The Mexican-American, New York-based advisor Rachel Cole talks about her favorite works from the February selection on Platform.

In their own words

As a young, Mexican-American advisor, I feel very fortunate to be placing mostly also young, underrepresented artist groups—women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+—into phenomenal private and institutional collections. I am particularly infatuated with the new ways of story-telling that these artists tap into, paving the way for an inclusive narrative as told by our generation. Beyond this, I am obsessed with the amalgamation of contemporary narrative with art historical reference—those who know me well know this combination is the key to my heart! I think having an art historical background is so important for understanding contemporary art, and for conversing with artists and curators. With these perspectives, I hope to illuminate and share underheard voices, and to help impart art historical knowledge to the emerging generation of talented young artists and collectors. On a final note, I post a lot of art on my Instagram (@rachelcoleartadvisory)!

Miguel Angel Payano Jr., Nom-nom
Oil on canvas. 13.0 × 14.6 inches. $4000

I love that Miguel’s work engages with his Afro-Caribbean background and transcontinental experience. His ability to combine the conventional still life genre with Surrealistic technique has always made his work stand out to me. In this particular work, I am taken by his anthropomorphization of the peaches as a reference to multilingual experience, and the silhouetted face in the background that perhaps is a nod to Dalí. Browse the work.

Yuri Yuan, Tales of New York City: Thank You, Next
Oil on board, 14.0 × 11.0 inches, $4000

Yuri captures the mundane moments of contemporary urban life, and injects both a sense of familiarity and of alienation by excluding faces and defining characteristics. The spatial juxtaposition is what makes me really fall in love with this work: the intimate social space here is shown through technology, whereas the actual public space of the subway is anti-social and distant. It kind of reminds me of Nighthawks, but with iPhones. Browse the work.

Polina Barskaya, Breakfast in Tenuta Di
Acrylic on canvas. 20.0 × 27.8 inches. $7000

Polina’s artwork shows the intimacy and vulnerability of domestic and maternal scenes. The muted, somber palette mixed with the acidic greens and disorienting structure reminds me of Van Gogh, as it gives the painting an ambiguous, arresting, and slightly distorted nature. I love the realism that shines through this work: the intimate breastfeeding scene, her gaze, the look of exhaustion on her face, and the refusal to idealize herself as the subject. Browse the work.

Michon Sanders, I Told You That the Last Time
Oil on canvas. 30.0 × 40.0 inches. $3500

Michon captures and celebrates the subtle, fleeting, yet familiar moments and - as she describes it - ‘experiences of Blackness.’ I so appreciate the subtle reference to Carrie Mae Weems’ The Kitchen Table Series, especially how she decided to not include women in this scene. I can also feel the palpable tension of these men, conveyed through their impenetrable gazes—as if we are outsiders intruding on an intimate scene. Browse the work.