photo credit: Sasha Grigg
Irina Rusinovich began her career by studying Business Management Studies at UCL London but quickly realized that her interest lay more in Arts. After college she enrolled in the fashion photography course at St. Martins during this time, she opened her photo studio in the heart of Moscow working for 4 years as a fashion photographer with designers, fashion magazines, and advertising agencies.
Her passion for art and fashion led her to found one of the first independent Magazines in Russia – Cabinet d’Art. Then 2016 came where there was a pivotal point in Irina’s career. She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy in Berlin, Germany. She sold her business in Russia and moved with her family to Berlin permanently.
After two years of falling out of work, she decided to return to her passion – Arts and enrolled in a curator certificate course at Berliner UdK and a course at Sotheby’s in Art Gallery Management. During this time one of her dreams came true and HAZEGALLERY opened its doors in October 2019. Since then Irina continuously developing and became not only an art dealer but also a curator, writer, and “coach” to her roster of artists. Irina seeks artists who have a strong combination of passion. Talent and drive.
What type of work do you show?
We show a lot of abstraction and figurative. I also have artists who do graphics, photography, and sculpture.
How do you go about finding new artists?
We are a staff of 3, so there is a limit to the number of artists I can represent. We participate in art fairs and that is a great way to find new talent. However much of how I find artists is by word of mouth.
What questions do you ask yourself when you are considering a new artist?
I am looking for innovative and conceptually rigorous work. I am also looking for practice. I ask myself: Do I see the artist pushing her/his practice in a new different direction? Is he/she extending her practice? I like to include the artist in a group show or two to see how it is to work with him first. According to my experience personal relationship that is what matters in the end.
What do you expect from the artist once they join your roster?
Showing in a gallery is serious business and it is not for everyone. To stay on the roster, my artists must step up to the commitment and continuously grow in their field. We need to have a conversation about their work that involves criticism and honest dialogue. I also expect commitment to the gallery from their side.
What do you take into consideration when pricing the work of your artists?
This is a very important topic! If artists have sold their art out of the studio for 1500Euro, then we start with the price and take it from there. It is important to keep the price reasonable to sell not to overprice and not sell. Once you go up you cannot go down! There are the following markers to raise the prices: a big show at a gallery, a museum show, or an acquisition by a museum would be a good point.
What advice would you give those who want to work with galleries?
Keep your CV, BIO, and artists statement to the point. Go to gallery shows, introduce yourself to the gallery owner and tell them you like what they do. Ask the gallery owner for a studio visit. Go to the openings! Curate and organize your shows! Invite people to come, invite gallery owners to come!