Bourgeau, Jef

Artist and founder of Detroit’s Museum of New Art, Jef Bourgeau, talks about living and working in a city outside the main art centers, and succeeding with a DIY framework.

“Try to work with the art world, but not too closely, because it can overwhelm you. Try to keep your own independence; they’ll respect you more.”

Jef Bourgeau is the founding director of the Museum of New Art (MONA), of Detroit’s artCORE (empty storefronts to galleries), and co-founder of the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography. Bourgeau is also a practicing artist notorious for his sculptures, photography and curatorial work that often draw upon current controversies and the willfully provocative. Bourgeau’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world including Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago, Institute of Contemporary Arts in Boston, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Galerie Eva Bracke in Berlin, and Malt Cross Gallery in the UK, amongst many others.