For Jack Siebert, the 26-year-old curator who’s been making waves in art circles in Los Angeles, New York, and Paris, Instagram is the most important tool for scouting new talent. “There’s so many resources, so much knowledge,” he says. “It’s just about knowing where to look.”
Getting a sense of who other gallerists and artists follow often leads to real-life encounters. “I reach out, ask to have a studio visit, and that’s kind of how the conversation starts.”
Through this network, Siebert opened his first group show last February, in Los Angeles, where he’s based. At Soundstage 4, an event space in Hollywood, he curated the exhibition “I Do My Own Stunts” with Caio Twombly, the co-founder of Amanita, a gallery in Manhattan. Paintings by 20 young artists were on view.
“The first person to walk into the L.A. show was Jay Jopling,” the founder of White Cube gallery, Siebert recalls. Shortly after it ended, three of the exhibitors, Louise Giovanelli, Angela Heisch, and Kylie Manning, were signed by White Cube, Grimm, and Pace galleries, respectively.
Over the last year, he’s curated two more sold-out shows. Two months after “I Do My Own Stunts,” he opened “Life in an Ivory Towery,” in New York, at an event space in Nolita. Then in October, during Paris+ par Art Basel, he opened “High Humanity,” a group show inspired by the French philosopher Auguste Comte, at Chapelle de l’Humanité, a church in Paris’s Marais.
His next show, “Immersed,” opens at an industrial space in Los Angeles on Monday. It features work by 20 young artists, including painters Nadia Ayari and Tom Allen.
Siebert grew up in the Holmby Hills, closer to the entertainment world than to the art world. His mother, Leslie, is the senior managing partner at the Gersh Agency, a talent-and-literary agency, and his father, Steven, is the owner of Lighthouse Entertainment, a management company that represents actors, directors and writers.
Since he was a teenager, Siebert has thought of himself as a taste-maker. As a student at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, his art-food-and-travel blog, Friend of a Friend of Mr. Siebert, went viral after he printed sweatshirts and distributed them around Los Angeles.
In August 2014, he moved to Manhattan to pursue a fashion degree at New York University. His ambitions changed in 2015, when he traveled to Art Basel Miami Beach with his mother. The pair visited “No Man’s Land,” an exhibition at the Rubell Museum, where they came across abstract paintings by Jennifer Guidi and Mary Weatherford.
“It awakened something in me. I started buying things,” he explains. “Then buying things kind of became an addiction.”
As Siebert started curating his family’s art collection, he switched his major from fashion to art history. He also decided to acquire only female artists for the Siebert roster, which he felt better aligned with his mother’s work. “For a living, she represents actresses and empowers women,” says Siebert. “I said to my mom, we should translate what you do for a living.”
Since graduating, in 2018, he has spent his days perusing Instagram and browsing small art fairs, such as nada and Independent, scouring for talent. His upcoming Los Angeles show includes many artists he found online, such as painter Kristy M. Chan.
Works by Nicole Wittenberg, who creates majestic landscape paintings in her grungy studio, in Manhattan’s Chinatown, are on view. As are paintings by Alfie Caine, whose work received the most bids in a recent Whitechapel Gallery auction hosted by Phillips.
“I like to find artists who are from my generation, who grew up at the same time, and our eyes developed together,” he says. “It’s about connecting with people.”
“Immersed” will be on at 526 N. Western Avenue, in Los Angeles, beginning February 13
Elena Clavarino is the Senior Editor for AIR MAIL