culture

Katya Khazei

Working as the director of marketing for art investment platform Arthena, Katya Khazei helps a new generation of art collectors buy art in a groundbreaking way. Rather than buying individual pieces solo you invest in a collection, thereby owning a share and amplifying your return opportunities. On top of her main gig she also runs an empowering side project, Young Women In The Arts, which helps female creatives liaise and establish themselves in the art world. We spoke to Khazei about how to launch your career in art, how to get ready for big events, and her worst beauty horror story to date.

Job: Director of Marketing, Arthena. Co-founder of Young Women In the Arts.

Heritage: Persian and Filipina

What made you decide to launch Young Women in the Arts?
Katya Khazei: I founded it together with a friend of mine, Sarah Cascone, in January 2015. We are an organization that throws events for women in the visual arts in the hopes that they can collaborate and network to influence the global art world.

Why did you feel this was missing from the art landscape?
We looked at existing organizations and felt like there weren’t any organizations that were accessible.
We wanted to create something more social, more relaxed. We do a lot of small events where people can get to know each other, both the people that are hosting the event and people attending. For example, we did a very intimate tour of the Highline with the director and chief curator. It was great because people could ask questions, talk to her about her inspiration, and also find out how she got into the position she is in today. We also did a roundtable with Marilyn Minter who’s a very prominent artist. It was nice seeing young women who had just graduated speaking to someone that’s had such a great career. She was very approachable and not intimidating.

Is the art world similar to other industries where the key players are mostly male? Are women well represented in the art world?
I definitely think so. In 2000, the Guggenheim had zero solo shows by women, and in 2014 just 14 percent of solo museum exhibitions were female. Georgia O’Keeffe is the top selling female artist and her piece, “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1” sold for $44.4 million, while Picasso’s “Les femmes d’Alger” fetched $179.4 million. It’s jaw-dropping. At a YWA roundtable discussion, Marilyn Minter spoke about how her generation was notorious for putting other women down and there was a lack of unity. It’s getting better, but there’s still a lot we can do.

How are you hoping the landscape changes in the next few years?
I think there should be more representation by women. Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel did a female group show and while that’s great, I would like to see more solo shows in museums and institutions around the world. I think it shouldn’t just be women, but a diverse group of women.

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For a young woman that’s trying to get her footing in the art world in New York City what advice do you have for her?
I would say attend a lot of events, network, get to know other women that are in the arts and then figure out exactly what you want to do and align yourself with that sector. If you want to work at a museum or gallery it’s important for you to get familiar with who is doing what, who works where, and get to know that field.

What originally drew you to the art world?
I didn’t study art in college but it was always an interesting industry to me. I got a job working at an art PR agency that worked with clients such as Art Basel. I stumbled upon on it but once I started I working at that agency I was inspired by how intelligent and creative everyone was.

Are there any young artists you particularly like?
I think Emma Sulkowicz is amazing, she’s the woman who carried the mattress as her final art thesis at Columbia, she’s been to a few of our events. I really like Shantell Martin — I like the work that she does and how she presents herself to a digital audience.

How do you get ready for an art event? How do you switch your look up form day to night?
I usually wear a tinted moisturizer during the day and then switch to foundation at night. I use a lot of NARS products. I go heavier on eyeliner and mascara. During the day I don’t wear bottom eyeliner but at night I definitely do. I also love a cateye. I love Kat Von D eyeliner – it stays on for a really long time and I like the tip. I used to love MAC but I could never get the flick right because it was too thick. Lips I also use NARS, a nudish pink. I love Laguna bronzer. And use a Chanel blush.

How did your mom influence your beauty routine?
She always stressed the importance of skin care. She also always wanted me to use premium products over drugstore products.

Have you ever had any beauty mishaps?
I got my eyebrows waxed once and she waxed too much off, which has scarred me for life. She was doing my eyebrows and then I noticed she started filling it in with a pencil or something black. I went to the bathroom to wash my hands and noticed there was a black mark on my face and wiped my brow and then black stuff started coming off. I started crying! It wasn’t that bad but seeing black coming off of my eyebrow was terrifying. I never went back and haven’t waxed my eyebrows since.

What do you do to maintain your skin?
I get facials at Equinox, just the general cleansing ones. I am too scared to do peels because of Samantha in that one Sex and The City episode where all of her skin was gone after doing a peel.

What skin care products do you use?
I use mostly Kiehl’s — the Midnight Recovery Serum, the Day Serum and the Avocado Eye Cream. I use M61 Vitablast C Serum. I use Fresh Soy Face Wash Cleanser and the rose mask. I had one or two stress breakouts and fell asleep with my make up on. I decided I needed to change my habits. So I bought all white sheets so I would not get into bed without washing my face. That’s when I really stepped up my skin care and I’m so happy I did!

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