Last Word: Jerico Tracy

ANNIE TONKIN CHATS TO JERICO TRACY FROM  SYDNEY GALLERY JERICO CONTEMPORARY ABOUT SCOUTING TALENT AND STARTING YOUR OWN COLLECTION.

Jerico Contemporary has a great range of artists in its stable! What do you look for when thinking about working with a new artist?

There are three aspects I look for: originality, talent and execution.

Your curatorial projects focus on pairing emerging artists with emerging collectors. Why is this important to you?

One of the main intentions of opening the gallery was to make art accessible to young people, (or people who perhaps don’t know much about the art world) and also give young, talented emerging artists a platform to showcase their work. There seemed to be a disconnect, and I really want to introduce those looking for art and those wanting to show it.

What are you drawn to personally when it comes to art and style?

In terms of medium I tend to gravitate towards works on paper – photography and drawings. The works I am drawn to always work on multiple levels – conceptually stimulating, technically skilled and aesthetically pleasing.

What art events are you looking forward to in the year ahead?

Art Month, which takes place across Sydney in March, is always a wonderful time of year. There are so many additional exhibitions, events and programs outside of the normal gallery schedule. I am also looking forward to welcoming Caroline Walls to our gallery in April and for Holly Ryan’s first exhibition using Bronze in May.

If you could invite three artists – living or dead – to dinner…

I’m currently reading Tracey Emin’s autobiography Strangeland for the Art Book Club I run at the gallery, so I’m enthralled by her at the moment. I would also invite New York artist Chloe Wise who is an incredible painter, hilarious on Instagram and seems like she would be the ultimate dinner guest. Lastly, Jean-Michel Basquiat because he died far too young and there is so much I would like to talk to him about.

Advice to someone looking to add art to their lives?

One of the best ways to start a collection, or incorporate art into your life, is to attend commercial gallery exhibition openings. They are frequent and free for all to attend. In doing so you can see a lot of different types of art by different artists and start to discover what type of art you are drawn to. You can often talk directly to the artists and gallerists and learn more about the process and practice. Also, Instagram is a wonderful way to explore artists that are not local to your area.

Any tips for people looking to buy unique art on a budget?

I would recommend going to Art School Graduate and Post-Graduate exhibitions, ARI’s (Artist Run Initiatives) and emerging artist driven galleries like Jerico Contemporary. There is such a misconception that starting a collection is expensive, you can purchase unique works of art from as little as $200. Art Money is also a great initiative where you can pay 10% of an artwork, take it home and pay the rest over monthly instalments.

Jerico Tracy, Gallery Director. PHOTO: CLAUDIA SMITH

Installation View of Luke Chiswell’s ‘Wish It Would Last’, Jerico Contemporary, 2019. PHOTO: DOCQMENT

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