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Courtesy of Seana Gavin

Meet the judges: Francesca Gavin’s personal art collection

The renowned tastemaker and curator championing fresh young talent before it blows up

TextKate NeavePhotographyJess Gough

Dazed’s very own Visual Arts Editor Francesca Gavin is on our esteemed panel of judges for the Converse x Dazed Emerging Artists Award 2015. Gavin is a renowned tastemaker and champion of fresh young talent. She fights the cause of artists beyond the obvious, often supporting cutting edge, experimental and unusual names we hadn’t heard about but already love. Gavin holds multiple editorial roles and is the author of numerous books on contemporary art including most recently the beautiful Book of Hearts.

As curator, Gavin’s knockout E-Vapor-8 exhibition at Site Gallery this year explored the link between rave music and contemporary art and included former Emerging Artists Award Finalist Adham Faramawy. Gavin is also curator of the Soho House Collection responsible for their amazing art collection at clubs worldwide. She has curated exhibitions internationally including The New Psychedelica at MU and The Dark Cube at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Gavin’s eye is definitely one you want to catch.


I sent a friend of mine in New York to get this for me from the first Larry Clark sale of these small pieces that cost £100 each at the Home Alone Gallery. I love this piece. It’s not the most obviously Larry Clark work because it’s not got youth or skaters in it but it’s so dark and I love the text. ”Drug Problems? Sick & tired? We can help! We’re free! Call NARCOTICS” I think what I love about Clark is how he looks at aspects of society that are often ignored. I’m a huge fan of Tulsa, which is his first book. I loved him for making his work so accessible to people who really really cared and wanted to have it.


Mark is wonderful. He’s been a really great friend of Dazed and he was a judge on the first Converse x Dazed Emerging Artists Award panel. I’ve written about his work a lot in different magazines and curated him in different exhibitions and he kindly gave me a piece. This is from a series of work he did where he was reworking the back page information from book covers. I love the kind of faded book image and the text for me seemed like an unbelievable description of my life, all life! A lot of the work I have it’s a representation of my friendship with someone which is really lovely and makes you have a really different idea of how you look at work.


I did a show in 2010 in Berlin called Syncopation. I was among four curators doing shows that represented what they would do if they weren’t curating. I had a really strong musical background when I was younger so I performed some jazz songs at the opening and all the works were music related. I’d known Jayson Musson from when he was back in Plastic Little. When he was studying in Philadelphia for his MFA he’d been showing me the Hennessey Youngman pieces. I think I was the first person to show them in an exhibition. He’s blown up insanely now. I love this text piece which was also in the same exhibition and he was kind enough to give it to me. Apart from the fact I’ve got a real hip-hop past myself. It is just so hilarious especially the things that aren’t hip-hop like cauliflower and Tom Cruise’s nose.


I bought this painting. That was quite a big deal for me. I got it from Roberto Paradise in NADA in New York in May. I’d seen his work in NADA Miami the year before and it had blown me away, these really weird paintings. Vargas studied at the RCA in London but now lives in the mountains of Puerto Rico and he paints and does collage work on top of Haitian street painters’ canvases. I like the weird spectral figure in the sky and the ectoplasm splat across it. You sometimes can’t quite tell what he’s added, what he hasn’t added. It’s basically one conceptual step beyond outsider art, which I really like.Cour


Seana’s my sister and my relationship with her is probably why I ended up doing what I do at all. Being her big sister I feel like by extension I’ve become many artists’ champions and big sisters. I love her references. Everything she does is hand cut. She makes collage work largely from old photography books and National Geographics. We both grew up in Woodstock in upstate New York and a lot of the references are quite psychedelic which reminds me of my own childhood. I like the way she makes them by hand. A lot of things I’ve worked with are often digital so it’s really interesting that the things I like in my own home are collage or painting or sculpture… if only I had more room for sculpture.

Submissions are now open, for a chance to exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts click here