Brian Whiteley is the co-founder and head curator of the SELECT Art Fair in Miami and NYC. SELECT Art Fair is a contemporary art platform featuring 50+ International galleries, artist projects, and installations. It attracts thousands of visitors to its showcases. SELECT Art Fair has garnered critical acclaim by The New York Times, Art Net, Art News, Hyperallergetic, Art Info, etc. Through SELECT, Whiteley has helped to curate projects for notable artists, such as Swoon, Rashaad Newsome, Rachel Mason, Alfredo Salazar Caro and Elan Jurado.
Whiteley was previously the Director of the Art Now Fair in Miami and has worked underneath the Red Dot Fair Miami in the past. Whiteley has prior experience working at New York City galleries such as: The Invisible Dog Art Center, Brooklyn, Gitana Rosa Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and The George Billis Gallery in Chelsea, New York.
As an Independent curator, he has developed numerous shows: LIL KOOL Fashion Week Show (2015) @ Con Artist, New York, NY; Pulse (2012), (SVA MFA Candidate Group Show) at the Invisible Dog Art Center, Brooklyn; Pop Art/ Punk Rock Explosion (2011) at Little Field, Brooklyn, NY; Color is the Keyboard (2009) at Europa Space, Brooklyn; and Select Projects (2013) at The Out NYC, NYC.
Brian Whiteley received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
If there was one piece of art you could feature in, which would it be and why?
I would have loved to been cast in John Carpenters movie “They Live”. It is by far my favorite cult-classic, sci-fi, horror flick. It features the incomparable “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as the ass-kicking drifter in the title role. There are some fantastic visuals throughout the move, all of which Shepard Fairey has re-appropriated for his own artistic purposes. It’s a thought provoking film with all your cheap 80’s thrills.
Who inspires you and why? an artist, a family member, someone current or historical?
My wife Mar Granados continuously inspires me. She’s an Ivy League architecture wiz, originally from Madrid, who has designed some seriously impressive contemporary buildings. She always pushes the boundaries of design while still maximising functionality. She is patient with me, and has introduced me to a whole world of Spanish delicacies. Oh and she is a great chef and mother as well!
What are your cultural aspirations? what do you still want to see, do and achieve?
I would love to complete the Camino de Santiago in Spain. It’s an ancient pilgrimage through the holy sites, ending at the remains of the apostle Saint James. You can bike it or walk it, either way would be fantastic. I also have my heart set on opening an art centre of some sort in the future, something malleable in nature (open to dance, performance, film, installation), to continuously amuse both my visitors and my curatorial peculiarities.
What are your favourite cultural cities in the world and why?
Bruges is a particularly inspiring city to visit. I love the canals, the windmills, the cobblestone streets and the abundance of history at your disposal. The Belgians also know what they are doing when it comes to chocolates and fine beers, two of my very favourite things in the world. I remember having a sit down beer and cheese tasting in a parlour room “bar”, and with each bite and sip I become more and more intoxicated with the city. I am also a big fan of Berlin, its got a gritty under layer that, once explored, can completely change your outlook on life.
What are you up to at the moment and where can we find it?
I co-founded the SELECT Art Fair, and am currently curating the NYC edition - set to open during Frieze Art Fair Week in May. Over 50 different galleries are participating this year and we want to refine the exhibition by creating a narrative between each exhibition space. We will have rooftop installations and we’re excited to create a series of pop-up concerts every evening this year. I would like to conceive a new model of art fair, one where digital art, new media, music, and performance all coincide. You can check out all the galleries, special projects and musical acts here: www.select-fair.com