Favourite Things: Lisa Schiff, SFA Art Advisory

SLIDESHOW: Some of Lisa Schiff’s favourite artworks.

​Art advisor Lisa Schiff unveils her favourite artworks.

Art advisor Lisa Schiff has over a decade of experience building private collections, with clients including Leonardo DiCaprio. The founder of Schiff Fine Art, she is also co-founder of VIA Art, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting artistic production, thought leadership, and public engagement. Here she describes her favourite personal artworks, and why.

1. Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger.
I love this neon edition by experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger. It refers to his 1959 tell-all book Hollywood Babylon. While the book sensationalises and scandalises the lives of Hollywood figures, it also delves into purported criminal behaviour. It’s as dark as Warhol’s disaster and celebrity series.

2. Staring Contest by Ella Kruglyanskaya.
This work subtly points to feminist politics. Mouth agape, the over-zealous male gazes on either side of this faceless objectified woman, who seems to exert power through sexuality, is not unfamiliar. The work is seemingly upbeat and Pop-ish but if you look carefully there is something dark and twisted. Retaining some sense of humour and aesthetic balance while disclosing some deeper meaning is not an easy thing to achieve.

3. A Bird in its Existence by Kazumi Nakamura.
This one is purely metaphysical for me. Late in life, by great miracle, I conceived a child. These colours — orange, red, pink, yellow and more — vibrating in just this way, somehow represent his father and the magic that is now my son. This painting is happiness to me.

4. Getting Maximum Winning Strength Power Influence Anything (Everything) Anyone! by Walead Beshty.
This is an ongoing performative work as the artist is supposed to constantly add books to the work over time. Just as Hollywood Babylon recalls the cult of the personality and its fetishisation, so here we have an artwork that discloses the monetisation of the psyche, not to mention the ideological potential of font, text format and graphic design.

5. Pomacea Snail System by Max Hooper Schneider.
Snail performance and abstract drawing… need I say more? Absurd in the best way. The commitment, the maintenance, and the literal blurring of art and life present a challenge worth taking. I also very much appreciate the artist’s interest in the natural world and biology — something I am not that steeped in.

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