Art Chat: Daisies Curator Paige Silveria
The word conjures the freshness and new beginnings of spring, but when it came to naming her site-specific pop-up exhibition series, Daisies, curator Paige Silveria turned to the world of cinema. The title is a nod to the 1966 cult film of the same name, directed by Vera Chytilová of the Czechoslovak New Wave—an artist who inspired Silveria by challenging the social and political pressures of her time. A similar independent spirit can be found in Daisies, which brings together the work of more than 30 emerging artists working in a range of disciplines.
Silveria—who curated two earlier installments of Daisies, in 2018 and 2019—calls her approach “very youth culture-centered,” one that “speaks to an irreverent and sometimes anarchic ideal.” “Every time I showcase a successive Daisies, the ethos remains the same; it’s about creating a platform for emerging artists to show work that they’re really excited about. I’m drawn to those who try and push boundaries.”
Silveria finds the artists she works with “everywhere,” she says—“on the wall of a small shop, in zines, tagged in a friend’s image on social media.” It’s this keen eye for diverse talent that Silveria has channeled into a career producing cultural and art-focused events and consulting for brands and agencies. Her work as a contributing writer and photographer for indie magazines like Purple, i-D and MUSE only provides even more territory for discovery.
Like other industries, the downtown arts community has been affected by lockdown: the lack of regular events has meant less opportunities for artists to share their work. Staging Daisies in the Seaport was “a great way for us to come together and collaborate safely,” says Silveria—with the added bonus of presenting work at a large scale, and on show 24/7. “The streets of the Seaport are so beautiful,” she says. “Especially at night—which is when, conveniently, the work is best seen.”
Silveria’s hope is that Daisies will encourage locals and visitors alike to support the emerging art community—and inspire young artists to forge ahead and make work of their own. To that end, “I tried to include a large variety of pieces,” she says. “Drawing, furniture design, sculpture, film, etcetera.”
While the pandemic has been tough on the arts and the city at large, Silveria remains hopeful: “I have confidence that the art community in New York will remain strong,” she says. “The city has such incredible characters. I’m constantly inspired by creatives young and old—designers, dancers, publishers, gallerists, filmmakers…Fostering community and maintaining a conversation is so important.”
Daisies is on show in the Seaport District through April 30th.