On the Couch with Vincent Alessi

Linden-New-Art-Vincent-Alessi-photo-by-Liam-JamesWho is Vincent Alessi?
I’m a curator, art historian, writer and the very excited new Director of Linden New Art. My friends and family know me as that person whose attempts at gardening, making stuff, being a sportsman and playing air guitar usually don’t turn out the way they were meant to.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
While I’m happy with my lot in life and the work I do, I still have a secret desire of being a rock star. I can’t play an instrument or sing very well, but either could most of the members of the Sex Pistols. It’s all about the moves!

Who inspires you and why?
Inspiration comes from those close and then others I’ve never met. My parents have always inspired me, giving up so much as immigrants to ensure that their children could succeed. They continue to teach me about hard-work, humility and the importance of family and friendship. I’m inspired by artists, writers and musicians who enrich our lives in so many ways. Lastly, I’m always inspired by people who march to the beat of their own drum.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I believe that we can all do little things that make a difference. For me, it is about being a decent and kind human being to everyone that comes into my orbit. Being a concerned citizen, which means being politically engaged and calling things out when you know they are wrong.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
The last place I went to; I love being somewhere else! However, if I had to name one it would be Amsterdam. It is a magical city to walk around in and get lost. It is also the place that over the last 15 years I have visited endlessly to conduct research at the Vincent van Gogh Museum.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
If they are from overseas, I always take them to a game of AFL. It is so foreign and exciting for them, but it is also an integral part of Melbourne’s culture and historically has so many sociological overlays to share with them. I also always enjoy taking people to some of Melbourne’s great bars and restaurants, and a drive to the Yarra Valley is always on the list.

What are you currently reading?
I always have several books on the go. Now it is Olga Tokarczuk’s The Books of Jacob, Will Brooker’s Why Bowie Matters and the 4th book in Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano series. I also always have a copy of The Monthly around.

What are you currently listening to?
Mainly four radio stations: Melbourne’s 3RRR and 3PBS and the US stations KEXP and WFMU. I also have Nick Cave’s song Bring It On, which features Chris Bailey duetting, on high rotation when I go for a walk.

Happiness is?
Sharing a meal with friends and laughing while annoying my wonderful wife, Merideth.

What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully more of the same. I lead a pretty blessed life.

Vincent has just been recently announced as the new Director of Linden New Art in St Kilda. For more information, visit: www.lindenarts.org for details.

Image: Vincent Alessi – photo by Liam James