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Christie’s London: Interview with Art LeadHER Founder and Collector Mashonda Tifrere on selling exhibition “Note to Self”

Christie’s London: Interview with Art LeadHER Founder and Collector Mashonda Tifrere on selling exhibition “Note to Self”

“People should go to see Note to Self because it’s an inside look at how women from all over the world think and feel. How they depict life, love, curiosity, and liberty”. Mashonda Tifrere

Press Center Christies

Mashonda Tifrere

Marking Women’s History Month, Christie’s in London is showing Note to Self — a selling exhibition of works by rising female painters who are breathing new life into a traditional art form. Entitled Note To Self, the works in this exhibition, rich in individuality yet delicately connected by a sense of liberation, are a visual manifestation of Tifrere’s commitment to showcasing art by living Black artists.

‘Singing and songwriting are my first love — those are the art forms that come naturally — but I’ve always gravitated towards paint, canvas, photography and sculpture,’ says Mashonda Tifrere, who has curated Note to Self, a selling exhibition at Christie’s in London which opened on 28 March 2023.

A keen collector who bought her first work of art at the age of 20 (an Ansel Adams photograph), Mashonda describes the exhibition as an expression of ‘joy, wisdom and feminine sovereignty’.

Note to Self features 15 international female artists, with very different experiences, reflecting on what it means to be a woman in the world today. The selling exhibition of 24 works will be open to view for free from 28 March to 14 April at Christie’s in London, with prices between £2,000-£15,000

Q: Each artwork in this show shares a moment of joy, wisdom, and feminine sovereignty.’  Please elaborate on that statement? The 15  works in Note to Self-demonstrate the experience of human evolution and expansion for black people and people of color. The subjects, poses, and gazes all represent freedom from within and excellence.

Q: Why the title Note to self? In October 2022 I released an EP with five songs that include personal affirmations. This body of work is a sonic journal of my own personal growth. I named it Note to Self because the lyrics were born from the things, I’ve told myself over the years. Soliloquies and mantras that helped me transform into the woman I am today. I wanted to visualize the music with art on walls.

Q: Tell us about your platform Art LeadHER and why you focus on women? I started collecting art when I was 20 years old with the money that I made from my music career. On my journey of collecting, I noticed the unconscious biases and immense underrepresentation of women artists.  Art Leadher was created to challenge that narrative and break glass ceilings. It is my goal to exhibit 500 women artists by 2025. I’m currently at 350.

LEWINALE HAVETTE (B. 1990) La Lectrice (The Reader)

Q: What is the essence of what you do in the ART industry: why do you do it? I provide platforms/wall space and opportunities for artists who need it most. I do it because I have the resources and I’m passionate about the mission and seeing the change. I do it because I wish there was someone in my corner that did it for me when I needed it most.

Q: How do  you think the space is evolving in regards to women of color. Are we going in the right direction? We are absolutely heading in the right direction. We have a larger community of collectors and curators that care and understand the significance of advocating. We have to keep taking up space and unapologetically share our stories and voice our concerns.                                                                

Q: How did you decide who to include? I went with artists that are diligently producing work. Artists that are creating simply because they love to create. Passionate artists. It’s important for me to capture a certain energy in all the work and make it flow as a collective offering. Aesthetically, it needs to awaken emotions within the viewer but also tell a cohesive story on the wall. The main theme for this show was self-realization. 

Q: You are also an author, singer songwriter how do you move between the different things you do? I just do what feels good in the moment. I don’t like to take on any one label because I’m passionate about many things. Music, art and writing all go hand in hand to me. They’re all outlets for me to express my human experience.

Q: Why should anyone attend the exhibit? People should go to see Note to Self because it’s an inside look at how women from all over the world think and feel. How they depict life, love, curiosity, and liberty.

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Q: What is your view on NFT’s in the art space? I don’t really have  a view on NFT’s. It’s just not my world. I believe that physical art, art on canvas, photography and sculpture creates a special type of experience that I will always be drawn to. I like to smell the paint and see the paint strokes.

Q: What else are you working on? I’m working on more shows. I have a space in Los Angeles and will be exhibiting there all year. I’ll also be performing the Note to Self EP by summer. I look forward to bringing more creativity to London. I love the Black art scene here!

Art LeadHER was founded by curator, singer-songwriter and activist Mashonda Tifrere. Partnering with ‪Beyoncé’s #BeyGOOD and Gucci’s Chime for Change, Mashonda launched ArtLeadHER, appropriately enough, on International Women’s Day in 2016. ArtLeadHER an remarkable platform she began pioneering in March 2016 to celebrate and draw awareness to female artists in a male-dominated art world. She is also an alumnus of Christie’s Education

Note to Self ends 14th April

Address Christie’s London
9am – 5pm
(Closed: 1–2 April and 7–10 April)

8 King Street, St. James’s London SW1Y 6QT

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