February 24, 2014

Last winter, MAD Agency launched 440 HOPE, it’s second international art residency program, with an aim to tap into the buzzing emerging arts scene of Los Angeles. It was a vibrant experience for 6 multi disciplinary french artists, working out of their studio in Downtown LA to produce three exhibitions in the space of three months.

In order to set up the residency, MAD Agency teamed up with Jay Ezra Nayssan, a local artist and curator. During his role as co-curator of 440 HOPE, Jay accompanied the artists to openings & exhibitions, organised studio visits with local artists and fostered collaborations between the French residents and Angelenos.

His goal in presenting Los Angeles to the 440 HOPE residents was to illustrate the sense of free will that comes from the untamed, industrial and disparate nature of Los Angeles which stands in stark contrast to the established and authenticated nature of Paris.

A talented artist in his own right, we asked Jay some questions about his personal work, LA and his role as Angeleno Ambassador for 440 HOPE…

Tell us more about your role during the 440 Hope residency?

Being co-curator with Anatole Maggiar I enjoyed being a liaison officer between the artists and Los Angeles: giving the artists the best of Los Angeles with my knowledge of the city and its art scene to inspire them.

What was your first camera? What did you point it at?

Kodak Retinette 1A. I was and still am fascinated by the architectural lines of cities, buildings and nature.


During a past interview, you said that buildings are an extension to humans, what do you mean by that?

There are obvious inherent parallels between the anatomy of a building and that of a human body and its organs…

LA is reputed to be an incredible scene for the contemporary arts, what should French artists take home from a city like this?

Watch Anatomy of Los Angeles, a French documentary from 1969!

Which LA artists should one follow?

Joel Kyack, Michael Henry Hayden, Dwyer Kilcollin, Max Hooper Schneider and Sam Falls.

In which other city would you like to embark on a new art project?

Mexico City!

What is your top 5 must see in Los Angeles right now?

-Derya Akay @ the Apartment 

-Eric Vrymoed @ the Hammer 

-Scott Reeder @ 356 Mission 

-Laure Prouvost @ Fahrehneit 

-Samara Golden @ Night Gallery  

Follow Jay’s upcoming projects and curations on his website www.jayezra.com