Through the creation of the online exhibition space Art Baby Gallery, artist and curator Grace Miceli has pioneered an inclusive and supportive network for the young female artists. Focusing on showcasing the work of multimedia artists who consider digitality to be the main focus of their practice, Art Baby Gallery aims to promote those whose work is underrepresented in today’s white and male dominated art world.
Having founded the online space just a few years ago, Grace Miceli has now also taken Art Baby Gallery offline; her debut IRL exhibition taking place at Alt Space in New York this past summer. The show entitled Girls At Night On The Internet, aimed to celebrate the feminist multimedia work of her female contemporaries, including pieces by the likes of Petra Collins, Molly Soda and Vivian Fu.
In addition to Miceli’s artistic and curatorial practices, she has also produced zines and clothing, such as her ‘Drizzy Inflammatory Essay’ sweatshirts and tote bags, inspired by the work of Jenny Holzer. Her pop-culture inspired satirical pieces are both refreshing and relatable, speaking to an ‘internet generation’. Miceli’s multidisciplinary work is prompting a shift in artistic discourse, and what it means to be a woman artist, providing a fresh visual language inspired by online habitation and connection.
We spoke to the artist about her online exhibition space Art Baby Gallery, what prompted her to make the move from online to offline, as well as her collaborative approach to creative practice.
Celia Wickham: What was it that first motivated you to start Art Baby Gallery as an online platform?
Grace Miceli: I wanted to re-create the supportive community that I felt in school, a place to share and talk about work in progress with my peers.
CW: When did you decide that you wanted to take your online curatorial project into offline spaces, such as your recent ‘Girls at Night on the Internet’ exhibition, and how has this process been for you?
GM: It was the next natural step, I was ready to grow and progress and bring the gallery to more people. It has been an exciting process to make the gallery more ‘real’, and I’m glad I was finally able to build enough professional relationships for it to happen. I’m always looking for the next challenge to push myself to grow; bringing the gallery offline has been that for me.
CW: Do you feel that ‘internet art’ is taken less seriously than other more traditional mediums, and how does this affect the work you do, and the way you relate to the wider art world?
GM: Maybe by some people but I think everyone is starting to catch on that this is a language and discourse that we are communicating through now, and there really isn’t any going back. I’m not interested in working with people and/or communities that don’t take art made by the current ‘internet’ generation seriously, it has pushed me to create more spaces. I can’t be bothered to impress an art world that thinks large abstract paintings by old, straight white men are the most valuable pieces of art.
CW: In addition to producing illustrative work, you have also written poetry, and produced clothing and zines. Can you talk more about your integrative approach to self-expression and creativity?
GM: I think I’m always pushing myself to discover what medium can bring a specific piece to life. I don’t ever want to be limited to being described as one type of creator, I have many talents and I enjoy being able to express myself in whatever way makes sense at that moment.
CW: Through forming and being a part of these online networks and communities, how has your approach to art-making practices evolved?
GM: It has definitely encouraged me to keep going, and it has shown me that beautiful things can happen when you are approaching art as a collaborative process. I feel really lucky to have found other artists and curators that inspire me, and I’m so excited for a bunch of up-coming shows and projects that I have in the works.
CW: You’re currently on the road with Alt Space gallery, touring your latest exhibition ‘Nowhere Now’, how is that all going, and what do you have planned for the year ahead?
GM: It’s amazing! We have only had a few openings/pop-up shops so far, but it’s so incredible to meet young artists who follow us online and are excited about what we are doing. Also I just feel like I’m hanging out with my friends for a month on the road, which is amazing. My future plans involve opening up my own space this summer, I’ll have more details soon!
Celia Wickham is a visual artist and filmmaker, and is the editor of the feminist zine Milk and Honey.