“Maybe I should have paid a little more attention”
Monique Meloche reminisces about two artists who were presented at the MCA before they were famous.
Well my absolute favorite, and it’s a little self-serving, but the fact that in 2012 the MCA did Rashid Johnson's first solo museum show, and that was kind of the first in this series of mid-career artist surveys. And I've represented Rashid since I opened my gallery sixteen years ago, so to see his growth and my growth and all of a sudden be here and be able to see one of my artists have a show of that magnitude and not just a project space. Because he did have one of the then-called 12 x 12, one of the very first ones, I think in 2000. And so a lot of those moments that are personally involved with artists that I work with are so fantastic.
But historically, going back to the old building when Richard Francis was the chief curator and he curated one of the first YBA shows here, which was mind-boggling to me 'cause I was like, "Who's Damien Hirst? Who are all these people?" And I was basically Damien Hirst's chauffeur and, I mean, he wasn't "Damien Hirst" at that point. And so it was very funny looking back now that I'm taking this now super-recognized artist around and I was just this—I wasn’t even like an art fangirl. I was just like, "Yeah, whatever. Come on, Damien, we've got to go to this gallery, we've got to go to this." And so it's funny to look back on those moments where you're like, "Huh, maybe I should have paid a little more attention."