danielle's site The Jealous Curator features new and unusual art daily. Visit her site and you'll find yourself lost in a gallery of wonderful and diverse contemporary indie artists.

Since starting her site in 2009 she's attracted a loyal following – and now also guest-authors a column called ART GOES HERE at SF Girl By Bay. And she's now curating offline galleries as well. Talk about a dream come true! We caught up with Danielle to find out how she finds great artists, what art she covets (another deadly sin), and what's in store for her upcoming book.

How do you decide what artists to cover? What's your filter for what makes you jealous? It’s a very subjective, sort of a punch to the gut feeling… in a good way of course! I literally have to think "damn, I wish I thought of that." As soon as that pops into my head, I know I’ve got tomorrow’s post.

Where do you find all these wonderful and diverse artists to feature? I go to as many shows as I possibly can, and I spend hours, and hours, and hours online. Gallery sites, other blogs, and my inbox… I am very lucky because I get at least ten submissions a day from artists all over the world. That makes my "job" pretty easy.

You've been blogging about art for several years - what was your breakout post? Or were there several that put you on the map? Well, it’s been a slow and steady process actually. But, I guess the first post that caused any kind of stir was about a four year old, named Marla Olmstead. There was a documentary made about her called “My Kid Could Paint That”… that post is three years old, and it’s still getting comments! The other thing that “put me on the map” was when I started writing guest posts on the always fabulous SF Girl By Bay… oh, and a mention in Australia’s Frankie magazine put my numbers from down under, through the roof!

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What about the artists you cover – any stories about how you've helped them get discovered? Well, speaking of Frankie, they have featured several artists that I’ve written about, but the most exciting moment was when they did a five page spread on American artist Aris Moore. I had emailed their art editor because I thought she’d love Aris’ work… and she did! I think I was more excited than Aris. And just recently, I heard from a New Zealand artist who got his first solo show in New York because the gallery director saw his work on my blog. Again, I’m not sure who was more excited!

What other art blogs do you love to read? Who are your soulmates? My two favorites are Art Hound, and curate 1k. Kate, Norah, and I have a very similar taste in art. I always find something that makes me think “damn, I wish I thought of that” when I pop over to visit their inspiring sites.

If you could have any art piece in the world, what would it be? What art do you covet most? Oh boy. I don’t think you have enough space for my list! Ok, well, here are a few that I’m dying for. I would love to own Wayne White’s “Failed Abstract Paintings of the Seventies”, I have my eye on a Rachel Denny deer head, I really want an original painting by Jennifer Davis, and I’ll take just about anything by Martha Rich. Now, if we’re talking any art piece in the world, I’ll happily take an original Warhol if you’ve got one kicking around.

You're a graphic designer. Do you find yourself influenced by all these other artists you cover? How so or how not? I find that they’re quite separate actually… although I do get quite a few color palette ideas from the artwork I write about, but that’s about it. However, I do find that my own artwork is heavily influenced by my years as a designer. I love found images, typography, and large blocks of flat color. See… very graphic design-ish.

You’ve recently moved offline to curating shows in galleries. What did you feel you can do offline that's missing online? Online is amazing because of the huge exposure you can give an artist. One post will be seen by thousands, and thousands of people… but, at a real show in a gallery, you actually get to see the reactions to the work. That’s a pretty fantastic experience that you just don’t get online.

What's next? Well, I just started working on a book that will be published by Chronicle Books. It’s pretty much a dream come true, and I’m still pinching myself to be perfectly honest. It will be out of my head and into bookstores in the Spring of 2014. Can. Not. Wait.

Follow Danielle on Twitter @jealouscurator.

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