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heist. (Part One & Two) / PETRIe Inventory

"Artwork of the Home" and "The Digital Species"

Nestled in a quiet cul-de-sac of terraced houses and moments away from the hustle of Notting Hill Gate is London’s first anti-gallery and fine art photography collective, heist. Before speaking with Mashael Al-Rushaid, a savvy businesswoman with an ardent passion for art, I am given a guided tour of the incredibly thought-out space.

Beyond a Regency-columned exterior and through the black-lacquered door, I climb the carpeted steps to find the immersive art space that combines sculpture, photography and bespoke interiors. Spearheaded by Al-Rushaid, heist. offers an alternative to the conventional art gallery. We sit down to chat about the gallery’s first year in business, commodification and why art is important.

Founder of  heist.  gallery, Mashael Al-Rushaid

Founder of heist. gallery, Mashael Al-Rushaid

Exhibition view ' Origins ' by Jimmy Nelson, 2015

Exhibition view 'Origins' by Jimmy Nelson, 2015

“I had stopped going to exhibitions, even though I was a collector, because I felt it was quite a stark and non-inclusive environment.”

 

Jamal George-Sharpe: How did you enter the art world and come to create heist.?

Mashael Al-Rushaid: I actually worked in private equity, then publishing and then film. I worked on a documentary before I worked here. Then I came across this couple [Edmiston and Lubinus] who started an online platform for emerging photographers. It was an editorial platform, so it wasn’t a gallery per se. We met up and I got inspired.

“There is kind of this select society in the art world and they only know the right answers. If you come off the street and just walk into a gallery there’s this sense that for one - especially in Europe I find - you’re either not welcome if you’re not going to buy something or if you’re not within this specific circle, then you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

At that point, I [had] stopped going to exhibitions, even though I was a collector, because I felt it was quite a stark and non-inclusive environment; In the sense that there was only one greater understanding of what is good art and what is bad art and how you look at something. There is kind of this select society in the art world and they only know the right answers. If you come off the street and just walk into a gallery there’s this sense that for one - especially in Europe I find - you’re either not welcome if you’re not going to buy something or if you’re not within this specific circle, [then] you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Read "Artwork of The Home" and "The digital Species" in full on PETRIE