5 Minutes with Emie Diamond

5 Minutes with
Emie Diamond

This month, we spoke with our guest curator Emie Diamond about growing up between New York and London, what advice to give to someone looking to buy their first work, and their latest sale with AucArt, 'Révéler'.

Where are you from originally? Where do you consider home?

Originally from New York area, currently living in London. Both cities are close to my heart and feel like home.

Something you cannot live without?

My friends and family, certainly.

Most unexpected source of inspiration?

I have always found inspiration meandering around cities and I get really excited about unusual colour combinations. An unexpected source of inspiration comes from a slew of paint swatches from The Little Greene Company’s ‘Periods’ collection which I enjoy looking through from time to time.

Favourite place you’ve visited?

I suppose it would be London, as that it why I moved here! The first time I visited it poured rain for a week straight, but it didn’t matter, I had been completely and utterly charmed.

Highlight of your career so far?

I curated a show this past autumn in Tracey Emin’s longtime former studio. Set on the site of a 17th century silk mill, the Victorian building is a special piece of East London history. In terms of upcoming projects, I curated an exhibition for Fortnum and Mason aligned with the unveiling of their renovation, which opens this week and is on view for three months.

The most inspiring person you’ve ever met?

My grandfather. His zest for life was unparalleled! He was a chemist, spoke eight languages and learned the trumpet in his late seventies.

Best and worst piece of advice you’ve been given? 

A mantra I’ve always followed is to say yes even if it means being vulnerable. Say yes to the blind coffee meeting, the party where you only know the host, moving to a city where you don’t know anyone.

Behind the Veil II, 2023 by Ramzi Mansour

Art can really exist in many forms. To me it’s about a creative experience that informs, inspires beauty, heightens the senses, so on and so forth.

Dream Garden Anthropocene: Equilibrium of Mass Offering, 2022 by Beau Bree Rhee

Tell us one thing few people know about you?

In my professional life there’s few people that know I play guitar.

One item you cannot work without?

Every since I was young I have always had the compulsion to carry around a little notebook and a black pen. The paper has to be completely blank without lines on it, for this makes me feel less constrained. 

What does art mean to you?

It’s hard to pin down, as art can really exist in many forms. To me it’s about a creative experience that informs, inspires beauty, heightens the senses, so on and so forth.  

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m usually reading several books simultaneously, right now it’s Anna Keay’s The Restless Republic and I am re-reading Virgina Woolf’s Orlando after seeing the beautiful Emma Corrin adaptation in London last month. Favourite book on my coffee table at this time is Voluptuous Panic by Mel Gordon, which details the wild and experimental nature of Weimar Berlin.

Your most prized possession?

The first academic journal I was published in. I have it stowed away in a special corner of my bookcase.

Venus, 2019 by Rich Stapleton

Strangest job you’ve ever had?

I interned for a genealogical institution for a semester. It was all quite random, as I walked into the building from off the street because I was curious about their archives and then left with an internship offer. 

Is there anything you wish you were asked more often?

To meet for a very early morning coffee! I have always been an early bird. 

Do you have any superstitions?

Superstitions, can’t say that I have any.

What kind of artwork do you like to surround yourself with or be in the company of?

I gravitate towards works that are moody. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to buy their first artwork?

Go on a studio visit with the artist, if you can.

What was the first piece of artwork you purchased, and how did you feel?

As a teenager, I was wandering through an antique shop and saw this impasto painting by an unknown artist that I purchased. 

What are you looking for in a piece of art at the moment?

I love visceral, emotive work. Lately I have found myself particularly drawn to surrealist photography.

What is your relationship with social media?

I mainly post about art shows I am visiting or curating. 

What are some things you’re most passionate about outside of work?

I go to many concerts from smaller places in Camden with lesser-known artists to every once in a while a show at a historic venue like the Royal Albert Hall.

Can you tell us about your selection of artists and works in Révéler?

I thought it would be nice to choose artists who work in a range of mediums: photography, painting, works on paper, sculpture, and from a variety of countries: Germany, America, Australia, the United Kingdom. They have vastly different approaches to portraying women and the body, yet there is such commonality in the thoughtfulness behind their practice. 

Double Cream, 2018 by Alba Hodsoll
About Emie Diamond:
Emie Diamond is a Courtauld-educated art historian based in London. She has curated exhibitions for over thirty international artists and worked with companies such as Soho House, The Standard, Apsara Studio, and Fortnum and Mason. Diamond’s curatorial endeavors have been included in W Magazine, Art News, Vice, Evening Standard, Blouin Art Info, Artnet, among others. Diamond is also an academically published art critic by the Courtauld’s annual journal Immediations for her review of Jennifer Packer at the Serpentine Gallery and Rutgers University’s Woman’s Art Journal for reviewing Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter, Rebel at the Glyptoteket Museum in Copenhagen. She contributes to Cultured Magazine and has written arts analyses for Hunger Magazine and The Critic Magazine. 
Upcoming: Curated an exhibition for Fortnum and Mason, London’s 316-year-old institution, featuring monochrome photography by British artist Alan Schaller. Fleeting Moments aligns with Fortnum and Mason’s unveiling of their renovation by renowned French design studio Arthur Mamou-Mani. This exhibition opens 1 May and will be on view for three months.
Upcoming Exhibitions:
Recent: Titled By a Thread, this East London exhibition featured 15 international artists. Set on the site of a historic silk mill, the building was a Victorian workshop before serving as Tracey Emin’s longtime former studio. This show was produced in collaboration with Jenn Ellis of Apsara studio and A.I. Highlights include Venice Biennial Hong Kong pavilion artist Angela Su, Turner prize-nominated German artist Nicole Wermers, White Cube artist Jessica Rankin, and a range of artists, to name a few: Robert Mapplethorpe, Cecily Brown, Lidia Lisboa,Yee I-Lann, Nicole Wittenberg, Dawn Ng.