Vida Sabbaghi, an international cultural producer, founded The IW Gallery at 630 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY in October 2021, “to create a platform for creativity.” The gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Eves in Conversation, is presented by the Valerie Goodman Gallery, with sculpture by Jacques Jarrige, and photography by Alex Korolkovas. The show sets the pluralistic tone Sabbaghi was looking for when she founded The IW Gallery. Visitors can watch a video of the production, look at the photographs, and interact with the sculpture. The “do not touch” rule, common in art galleries, is not part of the experience; visitors can play with the sculpture, using them as a frame, just like the models in the photos.
Sabbaghi sees the work of Jarrige to be influenced by the female body. “You can see his pieces, jewelry and sculpture, are inspired by the female figure. They are anthropomorphic, curvilinear, and sensual,” she explains. Sabbaghi also comments that Eves in Conversation aligns with the gallery’s mission; it inspires and promotes cultural exchanges. “The works introduce a different kind of Eve, an Eve for the present.”
The three models featured in the photographs and the video, use their platforms to raise awareness for causes that are important for them.
Malek who fled South Sudan 18 years ago, now works as a model in NYC, and is the founder of Stand for Education, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls and providing access to education for underprivileged children. Diandra Forrest is the first model with albinism to be signed to a major modeling agency. Forrest uses her platform to raise awareness about the condition, and she hopes children with albinism can build confidence and know their beauty. Model Lara Gerin, who is also featured in the exhibition’s photos, is the creative director of this project and is the person responsible for connecting the work and the energy of all the artists involved.
The IW Gallery’s mission to develop programming related to exhibitions is carried out with a series of virtual and onsite fashion illustration sessions, for the High School of Fashion Industries, which are connected to Eves in Conversation. The idea is to empower local students, who are inspired by models such as Mari Malek, and Diandra Forrest, to believe in themselves and invest in their talents. Diandra Forrest says, ‘I realized I had albinism at the age of nine. I grew up in a family of five children, in which only my younger brother and I had the condition. As a child, I often felt out of place. (https://albinism.ohchr.org/story-diandra-forrest.html)
The IW in The IW Gallery stands for Inclusive World. The gallery works with local and international cultural institutions to provide opportunities for artists and designers from around the world. The current exhibition, Eves in Conversation, will run until the end of February.
Holiday Schedule: Closed Dec. 19th – Jan. 6th
Special thanks to Acumen Capital Partners.
Writing by Bruna Lauermann de Oliveira