'Dream Come True' For Tech Savvy French Artist Discovered By London, New York Galleries On Instagram
From Forbes — Words by Natasha Gural , May 30, 2019
With a focus on bold images and snappy #hashtags rather than meaty hyperlinks and pithy banter or political rants, Instagram has become a leading global platform for sharing fine art from world-class museums, galleries, art fairs, and city streets.
For Laurence de Valmy, sharing her own story-telling fine art on the rapidly expanding social network owned by Facebook was a paramount career breakthrough.
“Kahn Gallery, based in London and run by (fellow Frenchwoman) Geraldine Hassler spotted me on Instagram,” said de Valmy. “In December 2017, my work was being exhibited at SCOPE Miami with Azart Gallery in New York, and of course had posted about it. London-based Kahn Gallery was exhibiting at PULSE Miami and Geraldine Hassler spotted my work on Instagram.”
Hassler's team “was busy on her booth so she couldn't visit the others,” recalls de Valmy. “Instagram was the connection. She contacted me after the fairs and we've been working together since 2018.”
This year, SCOPE Miami Beach featured 140 international exhibitors from 25 countries and 60 cities, welcoming 60,000 visitors over six days. A year ago, Instagram broke the 1 billion user mark, and de Valmy has nearly 2,100 followers worldwide. Clearly, it’s a testament to her content and the admirers she attracts.
de Valmy’s work marries fine art and modern technology, highlighting the use of social media by artists. She was awarded an artist residency by the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation (ESKFF) at Mana Contemporary, a Jersey City, New Jersey, arts center devoted to contemporary visual and performing arts, in 2017 for her work on the POST series.
Her acclaimed POST series depicts fictional Instagram posts by famous artists. Think WWAWS (What would Andy Warhol say?) about his own work. No doubt he’d have embraced it as wildly as he’d have coyly critiqued its impact on society.
Indeed, last December, then-eight-year-old New York City public school third-grade student Michael Alexander visiting “Andy Warhol _ From A to B and Back Again’’ at the Whitney Museum of American Artwith his classmates observed how “Ethel Scull 36 Times” (1963), silkscreen ink and acrylic on linen, thirty-six equal-sized panels measuring 80 inches by 144 inches, “looks like Instagram or selfies.”
de Valmy blends her art history expertise and her painting skill to appropriate iconic artworks and share their (fictional, yet fact-based) stories, as if each master were using Instagram as a primary platform for promotion.
“Online presence in general, and social media in particular, has played a big role for me,” said de Valmy. “Firstly, as an inspiration, since I started to create the POST series, inspired by artists posting on Instagram, thinking that in a few years, art historians would probably look into the archives of Instagram. Then I got spotted by two of the galleries that I work with on Instagram, and through a Google search by the curators of the exhibition the BUNTE Art (in Munich, Germany) which led me to exhibit alongside Andy Warhol in the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art in Munich in 2018. A dream come true.”
More recently, de Valmy was invited by the organizers of #MuseumWeek, the first worldwide cultural event on social networks, aimed at joining cultural institutions from across the world to boost “7 days, 7 themes, 7 hashtags”. Themes of this year’s sixth-annual #MuseumWeek included “the role of women in culture yesterday, today and tomorrow” to mark #WomenInCulture Day.
Word play is key for de Valmy, who builds her titles with (mostly) the first name of the artist and then either the person in the story or the subject of the painting. She delves into the intimate lives of the artists she chooses, seeking out obscure facts.
Her paintings have been selected to play a role in a series slated for release next year on an American premium cable and satellite television network starring an Academy Award-, Primetime Emmy Award-, and Golden Globe Award-winning actress.
de Valmy, who who lives and works in Philadelphia, is represented by Azart Gallery, Kahn Gallery, Michele Mariaud Gallery in New York, and Range of Arts in Honfleur, France, in Normandy. Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she moved to France as a baby.
Her paintings are in private collections throughout Europe, the United States, and Asia, owned by: German billionaire publisher Hubert Burda; the Vinik Family Foundation, managed by Penny and Jeff Vinik; ESKFF; and others.
Read the article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/natashagural/2019/05/30/dream-come-true-for-tech-savvy-french-artist-discovered-by-london-new-york-galleries-on-instagram/#73045ae51f80