#Girlisthenewtime, a women-only Empty event at La Galleria Nazionale for Museum Week

Girls, girls, girls....  What happens when a gang of girls hang out at in an empty art gallery?  That's the question we threw out for Museum Week 2017 at La Galleria Nazionale, in a collaboration instameet #GirlisTheNewTime with myself and GirlsInMuseums.  We brought together approximately 16 women whose single prerequisite was passion for the arts and giving them full reign of the museum including Conversation Piece (the latest exhibition) and behind-the-scenes of Body to Body, a capsule show focusing on 15 female artists' perspective on feminism.  

What is the purpose of the Empty, you may ask? For me, any opportunity to bring people inside an Italian museum, gallery or cultural site is an opportunity to inspire dialog that spreads outside of the museum and inspires visitors to come back inside.  Italy has an incredible wealth of cultural sites, but many get an unwarranted wallflower as more popular museums (hey, Uffizi and Musei Vaticani) are bucket list must sees.  I am to change that, or at least make a little dent by bringing Italy's museums to your small screens.

As a participant, I tend to take a roll of art voyeur and I've noticed in my photos that art work takes center stage and the viewer is simply a supporting role.  It makes sense, I love art. (And, Yes, I will lurk for what seems like hours by a favorite painting or sculpture, waiting to catch the right moment).  For #GirlIsTheNewTime, I set out to be, well, decisive and take individual (or small group portraits) of each participant where I would capture the vibe of each woman, and let art work - whether partially in frame or out - be a cultural background.  I wanted to force dialog between myself and each participant, a technique I've honed over the years of being extremely shy.

A week dedicated to women and museums is not enough.  Nor are Emptys, but I do think continuing the dialog on the importance of women in the arts is fundamental, and even more so, the dialog about the female communication.  Do I think that the dialog that women have with art is any different from that of a man? I couldn't tell you, I am so XX, but I do think the dialog among women is complicated.

Scroll down, catch up on all the scenes from #GirlIsTheNewTime in Instagram and in my VSCO journal.  Thank you to all the participants who patiently allowed me to push them around the galleries in search of a great vibe.

Wanna join us? For more info, here's where and how I started in 2014 and how it has spread from La Galleria Nazionale to Milan's La Triennale and GAM, back to Rome and the Vatican. Email me at

#EmptyGAMilano and UBS's Don't Shoot the Painter

There is nothing quite like GAM, Milan's Gallery of Modern Art.  The neoclassical Villa Reale is an incredible backdrop for art from any era, and even better when contrasting the very modern with Milan days of yore.  On September 28, 2015, I hosted #EmptyGAMilano to coincide with the closing of the UBS exhibitionDon't Shoot the Painter - 110 paintings shown together from the bank's vast corporate collections.  Joining me were Instagram's Kristin Watts, Tamu McPherson of All the Pretty Birds,, AndyKate and many more.

For more information on organizing or participating in an #EmptyMuseo, read here and please email me

#EmptyMuseo in Milan at La Triennale

Hello, Milan!

Darius and I hosted our very first #EmptyMuseo at Milan's La Triennale to coincide with the Milan Expo 2015 and the Triennale's exhibit Art and Food.  Joining us were, PestoVerde, ElisaPella, DailyBreakfast, Milano Secrets, GnamBox and more.

A warm Thank You to La Triennale's incredible hospitality and Italy's Ministry of Culture who support us in our events. For more information on our Empties, please write me at and join up!

My idea of fun: Rome's GNAM #emptymuseo


For those of you who haven't figured it out yet, my idea of fun is meandering the hallways and exhibition spaces of a museum.  Any museum will do, though I tend to have a penchant for those with monumental paintings, colorful walls or anything Twombly.

Since Instagram hit the scene, I've had a lot fun "visiting" museums, galleries, art fairs and spaces thanks to hashtags like #artwatchers and #emptymet which let me spy on what you are sizing up.   And I get the opportunity to share the spaces and places I love through my own gallery.  Over the past few years, I've been passionately obsessed with Rome's Galleria Nazionale di Arte Moderna, aka GNAM-- a modern and contemporary national art gallery that is made up of Italy's very best, from the Unification to the present, plus some non-Italians that you know and love.  And it has everything I love--  enormous 19th century paintings, Futurists-a-go-go, Pistoletto, Clemente, Twombly, Duchamp,  a hall made up of broken mirrors and temporary shows.

Thanks to the support of the Italian Ministry of Culture, I joined some friends for a morning of #emptymuseo, cìoe, a visitor-free walk through GNAM in December-- it was an opportunity to capture the museum as we love it.   And I want to do more. If you have a museum you want to walk through, let me know. I'll happily meet up.

December 2014: Matteo Giannini  @mattego, Darius Arya @SaveRome, Livia Hengel @Helium_Tea, Ivan Corrodori @Aivenn


Sala del Mito
Sala del Mito
matteo specchio
matteo specchio