"Wasted Lives" by Logan Hicks, one of Zimmer's curated works up for auction. http://501auctions.com/inliquidbenefit/item/78233

“Wasted Lives” by Logan Hicks, one of Zimmer’s curated works up for auction.
http://501auctions.com/inliquidbenefit/item/78233

You’re confronted with 250+ pieces of art. Your assignment? Beat the 700+ art-lovers around you in a battle to find and outbid for your next favorite treasure.

At Benefit 2016, February 5 – 6 at Crane Arts, vie for work by artists at all levels – from local to international – including Shepard Fairey, Jacque Liu, Jon Manteau, and Diane Burko, just to name a few. Lori Zimmer – ArtNerd New York blogger and author of The Art of Cardboard – guest-curates a selection of work from NYC, re-coding the other east coast city for Philadelphia audiences.

Erica: The story of how you founded Art Nerd is inspiring, since it involved an intense personal transformation for you. Would you mind recapping that for our readers?

Lori: It’s kind of a weird story. I was working as the sales director for a gallery when I was suddenly fired out of nowhere. Feeling incredibly lost, I began assigning myself walks around New York City, vowing to use my new-found free time to study art and architecture around the city. I began writing down my findings and then started researching. The next thing I knew, I had a full-on obsession with the art history of New York, and decided to turn it into a blog. Over the years, it has expanded and I’ve added new sections, contributors, and a partner in LA, Lauren Albrecht. Now, as we prepare to rebrand, Lauren and I are pairing down, focusing only on Art Nerd New York and Art Nerd LA, and we’ve decided to return to just our voices and viewpoints.

Erica: You’ve recently published The Art of Cardboard. I’ve started reading – and the photographs alone are enough to make you rethink your perceptions of the material. But if you had to sum up – why is cardboard worthy of its own book?

Lori: The point of the cardboard book was to show that a democratic material could be elevated to fine art. Picasso used it, Rauschenberg used it. Cardboard is great because its relatable and readily available, letting even uncreative people try their hand at creation with little risk. The artists in the book, however, really treat the material in a museum-quality way. I was endlessly impressed with their abilities.

"Vauxite" by Sean Augustine March, one of Zimmer's curated works up for auction. http://501auctions.com/inliquidbenefit/item/78234

“Vauxite” by Sean Augustine March, one of Zimmer’s curated works up for auction.
http://501auctions.com/inliquidbenefit/item/78234

Erica: You’re an advisor for the White House’s ACT/ART Committee. Can you tell me how you got involved and what that’s been like?

Lori: ACT/ART began in February of 2015, as an initiative headed by Carri Twigg of the White House and Daria Brit Greene of SCOPE Art Show. Together with a committee of art world professionals we have combined art with social issues. Our latest project #IAMTHEMANY invited artists to submit posters inspired by social justice, and ended with an exhibition at the White House.

Erica: Can you tell me a bit about the pieces you’ll be bringing to Benefit 2016?

Lori: The collection will reflect my different curatorial sides, from street art to photorealist painters.

Erica: What advice would you give to a young, inexperienced collector?

Lori: Buy pieces that keep you looking over and over. I love building a collection based on pieces where I can create my own narrative, in addition to the artist’s intentions.

Press Bid to Play at Benefit 2016, February 5 – 6 at Crane Arts.

Laura Krasnow

See Laura Krasnow's full Portfolio