Conversation with Hank Willis Thomas
City Talks: New York
PLUS: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Everette Taylor: The first thing I do is give thanks and show gratitude. Each day isn’t promised and I value life more than ever. Next, I try to meditate for a bit, some days are tougher than others with my busy schedule but for the most part, I start with gratitude and meditation.
P: Where is your go-to place to eat and why?
ET: Well, I moved to NYC right before the pandemic so my experience has been a lot different. This may sound hilarious but my go-to spot in NYC is the dollar pizza slice spot in my neighborhood in SoHo. I’m a really simple guy and I love the guys that work there, plus the pizza is great.
P: What part of New York attracts you the most?
ET: The people are more than anything. I love the energy of the city. I just respect people who work hard, push through adversity, and keep it real. It’s been a huge difference moving from LA to NYC. And of course, the art scene here is incredible with an amazing community of people. More than anything, I knew that to really have an impact on the art world, I had to be in NYC.
P: What inspires you to do what you do every day?
ET: There’s so much that inspires me to work with Artsy and within the art world. The opportunity to help support artists and small businesses thrive around the world. The impact that Artsy has on the lives of artists, as well as our gallery partners, is something I’m really proud of. Also, the opportunity to inspire more people to love art and collect art. It’s important to me to continue to expand the art world and make it more inclusive.
P: Do you have any media/publications/news that you read in order to learn more about your field?
ET: I may be biased but I regularly read our own editorial here at Artsy which I think is incredible. The storytelling along with market data that Artsy provides allows me to stay on top of what’s happening in the art world. I also enjoy Sugarcane Magazine, The Canvas, ARTNews, etc.
P: How has the role of marketing (in the art industry) changed in your lifetime?
ET: I haven’t been working in art for very long but obviously, with world events, things have changed greatly. Creating experiential marketing or hosting events have been the biggest change in marketing efforts. A huge part of marketing now is educating those around the value of buying art online with fewer in-person events.
P: What (art)work stopped you in your tracks and grabbed your attention?
ET: Frank Bowling’s Texas Louise (1971) may just be the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in person. I could sit and look at it for hours.
P: What is the one thing you would like to see more of in the creative industry?
ET: Artists being compensated properly for their work. I would love to see a day where artists receive royalties.
P: How does art function in our current society?
ET: I believe in the current society with everything happening in the world it’s become an escape for many. For example, here in NYC with many things closed – one of the few things you can do is go to art museums and galleries. It feels like a reprieve from everything happening in the world. That escape can happen in your own home as well, we’ve seen a large rise in sales, and people want to see art in their homes more than ever as they are spending more time there.
P: What are three qualities in yourself that you are thankful for?
ET: I’m thankful for health and peace of mind, I’m thankful for my friends and family that support me through the good times and the bad, and I’m thankful to be working alongside some incredible teammates at Artsy – none of this would be possible without them.
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