Style Feature: Monique Meloche
Shot on location at moniquemeloche gallery and Meloche’s home in Wicker Park
What are you working on right now?
Closing more sales of work by both Kate Levant and Sanford Biggers –
my current two exhibitions. Following up on clients I met last week at
Art Brussels art fair and contacting potential clients for my next art fair
in San Francisco mid-May. Getting final RSVPs for a cocktail party that
I am co-hosting in NYC next week at The James Hotel as I am their
cultural partner in Chicago. The event is for the 3rd annual Gallery
Weekend Chicago that I founded and EXPO Chicago art fair that will
happen again here in September. And planning my nail color and outfit
for tomorrow night’s SAIC The Walk fashion show.
What are you working on next?
Organizing loans of my gallery artists work to various museums and
galleries around the world. My travel schedule this summer is insane
because of their success – NY, London, Boston, Venice (Italy), Miami,
Louisville, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Berlin.
How would you describe your style?
Bold, sassy, and feminine with a dash of sexy vintage.
What are you favorite stores or cities to shop?
Ikram in Chicago, anywhere in Antwerp, TerraNewYork.com
for the coolest raincoats, Target for both Converse and their
capsule collections, and my mom’s vintage closet!
5 style inspiration/icons
My mom (a lifelong model and beauty queen), Veruschka, Diane Von Furstenberg, Gwen Stefani, and JLo
5 favorite artists
Bernini, Giacometti, Luc Tuymans, Rashid Johnson, and Kate Levant
5 favorite bands or albums
Prince live – seen him 10 times, Justin Timberlake – but still on the
fence with “the 20/20 experience”, “Watch the Throne” by Jay-Z and
Kanye West, The Waitresses “Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful” 1982,
and toss up guilty pleasures Beyonce and Rihanna.
5 favorite movies
Pedro Almodovar’s “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,”
Saturday Night Fever, Pulp Fiction, Starship Troopers (thanks to the
Vic Theater Brew and View), and Shaft – the 1971 original.
5 things you can’t live without
My husband Evan Boris, new shoes, eye-lash curler, wine & cheese
(and if I count those together I can add my trainers Janell and Kim
so I can keep having the wine & cheese!).
Your thoughts on the connection between fine art & fashion?
I did my master’s thesis at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
on the history of the shoe in contemporary art and co-taught a course
there on the intersection between art and fashion, so I consider it to
be a strong and inevitable connection.
In NYTimes style section today they just featured 5 best dresses to
wear to next week’s Frieze Art Fair festivities in NYC including my new
fav Maria Cornejo who I will be wearing to my cocktail party in NY
When & why did you decide to become a gallery?
With a Master’s degree in Art History and Theory under my belt I
started working at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago for 6
years as an assistant curator. Wanting to stay in the city and no
upward mobility for me at the MCA, I reached out to Chicago’s most
respected contemporary art dealer Rhona Hoffman and I became her
gallery Director for 2 years. After a short stint at another gallery I
decided to throw my hat in the ring.
When did you open MM gallery?
I opened moniquemeloche briefly at my home in October 2000 with a
show called “Homewrecker” where I invited 30 artists to install work
anywhere and everywhere in the house (yes the same house we are
shooting in). My official opening was May 2001 on Fulton Market with
a cavernous “arena-like” gallery with “I Borrowed my Mother’s Bedroom”
by Joel Ross who literally drove to Texas and borrowed his mother’s
bedroom and recreated the room complete with all her clothes, her
bed, tv, carpet, ceiling fan, and door! The price on the checklist said
“ask Joel’s Mother”. After 3 years, we moved to the heart of the
West Loop on Peoria and Randolph next door to my mentor Rhona
Hoffman. When the economy tanked in 2008 we started looking for a
new direction and found our current location in Wicker Park at 2154 W.
Division. Working with Dirk Denison Architects we created a more
modestly scaled white cube with some moveable walls and desks
and a 25foot long public art space in our front window called the “on
the wall” series that is lit 24/7 and is funded in part by the Wicker
Park Bucktown Association.
Advice for creatives out there in the world?
Don’t give up
Try not to compromise
Collaboration is key
(Questions or comments? Leave them below! I’d love to hear from you)
Photography & styling: Andrea Morris
Assistant: Yumi Minamikurosawa