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Jacquelin Napal & Kat Emery on Changing the Perception of Female Gallerists


Jacquelin Napal & Kat Emery on Changing the Perception of Female Gallerists

By Patricia Tortolani | December 10, 2018 | People

Young, stylish and gifted with an eye for the highly collectible, Jacquelin Napal and Kat Emery are the Art Angels of Los Angeles. This month they bring their pop art gallery to Miami.

art-angels.jpgKat Emery and Jacquelin Napal of Art Angels.

Elon Musk, Dr. Phil and Floyd Mayweather walk into an art gallery. The gallery owners say, “Who needs a 300-year-old auction house to validate your taste?” The eclectic crew all become loyal clients. No jokes, no punchline. Just the future of art collecting in this social media age.

“We have never wanted to be a traditional gallery,” say Art Angels founders Kat Emery and Jacquelin Napal, whose clients range from Silicon Valley tycoons to boxing legends. “Our vision was to create a new-generation gallery space.” Five years ago that’s exactly what they did, showcasing works that they describe as “bold, beautiful and emotive,” but also “pieces with shock or humor.” After the success of the original Art Angels location in Los Angeles, the gallery opens its second branch in the Miami Design District this month.

How is the art scene in Los Angeles different from Miami? What can Miami learn from Los Angeles?
If you take a look at recent exhibitions at LACMA and The Broad and independent shows such as Beyond the Streets and Murakami & Off_white at Gagosian along with fashion shows that are embracing artists such as Tommy Hilfiger’s Venice runway show last year, Los Angeles has become a test bed for collaborations in the visual arts community. Miami has all the right ingredients to follow the same path. The Miami scene is definitely evolving. As well as new galleries, there are many Miami-based collectors who are investing in emerging artworks and assisting in the growth of newer artists’ careers.

art-angels-2.jpgMoebius’ “Audrey Tiffany Blue 2.”

Are female dealers different from their male counterparts?
There are definitely not as many!

What is the biggest misconception about female gallery owners?
As two young female gallery owners, we have definitely had to work hard to shake off a few misconceptions. People assume we are the faces of the business and the real owners are middle-aged men, which couldn’t be further from the truth. We started this business on our own with zero investment. Five years on and we have never taken outside investment. We can also do everything. These days we have a team around us, but we have been doing the heavy lifting, wall painting and artwork hanging for the past five years… yet we still often get offers of unsolicited help when doing any physical work!

If you could have an exhibition of any artist’s work in all of history, who would it be?
KAT EMERY: An Alexander McQueen exhibition; his fashion was a work of art and we love facilitating the collision of art and fashion.

JACQUELIN NAPAL: Jean-Michel Basquiat x Banksy—both masterminds in their craft.

127 NE 40th St., Design District,