The James Freeman Gallery is one of the galleries that I observe and follow with the greatest attention since I decided, to move to London almost two years ago. Through a series of coincidences, thanks to an artist we both know, I was immediately struck by the choices made by the art dealer James Freeman; very good, interesting and unconventional. I have always had the desire to interview him. The time has finally come.
Let me introduce you to James Freeman
When did you start your job as a gallery owner?
I opened the gallery in 2003, although I come from a family of art and antique dealers and have worked in the trade since I was small.
I was pleased to see that there is a lot of research and study in your gallery. Your choices range from historical research to experimentation. Your attitude is beautiful and risky. What is your criteria when choosing an artist?
I look for artists who use art historical research to interpret contemporary culture, as well as artists who are technically accomplished, and aesthetically distinctive.
Among this these artists : Caravaggio, Michelangelo and Mario Schifano. Who is your favourite and why?
Of the three, Caravaggio, because he finds the way to break free from the formal labyrinth straitjacket of the late Renaissance, and cuts a path into the Modern era.
Who do you prefer between James Joyce and Baudelaire?
James Joyce (I’m Anglo-Irish, so it would have to be).
I’ve always thought, and I don’t know why, that you would be the perfect character to play in a Quentin Tarantino film. Aut of all the characters seen in his films, Who would you like to play? If you could make up a character, what type of character would it be?
I’m really not sure, sorry. I used to enjoy Tarantino’s films but as the years go by, I find them more and more discomfiting.
Which artistic language do you prefer: painting, or sculpture?
I wouldn’t have a favourite between those two. In general, as a dealer who works with lots of artists and artworks, I tend not to have favourites.
If you had not become an art dealer, what would you have done instead? I know it is a difficult question to answer, especially when one is involved in the art world…
Art historian. A bad artist perhaps. I have had real jobs in the past, but I always come back to the art world in some way or other.
What are your future projects for the gallery?
I put a lot of work into my gallery programme, with 10 shows a year exploring contemporary culture through the lens of art history. For the future I am always looking to create shows that add depth to this project, whilst also working with talented and distinctive artists and giving them a platform to develop and bring their work to a wide audience.
Thank you so much James for this interview and good luck for your future projects!