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Should You Date a Curator? – ARTnews.com


In the insanity of the last couple years, it’s been impossible to meet people IRL and you’ve been more alone in your studio than ever before. You’ve fumbled on Bumble, binged with Hinge, been turned off by Tinder, and are struggling to connect with potential art world soul mates. You know full well that getting romantically involved with collectors or curators is ill-advised because the scene is too small and the fallout could be severe. A recent studio visit from an attractive biennial curator began as a normal meeting and ended up being more like a dazzling (and consensual) first date. There was so much electricity that it made you feel like the actual work of art being appreciated. You spent the next day engaged in a series of flirty texts that ended up with an invitation to join them on a weekend trip to Marfa. Answer these questions to determine if you should rendezvous with your romantic curator or keep the relationship purely professional.

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1. Your best friend asks what turns you on about the curator. You answer:

a) Their tote bags and record collection
b) Their “interesting” eye-glasses and intellect
c) The framed Bard CCS diploma hanging above the futon

2. If the first date goes well, you are willing to commit to another encounter with the curator at:

a) An ayahuasca jazz retreat lead by a hirsute spirit guide named “Todd”
b) A philosophy symposium on how Kant got it totally wrong 200 years ago
c) A volunteer soup kitchen for those adversely affected by widening inequality during the pandemic

3. Besides finding your soulmate, the added benefit of hitching up with a curator includes:

a) Unlimited lifetime inclusion in group exhibitions
b) A continuous parade of interns to serve hors d’oeuvres at your parties
c) Wall-to-wall virtue-signaling coverage on social media

4. While scrolling through your Instagram feed you come across a video of the curator giving a corny walkthrough of their latest museum exhibition. You:

a) Immediately like the post and leave 😍🍆🍑👨‍🎨🖼💦 for everyone to see
b) Write “We need to talk” in the comments
c) Doze off yet again while trying to read their catalogue essay

5. You prefer the type of curator who:

a) Has orgies with artists and calls it “research”
b) Closes their eyes when they listen to sound art
c) Audibly sighs while they read Hyperallergic 

6. At a cocktail party, the curator doesn’t bother to introduce you to anyone and pretends they aren’t with you. You:

a) Consider this foreplay
b) Get revenge by leaving with the museum registrar
c) Wistfully recall that it was their darting eyes and distant humanity that first attracted you

7. Over dinner, the curator reveals that they are leaving the museum to “pursue independent opportunities.” You get aroused by their new job:

a) Building an imaginary graffiti museum in the metaverse
b) Podcasting from your sofa after they establish their new office on it
c) Shilling digital Beanie Babies to the crypto-clueless

8. Your college teacher friend finds it creepy that you are dating a curator you met at a studio visit. You:

a) Call them out for sleeping with their “Intro to 2D Animation” students
b) Dump the curator and start dating an art handler
c) Draw some Julia Fox raccoon eyes on your face and scowl at him

9. The curator asks you if you want to take the relationship to the next level. You respond in parlance:

a) You want to keep social relations capacious and speculative
b) You believe intersubjective liminality sublates conjunctive permanence
c) You see an imminent horizon for corporeal entanglement in your domestic space

Hard Choices: Should You Date a

Scores:

9–16: The heart wants what it wants, but that doesn’t mean you should take your cousin to the high school prom. Don’t let desperation lead you into the arms of the first curator to say something nice about your stippling and dabbing. If it’s about getting your paintings into shows, just know they may pin you to the bed and not hang your work on the wall. If it’s for love, take this quiz again.

17–22: Given your loneliness and the long winter still ahead, you could do a lot worse than snuggle up with a cute, clever curator. Just hope they will treat you like a masterpiece and not another object mishandled without gloves. If it all works out you may be able to share in their 20-percent employee discount at the museum store. Wouldn’t that be dreamy?

23–27: You would never know it, but some curators are actually quite lovable. They appear to be listening, are always nodding their heads in agreement, and tend to be good at arranging furniture to help small places feel less cluttered. You may be signing on as a plus-one in their world, but it beats microwaving a Trader Joe’s appetizer platter solo in your apartment.

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