INSIGHTS | Interview with Priya Shetty (Damien & The Love Guru)

As part Art Brussels Insights, a new series of features and interviews on galleries, Brussels and the fair, we spoke with Priya Shetty of Damien & The Love Guru about her upcoming participation in the new INVITED section which supports a younger generation of international galleries, giving them a complete carte blanche for their booth.

Can you introduce us to Damien & The Love Guru?
Damien & The Love Guru is a Brussels-based curatorial field of experimentation in contemporary art with an anthropological twist. It is currently functioning as an art gallery staging compelling and non-conventional exhibitions by emerging artists. Our mission is to activate immersions in and critical approaches to the cross-disciplinary fields of visual art, performance and sound via independent projects and collaborations. At Damien & The Love Guru we channel the emphasis of an art project as a way to create an inclusive and tangible environment.

What does being part of INVITED at Art Brussels 2019 mean for Damien & The Love Guru?
The new INVITED section at Art Brussels gives the rooted fair an energizing approach and marks a fresh direction the art fair is heading future wise.

What will you be presenting at Invited at Art Brussels 2019 ?
For the upcoming INVITED section at Art Brussels Damien & The Love Guru will show new and existing works by Aisha Christison, Margarita Maximova and Jasmin Werner.

Aisha Christison’s paintings come from an intensely personal place. They play with colour as the main subject of the painting which is then animated by the imagery and taken from personal experience though presented in a way that is saccharine, obscured by memory or through a soft focus lens. The aim is to invoke a strong sense of nostalgia, a touch of melancholy as well as an invitation to intimacy, sensuality.

Margarita Maximova reveals a flood of expressions of emotions circulating around the Internet, which are taking on an ever more important function. In her video practice she incorporates modes of thought about poetry, satire and performativity.

Jasmin Werner perceives skilled work and craft as a reference system, alluding to traditions and stories that are connected to the objects and their making. A collective memory is being addressed through a knowledge which is shared. She has been continuing the modular system of sculptural series ‘Ambivalent Ladders’ since 2016 translating the characteristics and proportions of prominent, flamboyant staircases into foldable ladders brought up unanticipated forms. The coming togetherness of these three artists will create a stirring synergy.

Can you describe the current art scene in Saint-Gilles? How does it fit into the larger Brussels art scene?
The last years Saint-Gilles has been fostering art spaces as Komplot, Deborah Bowmann, Saloon, Superdeals, 76.4 and other more temporary projects. Its a thriving neighbourhood in Brussels where Portugese locals, young families, Polish grandmothers and twentysomthings roam the mellow streets. The joined forces of La Maison de Rendez-Vous adds an international fruitful touch to the current art scene of the Saint-Gilles community.

Are there favorite local places in Brussels you would advice for people visiting during Art Brussels 2019?
Nearby you can find the best pizza’s in Saint-Gilles run by three Sicilians in a cosy noisy atmosphere, La Bottega della Pizza. Also around the corner of the gallery is Le 203 where you can enjoy an appetizing lunch or dinner accompanied by natural wines. Never disappointing.

Images by order of appearance:
– Jasmin Werner, Auswahl, 2018 – The Wheel of Life, Kunstverein Braunschweig, courtesy of the artist and Damien & The Love Guru
– Portrait Priya Shetty
– Aisha Christison, Table ornament in cadmium, 50x70cm,oil on linen, 2019, courtesy of the artist and Damien & The Love Guru
– Margarita Maximova, Range of Clues, 2019, video still, courtesy of the artist and Damien & The Love Guru
– Jasmin Werner, Auswahl, 2018 – The Wheel of Life, Kunstverein Braunschweig, courtesy of the artist and Damien & The Love Guru

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