The Parisian in Philadelphia
Artist Danielle Siegelbaum chats with us about her work, how she got to where she is, and why she chose Philadelphia as the place to land.
We are excited to introduce an exciting new series called #TenantTuesdays. Every week, we will be featuring one of our tenants and having them answer the questions you posed a few weeks back. We will feature one or two answers here on Instagram and link the full interview in our bio. Get ready to get schooled about all our amazing tenants!
Can you describe what you do in a sentence or two?
I am an artist. I am doing some necklaces but art necklaces. You know, wearable art. Each necklace is special, unique. Also paintings, very large scale paintings, very graphic.
Why is your work important for this moment in time?
Because I have a lot of things to say, to express. My work expresses things about life, politics, love, sex, all of it.
How did you get to where you are in such a creative field?
“I am coming from Paris, and after Paris, I went to New York. We decided to come to Philadelphia because it’s not so noisy, we love the architecture, how the neighborhoods are made. It’s a cool city.”
In art, it’s a process. I was a textile designer working in the fashion industry. After that, I did illustrations, working for magazines. When I came to the States, I said “now I’m going to do the work I wanted to do all my life: to be an artist, to make paintings and sculptures.” It is a continuation of everything I did before.
You just recently moved to Philadelphia. Why did you choose this city?
I am coming from Paris, and after Paris, I went to New York. We decided to come to Philadelphia because it’s not so noisy, we love the architecture, how the neighborhoods are made. It’s a cool city.
What made you decide to follow your career choice (though possibly risky) rather than something more stable?
From the age of 14, I was painting. After I left fashion school, I learned about textiles and I loved it. It’s about forms, it’s about colors. I loved working in the fashion industry.
What attracted you to Bok?
We are new, my husband and I, to Philadelphia. After a few months, we had to find a new space. It was very important for us to have space to work. I’m not sure how I found out about Bok, but I came on Wednesday to do the tour and I thought it was fabulous. I said, “it’s for me, it’s for my husband. It’s the right place.”
Does your husband work in this space as well?
Yes, when he has something for the beauty industry, he works in the studio. He always wants to do portraits.
What is currently inspiring you?
My inspiration is life, what’s going on in our world now, and cultures. In all of my art, I show different cultures and different religions because I think it is the most important thing right now.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
I think it’s my personality. I never stop. Even if there are a few days where I’ve very discouraged because it’s very hard to be an artist. I keep going because I have a lot of ideas.
If you could only give one piece of advice to other artists, what would it be?
Work, work, work. I think that’s the thing, yes? Working a lot. And also seeing people, you need to see people. Communicate. It’s very important.
What are your working on now?
I just did an exhibition in FRIEDA for Generations. I also recently did a workshop about collage and assemblage. It was a lot of fun, I love it. I have a project with a shop in Old City and I’m doing that at the end of the month. Because I’m new, I have to try to experiment, so I’m also working with Cherry Street Pier to see what’s going on.
How can people support you or learn more?
Well, you know, I’m not born with social media. It’s something that is difficult for me. I think I miss things because of that. If I’m doing social media, it takes two hours for me, trying to find the right words.