Kim Drew

UnframedOctober 1, 2015
Kim Drew

She has a tendency for art and artists of African descent. Her daily instagram posts highlights the impact of social media as a medium to expose and push through rising talents whilst making us aware of art and African contemporary art… if we hadn’t already taken notice. @museummammy, by Miss Kim Drew, is apart of the growing social media culture where we unmask our every human emotion online. But here is the difference between Miss Drew and us; @museummammy is showing us that together art, “black contemporary art,” and social media go hand in hand. Miss Drew is changing the dynamics of instagram for the better.

Tell us about what you do.

Since 2011, I’ve been working on Black Contemporary, a Tumblr blog, created to support and share the work of artists of African descent.

Kenny Rivero, Where the People Lived, 2011

Is this what you always wanted to do?

When I was younger I wanted to be both Naomi Campbell and Oprah. I still hold onto this aspiration.

How do you see yourself in regards to Instagram and art?

Instagram has been an incredible tool for learning about the art world, as it exists today. You can follow museums, curators, and collectors. If you follow the right people you can gain virtual VIP access in a way that was not possible in the past. For me, I try to capitalize on that access by sharing my world with my followers. If I travel to Miami or Venice, I bring everyone with me and show them the things that I see.

There is no doubt that Instagram has become the most provocative and creative platform for fledgling artists. As they say all good things must come to an end. Where do you see the future of Instagram and art?

The infrastructure of Instagram’s app is perfect for the highly visual culture of the art world. Instagram can be a vehicle for communicating with constituencies that cultural institutions need to connect with to remain relevant in the future. The app is also a great tool for artists because (if used properly) the platform can help get their work seen by more eyes. For example, Grace Miceli’s work was seen by Lena Dunham and is now in her dressing room on the set of GIRLS. Grace, like some other Instagram-famous artists, runs a really smart, fun, and girl-powered account. Her focus and hard work made her account ripe for the picking by the time that Dunham encountered it. In the future, I imagine that we’ll all get more proficient on the platform and we’ll see where it goes from there! With social media it’s hard to guess new trends– especially in creative fields. The sky’s the limit.

Lauren Kelley, Pickin’, 1999

What kind of impact do you hope that your work has?

In my career I’ve been inspired by Thelma Golden, Linda Goode Bryant, Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Franklin Sirmans, Huey Copeland, and the list goes on. Their work and commitment to artists paved the way for people like myself. They’ve all set a high bar for excellence. It’s my hope that I can also inspire others to do their best in the support of their own interests or curiosities.

Black Contemporary Art nasıl ortaya çıktı ve gelişti?

Harlem’deki The Studio Museum’da staj yaptıktan sonra 2011 senesinin Mart ayında Black Contemporary Art’ı başlattım. Ücretli yaz stajım bittiğinde daha önce sanat tarihi derslerinde adını bile duymadığım çok sayıda sanatçının varlığından haberdar olmuştum; bu konuda kendimi geliştirmeyi sürdürmek için bir alan arayışına girdim. Yaptığım araştırmalar sonucunda bu ihtiyacı karşılayan herhangi bir blog veya websitesi bulamadığım için kendim bir tane kurmaya karar verdim. Blogu kurduktan sonraki sene şimdilerde An Assembly isimli bir blogu olan Coco Lopez’in de ekibe katılmasıyla blogun üzerinde çalışarak bugün bildiğiniz haline getirdik. Tamamen internet üzerinden yürüyen bir ilişkimiz vardı çünkü blogun üzerinde çalışmaya başladıktan ancak bir sene sonra Coco ile yüz yüze görüşebildik.

Black Contemporary Art, how did this evolve?

I started Black Contemporary Art in March 2011 after an internship at The Studio Museum in Harlem. After doing their paid summer internship and learning about so many artists that I’d never see in my art history courses I searched for a space to continue to educate myself. In my research I could not find a blog or website that could fill that need and so, I started my own. A year into creating the blog, Coco Lopez, who now runs a blog called An Assembly, joined the team and together we crafted the blog as it exists today. It was a very internet story because Coco and I did not actually meet until about a year after working together on the blog.

Kenny Rivero, Homage to the Three Three (PE, NYK), 2015

Who is your favourite artist in history in regards to BCA?

I definitely don’t have a favorite artist at the moment. That said, I’m currently interested in the work of Noah Purifoy. Junk Dada, a monographic exhibition that celebrates his career, is currently on view at LACMA. For me, Purifoy is an amazing artist to consider because he dedicated himself to his community. A founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center, Purifoy is an example of the important work that artists do outside of their studios. This effort has inspired me to continue to push the potential for community outreach and empowerment through my work on the blog.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of BCA?

Black Contemporary Art is truly the gift that keeps on giving. The blog has been a vehicle for how I’ve shaped my career. Moreover, it’s helped to kick-start the careers of many emerging artists as well as enriching the research efforts of people around the globe.


Finally, what are you reading at the moment?

I’m currently reading Michele Wallace’s Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman and some assigned readings for an upcoming MoMA R&D Salon focused on the Fluid States (of America).

I have an hour-long commute to work each day and I try to spend that time reading new books or combing through articles I’ve saved in my Pocket app.

Author: Tabitha Karp