July 2009

Tastemakers 2009 Bettina Korek

by A. Moret / produced by Mayer Rus / portrait by Peden + Munk

Bettina Korek Korek is the great matchmaker of the art world. Having worked in the prints and drawings department at LACMA, she found herself disillusioned by the lack of collaboration within the museum system. So she left that world behind and founded ForYourArt, where she became a “metacurator,” a link between artists and a larger audience. Among its many projects, FYA produces a quarterly pocket-size map, akin to the Zagat Guide for culture vultures, with openings, contributors’ picks and artist interviews. Recently, FYA created summer issues for New York and Chicago and plans to expand to Miami this fall.

In 2007, Korek expanded her business with a PR and marketing division called FYAworld. Her clients and collaborators include curator and art critic Hans Ulrich Obrist, artist Marilyn Minter, local gallery LAXART and Ovation TV. Along with the Hammer Museum, LAXART and Creative Capital, ForYourArt is a supporting partner of the Watts House Project, an urban revitalization of homes on 107th Street, led by artist Edgar Arceneaux. “The Watts House Project is a perfect example of what we’re trying to accomplish—a progressive model of real collaboration,” says Korek. “Museum directors, artists and curators are all looking around asking, ‘How can we work together in a more substantive way?’ ” Korek has drawn a map for finding just such substance, and she has done it with style.