A Day in the Life: Curator and Social Media Star Kimberly Drew Buys a Tom Sachs Chair and Noshes on Pizza During Frieze New York

The curator and social media star documents a whirlwind day at the VIP preview of Frieze New York.

Kimberly Drew at the entrance of Frieze New York before works by Yayoi Kusama and Chris Ofili. Photo by Tyler Mitchell.
Kimberly Drew at the entrance of Frieze New York before works by Yayoi Kusama and Chris Ofili. Photo by Tyler Mitchell.

The spring art fairs are busy as ever, with much to see and do all over New York. Art writer and curator Kimberly Drew—also known by her Instagram alias, @museummammy—took artnet on a tour of her day at Frieze New York and documented her highlights, chance encounters with art and fashion world friends, and much more. Read to find out more about her whirlwind day at the fair.

8:00 a.m.

I wake up at home in Brooklyn, and immediately begin texting with my friend, the artist Tyler Mitchell, because his cover shoot with Steve Lacy [of musical group the Internet] just dropped for i-D magazine. Tyler is my favorite thought partner on magazine images, and I love that we can chat critically about them all—even the ones that he shoots himself. Today is the preview day for Frieze New York, and soon I’ll have to get out of bed and get dressed for a full day of activities. I live in Brooklyn, but I’m heading all the way uptown towards Randall’s Island, where the fair is, before hitting several other events throughout the day. I’ll need to wear something that will transition easily from day to night. But before getting ready, I check-in with Phillip Picardi, editor-in-chief of Out magazine and my confidant, for some sage fashion advice.

9:20 a.m.

I shower, brush my teeth, and put on my war paint.

10:20 a.m.

I’m in the car and on my way to meet up with Tyler and Phillip! Once I arrive, we hop in a cab and head over to Randall’s Island.

11:15 a.m.

I get a text from my friend Jenna Wortham (she’s an ace tech writer for the New York Times Magazine) letting me know she’s returned safely from her vacation in Greece. A rush of calm comes over me knowing that my queen and co-editor is back! Now I can focus on the art. 

Phillip and I in front of Marilyn Minter’s shoot with the model Ruth Bell for Out magazine. Photo courtesy Tyler Mitchell.

Phillip and me in front of Marilyn Minter’s photo of the model Ruth Bell, commissioned for Out magazine. Photo courtesy Tyler Mitchell.

11:45 a.m.

We arrive at the Frieze Art Fair and begin our tour at the Salon 94 booth. In the closet of their booth, there is an outtake from Marilyn Minter’s shoot with the model Ruth Bell, which was commissioned for Out’s art issue that I recently guest edited. It’s surreal to see the work in full scale. After chatting with gallery owner Jeanne Greenberg, I decide to buy a Tom Sachs chair before heading off to see the rest of the fair.

12:00-2:00 p.m.(ish)

We visit booth after booth, and run into friends old and new. The Mumbai-based Jhaveri Contemporary gallery made us stop in our tracks! Phillip, Tyler, and I were blown away by the oil paintings of the young, New York-based Pakistani artist Salman Toor, and the black-and-white photographs of the 1930’s photographer Lionel Wendt. Around 1:45 p.m., both Phill and Tyler are begging me to stop for food. I usually get into the zone when looking at art, and often forget to eat lunch. I oblige, and we head for the Roberta’s pizza stand for a bite.  

Me on my new chair by Tom Sachs. Photo by Phillip Picardi.

Me on my new chair by Tom Sachs. Photo by Phillip Picardi.

2:00 p.m.

We run into art world friends Dawoud Bey, Tiana Webb Evans, and Dario Calmese on the way for a short, but sweet family reunion. 

2:30 p.m.

Once outside, we spot fashion writer and editor Tim Blanks and dancer Stephen Galloway, who I met the day before at Frieze Academy’s Art and Fashion Summit. We join Tim and Stephen for pizza and (maybe a little too much) rosé. 

3:30 p.m.

We head back into the fair to visit the Just Above Midtown (JAM) Frieze project. After making a donation to the community-based urban farm initiative Project Eats’s pop-up for JAM, curated by Franklin Sirmans of the Perez Art Museum Miami, we leave the fair. 

Stephen Galloway, Phillip Piccardi, Tyler Mitchell, and Tim Blanks. Photo courtesy Kimberly Drew.

Stephen Galloway, Phillip Piccardi, Tyler Mitchell, and Tim Blanks. Photo courtesy Kimberly Drew.

5:00 p.m. (or so)

Reality sets in as we sit in traffic. I want to go see Elizabeth Diller and Carrie Mae Weems in conversation at a Prada event this evening, but time isn’t on my side. I’ve made it my personal mission to see Carrie Mae Weems speak whenever possible, but it’s not in the cards today. Off to Phillip’s instead.

6:00 p.m.

Phillip and I have a dance party at his house while we get ready for the Planned Parenthood gala. I teach him how to do the electric slide. (I still can’t believe he didn’t know how to do the electric slide.)

6:30 p.m.

Phillip, his fiancé, Dr. Darien, Darien’s beautiful mother, Sheila, and I jump in yet another a cab heading into Manhattan for the Planned Parenthood gala, which is one of my favorite events of the season.

Ready for the gala! Photo courtesy Fran Tirado.

Ready for the gala! Photo courtesy Fran Tirado.

7:00 p.m.

I am seated with artists Marilyn Minter and Shantell Martin. We listen as activist Deja Foxx and producer Tonya Lewis Lee are honored for their commitment to women’s health.

10:00 p.m.

The after-party begins! More dancing.

11:42 p.m.

I am finally back in Bed Stuy, in my pajamas, and drifting off to sleep. Thanks for tagging along with me today!


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