Malcolm Harris: “Curator of Cool”
Personality of the month
Interview by Karen Ocampo, translation by Jade Arroyo, Photos courtesy of Malcolm Harris-Perez
Malcolm Harris-Perez is a New York-based creative consultant, cultural icon, and art lover. He is a brand ambassador and “curator of cool” for The Huffington Post.
Malcolm’s first passion was fashion; that’s where his background is. He is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and possesses a master’s degree in English literature from New York University as well. Moreover, he’s curated exhibitions worldwide and advised on art collections for galleries, museums, and cultural fairs. He also advises an extensive roster of private collectors.
Malcolm is the founder of the The Muse Creative Gallery and Foundation, located in New York City’s Soho district. This private gallery is dedicated to building and maintaining a framework ensuring the equal placement, valuation, and appreciation of art created by emerging and mid-career artists. Mr. Harris’ area of expertise is spotting and promoting emerging artists with outstanding potential, many of whom have gained international recognition and have been placed in prominent museums and influential private collections.
He’s been featured as a cultural influencer and tastemaker in The New York Times, Vogue, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and many other global publications.
Besides having a glamorous life and celebrity liaisons, Malcolm is a man who is authentic. When meeting him, you feel instantly charmed and taken by his sense of humor, wit, and interesting conversation.
His states that his primary purpose is to live his life as a vehicle for social change. His innate passion for art, fashion, and entrepreneurship, along with his extensive and diverse social network, are all means to support one simple aspiration “to make the world a more beautiful and better place for all of her inhabitants.” A palpable manifestation of this is the organization “Designers for Darfur,” which he co-founded. By combining his passion for creativity and philanthropy, Malcolm has garnered a long list of celebrity, political, and royal supporters, including Academy Award winners George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, and Angelina Jolie; actress/singer Jennifer Lopez; social activists Queen Rania of Jordan, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned of Qatar, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu; as well as superstars Bono and Madonna. In San Miguel, he often stands out in the crowd while walking down the streets with his also super-fashionable husband, Tyson. Sometimes, it causes people and friends to wonder, why are they here, of all places? In New York City, he’s quite a popular character.
“That’s why I came to Mexico. I’m not famous; I’m popular: there is a difference. When you are popular, you are more accessible to people … and there is no mechanism to turn popular off. My mother’s passing was the first time ever I was able to look at that for what it really is. If you are popular, there’s no room for grief. There’s no sort of thing set up to help you to deal with that because people just want you to be on. They don’t want you to be sad. They don’t want you to see that you are not in control of everything. So I came to a place no one knows me: San Miguel.
“For some reason artists will always gravitate towards me. I don’t have to look. It’s my blessing in life. They always find me and I always find them. And that’s why I’m at my happiest place, where people are always creating things. My joy is to be in the space of an artist, especially when there’s something they want to say, and to be able to facilitate that conversation is the most important thing to me. It is to be able to tell … tell the story.
I don’t know how long I will stay here … . I will stay as long as I am happy. Each day is an adventure to see magic and meet great people”.
The lesson is on realness; being able to go forward and push your own boundaries. By being true to yourself, magic will happen.
Malcolm is currently working on communication projects to show the real Mexico experience, traveling and experiencing new things and ancient culture—that’s a little scoop until the project is ripe.
To follow Malcolm’s writing, visit www.huffingtonpost.com/malcolm-harris.