INTERVIEW – Mila Askarova

23rd February 2011
Alexandra Carrillo


The founder and Director of Gazelli Art House, Mila Askarova was born and raised in Azerbaijan before moving to Istanbul and later settling in London. Her degree in International Relations at LSE opened the doors to a placement at Sotheby’s.

Her career evolved from managing the PR and Communications of a commercial art gallery in London, to focusing on curating and private dealing. Further studies at Central Saint Martins and Christie’s have given her an outstanding insight into Art Business. This year apart from curating and coordinating the remaining four exhibitions of a series of five lead by FIRED UP, Mila will be coordinating the Azerbaijani pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

What is the concept behind the Gazelli Art House?

Gazelli Art House, a new approach to commercial art organization, was found on the premises of providing a new setting for the understanding and creation of art. A series of five exhibitions will be held this year, each in different independent locations, exploring the concept of classical elements, fire, earth, water, air and ether. Artists at various stages in their career will be encouraged to explore these concepts from the inner/emotional perspective. It is toward the end of this cycle, that the audience will be fully ‘equipped’ with the necessary tools to better understand their emotional engagement with contemporary arts. This will ultimately result in the opening of our permanent space, in 2012.

What is the inspiration behind FIRED UP?

Fired Up, is our inaugural exhibition of the series, loosely based on the classical element, fire. Latest works by Joe Clark, Lauren Cotton, David Jones, Rory McCartney and Farid Rasulov each explore the fundamental characteristics of fire – uncertainty, potency, color and dynamism. Both the exhibited works and the venue have been carefully considered to create a particular atmosphere, aiming at prompting and inspiring an emotional response attributed to the element.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on our next show, Down To Earth, the opening of which will be on 31st March. Please check our website for updates, .

It will be a very different experience to Fired Up – with new works from Jane McAdam Freud, Saad Qureshi, Niyaz Najafov, Mark Prethero and Aziz + Cucher.

What’s your favorite hidden gem in London?

I will let you know as soon as I find it!

It’s 7:00 pm Saturday. What are you doing?

Writing an email while talking on the phone on loudspeaker to find out the plan for the evening.