Jori Finkel is the L.A. correspondent for The Art Newspaper and a regular contributor to The New York Times. Previously, she was the staff art reporter at the Los Angeles Times. Before moderating a panel on whether art makes us better people, she talked about her greatest takeaway from working as a bartender at art gallery openings in New York and her son’s obsession with Frozen in the Zócalo green room.
What word or phrase do you use most often?
What did you learn from tending bar at art gallery openings?
That artists can be crazy. I was a bartender in the early 1990s at a bunch of Mary Boone [Gallery] openings when I worked for the Columbia Bartending Agency as a student. And it was the ’80s, it was Mary Boone, it was Julian Schnabel, and champagne glasses were used—I mean hundreds of champagne glasses were used—to make sculptures by the end of the night.
Which superpower would you most like to have?
Not needing sleep.
What food won’t you eat?
What’s the last live performance you attended?
The L.A. Phil.
Whom do you go to for advice?
What music have you listened to today?
“Let It Go,” the theme song from Frozen, because my son plays it and sings it excessively.
What’s the best thing about being an ex-L.A. Times reporter?
Not having to write Mike Kelley’s obituary in five hours.
What’s the first animal you visit at the zoo?
What teacher or professor, if any, changed your life?
Mrs. Cary, my seventh and eighth grade literature teacher, who started a newspaper at Oak Grove Junior High School so that I could be the editor.