Art

The Horny Sheath

An interview with independent curator Rita de Alencar Pinto

Story by Max Power - max.power@citizenbrooklyn.com
Photo © Rita de Alencar Pinto

Photo © Rita de Alencar Pinto

“Art has lost all desire for illusion. Feeding back endlessly into itself, it has turned its own vanishment into an art unto itself.”
– Baudrillard.New York seemed far away, as I stared at a huge dog running free with a pack of other rebel dogs in a Bushwick park.
I was sitting on a bench with Rita Pinto, an eclectic contemporary art curator from Brazil living in Brooklyn.
We’ve known each other for a few years and have collaborated on a few art projects together.I admired her hands while she spoke. They were just incredible.

Photo © Sophie Lisa Beresford

Photo © Sophie Lisa Beresford

I wasn’t the only one watching. A girl with a small dog walked by and asked her where she got her crazy nails done.

“Vanity Project,” Rita said, “check it out online.”“Rita, are you in the beauty business now?” I asked.“I’ve always been.
Isn’t vanity part of experiencing art? Collecting art is somehow like plastic surgery: you buy yourself items to feel like a different person. In my project, I make video art and beauty care coexist in the same, relaxing environment.”

Photo © Bruce Nauman

Photo © Bruce Nauman

I had to agree and was curious to know more. It seemed unreal to me. Watching video art while getting your nails done!? Smart.

I told Rita that I often get bored with poetic, slow motion, anti-narrative video art, whatever installations. I actually believe that slow motion and poetry have nothing in common.
But, today, video production is such a wide platform that you have to spend some time to enjoy it, and multitasking is the only way to make the time.
So be it! Taking care of your body and mind at the same time? Makes sense to me.

Photo © Paul McCarthy

Photo © Paul McCarthy

Rita takes this mission seriously. When she started, she knew a lot about contemporary art, but nothing about nail art and the huge community that follows it. She went for a three-month intensive class for nail art, and, after feeling well-versed on the subject, she selected a team of worldwide artists to do nails with the same accuracy with which she would curate a museum show.

“My intention from the beginning was to open an atelier/salon where patrons would watch video art while getting their nails done. So I started to research the nail artists in the same way I would approach curating an exhibition. Social media was a central part of finding who was out there and which artists were the best. I knew that this concept had to be high-end or it would seem gimmicky and lowbrow. I started to meet the artists and get manicures from Naomi Yasuda, and even went to London where I encountered The Illustrated Nail. “

Photo © Pippilotti

Photo © Pippilotti

“I also went to Christine Valmy nail school and got NY State Board certified so that I could really understand the nail business.
In December last year, I participated at NADA Miami at a pool party and I met Angela Goding, the assistant director of Development for MoMA PS1, she loved my idea and thought it would be perfect for them”.
“They invited me to have a pop-up inside the Confettisystems installation. In the three months that we have been there, I invited the best nail artists from around the world; such as Naomi Yasuda, Fleury Rose, Astrowifey, Jessica Washick, Britney Tokyo, Nail Swag, El Salonsito, Regina Rodriguez and Mei Kawajiri and many more.”

Photo © Alterazioni Video

Photo © Alterazioni Video

I am curious about “new” mediums for image productions. What I like about Rita’s project, more than nail art itself, is the idea of experiencing art while becoming an art piece yourself… or something to that effect.

“I am opening a salon in Manhattan’s Lower East Side this summer,” said Rita. “I am planning on having an artist-in-residence program where I will be inviting artists from all over the world to come to work in the salon for a limited time. I am inspired by the idea of having a lot of rotating talent. There is a laundry list of artists that I am dying to work with!”

Photo © Tony Oursler

Photo © Tony Oursler

VANITY PROJECTS is a luxury concept that merges a high-end nail art atelier with video art programming.
Our vision is to reshape the way patrons perceive and experience video art by placing it in an engaging environment. http://instagram.com/vanityprojects

Photo © Ana Mendieta

Photo © Ana Mendieta

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