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Meet Erika Hirugami of CuratorLove

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika Hirugami.

Erika, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a first-generation immigrant, born in Guadalajara-Mexico. As an undocumented immigrant, I was in Community College for over seven years just to get a degree. Today I am a dual Mexican/American Citizen and now have a handful degrees from UCLA and a Masters in Art Business from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

CuratorLove was born after I worked in several museums and multiple galleries around the world. Once I realized how problematic both systems have become for contemporary artists trying to make a living from their work; I decided to venture on my own and create an alternative that lives on the fridge of both and helps to serve the artist community by building partnerships that transcend art business.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has certainly not been all smooth sailing. Opening a new business rarely is, furthermore trying to reinvent a system can be very complicated. Thankfully I have a strong support system within the arts community, and I don’t give up easily.

I am happy to readjust anything that needs readjusting in order to make a project thrive. I rather learn in the process than lose an opportunity. Else CuratorLove would not have reached a global audience after only two years of being in business.

The original goal was to go global in ten years, and here we are three years in and we are currently doing projects in Los Angeles, Mexico City, London, and Atlanta, and will soon reach Charlotte, Tel Aviv, Rotterdam, Valencia, Miami, and Hong Kong.

CuratorLove – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
CuratorLove is known for art convergences, we have projects in partnership with museums, exhibitions at multiple galleries, we bring art to corporate environments, we have a publishing branch that makes art books, we facilitate lectures, and we basically do all the fun stuff that people do in the art world.

We specialize in artist services, so if an artist has an idea, we can help them bring it to life. The difference between what is out there and CuratorLove is that we are artist focused. So much of the power in the art world is driven by curators, gallerist, brokers, etc., that some of the best projects never see daylight. I once spoke to an artist who had enjoyed 40+ years of his career, I asked: “What do you want at this point, you have done it all?” He told me that no one had ever asked him that. This was a very inspiring moment for me, I saw a need and am learning every day how to meet it.

At this point, I am most proud of how restructuring the existing model has allowed CuratorLove to work with some of the greatest artists in the world, on some fascinating projects.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
That is truly difficult for me. My Master’s Thesis was CuratorLove’s 10y plan, and as of today, I have surpassed most of my own expectations. CuratorLove has seen a lot of organic growth, and therefore, I have to be very flexible, which is also why we went global so quickly. But I would also love my team to grow, and for us to do more projects with more partners in the future.

But personally, I know that success comes in different forms. When we publish a new book I feel it, when we close another exhibition, when we achieve another milestone for an artist, it comes in many forms. But ultimately I equate success with a certain level of happiness and therefore believe that as long as what I do brings me and others joy, I cannot think of it as being anything by successful (aside from financially viable of course).

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Main image (me looking at artwork) Courtesy of Vicky Jauregui.
Image of hanging red canvas (4) and passport images (5) both Courtesy of Omar Pimienta.

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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