We were lucky enough to meet Audrey Rose Smith when we were in New York in June. Audrey is the Communications Director for international art fair The Armory Show by day, and by night and weekends is a creative director, photographer and occasional journalist. Audrey lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn with her partner-in-creative and crime, Vicente Munoz who is a photographer and visual artist himself.
Can you tell us a little about your background – what path led you to working in the arts?
I’m lucky enough to have grown up in a very eclectic home with parents that cared a great deal about art. My father is an architect and my mother is an art and design consultant so I grew up surrounded by art, quite literally on the walls, floors and ceilings. When I was in school at New York University, I worked in a number of galleries. I was also doing a little modelling at the time and ended up working with Acne Studios. One thing led to another and I was offered a job there in the corporate office in sales. This detour into fashion was an incredible experience and helped form my understanding of how design, art and fashion can work together. It’s so hard to ignore any one aspect of visual culture these days, from the high to the low. I think that’s what’s thrilling about this moment in time for creatives – over sharing has created this tsunami of images and ideas and now we have to parcel through them and figure out what’s important and what’s just another blip on the screen, so to speak. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Armory Show?
The Armory Show is an international art fair that takes place annually in March in New York City, featuring the most important art of the 20th century and today. Art fairs are an integral part of the art world and The Armory Show is one of the most significant of these kinds of events. For those unfamiliar with the art fair concept, The Armory Show invites leading art galleries from around the world to set up temporary space at our venue where art collectors, enthusiast and the international art world at large come to discover, collect and experience the over 1,000 artworks on view. It’s quite a spectacle really.
What does a typical day at work involve for you?
Well, it really depends on what time of year it is! The fair is in March so we spend nearly the entire year preparing for just 5 days. But in general, my days involve strategizing on communications, partnerships and events. I work directly with journalists and editors and coordinate our public relations campaign while also liaising with our media partners. During the late spring and summer our day-to-day actives slow down and we work on long-term planning and projects. This allows me to pursue my other interests on the side, such as photography with Vicente and catching up on museum and gallery shows, and also just visiting all my friends who I have avoided seeing since February.
Who is your favourite artist of the moment?
The ever-impossible question! When you spend so much time looking at art it’s hard to pick anything out, something about not seeing the forest through the trees. That aside, I really love and admire the work of Camille Henrot. I first become aware of her through her video Grosse Fatigue that was unlike anything I’d ever seen. I remember I sat and watched it three times over. She works in so many different mediums so it’s always interesting to see what she’s on to next. She recently had a great collection of dildo-shaped telephones at Metro Pictures in New York. You would pick up the phone and a kind of automated emotion hot-line voice would be on the other end. It was very amusing! I also love photography of all sorts, and across all mediums. Robert Mapplethorpe, Viviane Sassen, Andreas Gursky, Leigh Ledare and Inez and Vinoodh are continuously inspiring. How’s that for eclectic!
Your husband Vicente is a photographer, can you tell us how you inspire one another?
I feel blessed to live with a visual artist and photographer because there is rarely a dull moment in conversation. Vicente has a very robust knowledge of classic photography, technique and process while I have a slightly more unorthodox approach. I think we both push each other out of our comfort zones. We share a lot of ideas with one another and sometimes they click, sometimes they don’t, but that’s what makes it fun.
What does style & substance mean to you?
For me, style and substance means something natural, simple and precise (style) but not without flair and originality (substance).
Audrey wears The Perfect Pump