YCE: Hilary Rose Crisp

Crisp has art in her blood and wants to demystify art with her gallery ventures.

Photograph by Jorge Peniche
The only other gallery apart from Hilary Rose Crisp’s small and sweet space to have a toe hold in London and Los Angeles is Gagosian – the largest gallery in the world. Art was in the 27-year-old’s blood. “My grandfather hustled art to feed his family. My mother paid her divorce lawyer in landscape paintings of Laguna Beach.” After working in LA’s Ace Gallery, Crisp started a project space called PawnShop which gained her name when she opened her second space in London, repping hot young artists like Nico Vascellari and George Young. “I want to de-mystify gallery practices. Exhibiting and looking at art is quite a natural thing. It shouldn’t be an enigma.”

Name a person or organization that shares your DIY ethos, and explain why.
I’ve always admired Machine Project in Los Angeles because they offer so much to the community and do clever projects consistently. The Wrong Gallery in New York – I love meeting other people who got duped by that door!  Recently, I met the guys behind Milwaukee International and they impress me on many levels. Their Dark Fair in Cologne was fantastic – I hope they bring one to London during Frieze week.

Send us a picture/video that summarizes your view of modern life, and explain why.
I do everything from my Mac laptop and I’m obsessed with my iPhone – I just bought a level yesterday from the Apps Store! The liquid is digital!


Do you think the recession has helped or hindered your creativity? Why?
I was broke before this recession and I’m still broke – so I didn’t notice ‘the recession’ in an obvious kind of way. A gallery develops because it’s a labor of love. Creativity has never had a thing to do with fiscal matters - money just makes things happen easier.  I’ve kept overheads low from the start.  Keeping the gallery’s doors open is all you have to do – even if this requires delaying your own mortgage on a home.

Music for a revolution - what song sums up your attitude?
‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival mixed with ‘Not Even Jail’ by Interpol mixed with ‘Hypnotize’ by Notorious B.I.G. mixed with ‘Halah’ by Mazzy Star mixed with ‘Up To Me’ by Bob Dylan mixed with ‘Jamais’ by Charlotte Gainsbourg.

What other period inspires you the most, and why?
Before curating, I studied Art History – and the Baroque was a period that excited me because political turmoil substantially affected the Classical aesthetic and they realized religion was bollocks. They didn’t give a fuck!

Read more of the YCE feature here.
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