[Five questions to SFMOMA visitors, artists, staff, or guests.]
Name / Place of residence / Occupation / Hobby?
My name is Raelle. I live in San Francisco in the SOMA district and I am the Artistic Director of Brava! For Women in the Arts in the Mission district in San Francisco. My biggest hobby is laughing, which I know sounds dumb but I like going to comedy clubs; I like when my friends can make me laugh because the stress of running an arts non-profit is so stressful you want to be surrounded by laughter. So that’s what I do, I try to giggle as much as possible and it keeps me from being cranky.
Do you collect anything?
I collect a lot of my friends’ art. I have some rules with friends and family that Christmas presents have to be made and so I have a lot of—not trinkets—I see it as true visual art. I have some great photos. A couple of years ago I got a great photograph from Costa Rica that a friend of mine took, Jason Selman. I like a lot of old print material, \ I love old jazz posters, I love jazz albums. I probably collect a lot of jazz stuff.
If you could invite any artist to dinner, who would it be and why?
That is one of the most difficult questions ever given to a person. Honestly, if I was going to invite an artist to dinner it would be Josephine Baker. Because you’re talking about someone that came up in the South and left the United States to then discover her heritage to a certain extent and then discover what her possibilities were. Particularly now that so much has changed historically and politically, it would be great to sit down with her, as another African American woman, and say, “Can you believe what’s different?”
If you could steal any artwork in the world to have up in your house, what would it be?
It would be Three Musicians by Picasso. For sure. I’m obsessed with that painting. I think the first time I tried to write a play—I was about 11 or 12—I had seen some old Picasso book that someone had thrown out in the trash, and it had a picture of Three Musicians in it. I looked at all the cubes and the squares that make up the eyelashes and I started thinking, “Wow, what I want to do is write plays and I’ll base my first play on this piece.” That would be the piece I want hanging in my house.
What’s your favorite tool?
I think my greatest resource is honestly my managing director right now, Hetal Patel. She’s come in as this young, vibrant, aggressive woman and is serious about allowing Brava! to really grow and do diverse work, to be able to create collaborations with SFMOMA, or with Precarious Theater—she’s really open to that. She’s allowing space for me to do my job. It’s a great pairing.
[Brava! For Women in the Arts is one of our partners in the upcoming LiveArt/Performa 09 weekend of programs Metal + Machine + Manifesto = Futurism's First 100 years. Brava will be screening Futurist films & staging short plays on October 18.]