The art advisor, curator, and collector Mashonda Tifrere credits her decision to pursue a career in the arts to two key things: growing up around Black artists in 1980s New York and her godmother’s dazzling art collection that filled an Upper East Side brownstone. Today, both are apparent in Tifrere’s own art collection that she’s built with the goal of supporting living Black artists.
Patricia Solomon, Tifrere’s godmother, was the first person to introduce her to the importance of building an art collection that you not only live with but one that reflects your interests. “I remember going to her apartment with these beautiful Erté and Gustave Moreau [works],” she said in a recent interview. Solomon’s collection felt like an escape; it would inspire Tifrere to not only start collecting, but to fill her personal space with the rich experiences of the community around her.