March 4, 2016


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The Special Girl For The Special Projects (And Her Cynthia Rowley Wetsuit)
Specialist and Head of Special Projects at Artsy, New York

Stop by any major art event in New York or elsewhere, and you’re likely to spot Elena Soboleva, a willowy blonde in charge of special projects at Artsy. The contemporary art doyenne was recently responsible for curating their impressive Art Basel in Miami Beach collaboration with the SIXTY Nautilus Hotel, which featured work by Chloe Wise, Katherine Bernhardt, and Dan Colen. Just for this week’s edition of The Armory Show, Elena curated the Special Project at The Armory Show featuring Douglas Coupland, novelist, visual artist, and cultural theorist whose practice synthesizes high and low culture, web technology, and changes in human existence caused by modern technologies.

In this Style Talk, we chatted with Elena about her feminine outlook, the Cynthia Rowley wetsuit she bought, and looking for the one who can venture with her in art.

Elena

My ideal working outfit looks like…
Refined textures and feminine lines, paired with architectural elements – think leather legging with Rag & Bone jumper and a Maison Margiela coat.

Heels or flats… Which brand or style…
Both are necessities. In heels, Dior for creative inspiration, Alexander Wang for a cut-out bootie. For Sneakers, I’m obsessed with the gold Sandro x Reebok ones. They match everything and it’s my favourite shoes at the moment.

My favourite art-related blog/app is…
See-Saw app for gallery map of NY and LA. Artsy app for looking up any artist I don’t know and browsing through art fairs. Glamsquad for instant blowdry in your home before big events.

The last thing I bought and loved was…
A Betty Tompkins word painting from her Women Words series.

Most ridiculous thing I ever bought…
A Cynthia Rowley wetsuit for a Halloween costume to replicate a Richard Phillips’ painting.

My necessary extravagance is…
Mansur Gavriel handbags. I have a few shapes and colours and love their clean lines, natural finish and effortless style.

Three things/products I always need to have in my purse…
Cellphone, Bobbi Brown cream sticks, and business cards.

My ultimate beauty secret after long working hours…
Caudalie Instant Detox Mask, cooking for friends and yoga.

My favourite collision of the art-and-fashion world…
So many great ones. Sterling Ruby and Raf Simons, Dustin Yellin and Misha Nonoo, and friends like @ChloeWise and @Paridust. Also the Katherine Bernhardt collaboration I worked on for Artsy with Print All Over Me was a blast.

Elena

My most admired art world influencer…
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s Documenta 13 was the most visionary event I ever saw.

In the art world currently I find most exciting that…
In the last few months my inspirational friends have opened galleries in Chinatown and LES including Ellie Rines’ 56 Henry, Erin Goldberger’s New Release and now Olivia Smith’s Magenta Plains coming this month. Bravo to a new generation of dealers!

Art makes me…
Learn. Want to see as much as I can. Love my job.

My next art trip/travel will be…
To Cologne, Brussels and Berlin for the April fairs there. For fun, I am hoping to see Naoshima art island in Japan this summer.

Elena

The most arty city is…
Marfa, Texas.

The perfect art-world gentlemen is…
One that wants to devote his life to adventures in art with me.

Artist(s) we should have on our watchlist is/are…
Mira Dancy, Chadwick Rantanen, Lucy Dodd, Samara Scott, Eric Mack and Sara Cwynar.

Instagram: @elenasoboleva

Photos by Katarina Batina, @karenrobinovitz, @ronaldroz