About Michael Dooney
Since founding Jarvis Dooney gallery in 2013 I have presented the work of over 250 artists, participated in major art fairs (Photo London, LOOP Barcelona), enabled international debut exhibitions in photography biennials (EMOP Berlin) and continue to be invited back to review portfolios in significant photography festivals (Les Rencontres d'Arles - where I'll be again this year).
Artistic expression has been front and centre my entire life, but it wasn’t until later I realised my strength was in supporting the talent of other artists more so than my own creative output.
In hindsight this began in my early 20’s whilst playing in a band. Though I loved writing and performing, I was equally passionate about discovering other bands, booking gigs and connecting interesting people. This prompted me to study cultural management to better understand the business side of the industry.
When my girlfriend (now wife) introduced me to photography, I put down my guitar and picked up a camera, embracing black & white and developing my own film; shooting live performances and portraits of the bands I knew.
My first solo exhibition took place during FotoFreo festival 2008 shortly before I relocated from Perth, Australia to Wismar, Germany to complete my Masters. Following six months in Hamburg I eventually found myself in Berlin amongst its thriving creative community, immersing myself in the artist run spaces, galleries, and club scene.
Embracing the creative energy that Berlin inspires, I decided to open my own gallery, introducing work from artists I knew in Australia by providing a platform for them in Europe. Securing a location on Linienstr. in Berlin-Mitte, Galerie Pavlova - a nod to our antipodian herritage - was opened in 2013 with work from leading Australian artist Polixeni Papapetrou. (a few years later we re-branded as Jarvis Dooney)
The gallery facilitated insightful conversations between artists, curators, collectors and the opening night crowd. I wanted more people to benefit from these meaningful exchanges, so launched an art world podcast Subtext & Discourse where I interview major figures in the contemporary art world. Demystifying the industry through the podcast also contributed to my involvement in education.
Recognising that most artists share the same reservations about the art world, and having answered many of the same questions over the years, I developed a course which addressed their ongoing concerns. I started teaching in 2017 through the bbk Berlin and the Neue Schule für Fotografie, summarising my experience and knowledge into a two day workshop. I also started delivering 1:1 coaching sessions due to demand from students wanting individual support.
Establishing an online platform for photographers and artists working with photography to understand the art world and related market is the next logical step to enable more people to connect and reach their creative potential.