Contemporary Conversations: Fai Khadra & Sterling Ruby

Join artist Sterling Ruby and guest curator Fai Khadra as they discuss Contemporary Art with Phaidon Commissioning Editor Michele Robecchi and Sotheby's Ashkan Baghestani in honour of Sotheby's Contemporary Curated Auction and Phaidon's 'Contemporary Artists' Series. In Partnership with Intelligence Squared.

Meet the Panel

Fai Khadra

Fai Khadra is a creative director, multi-disciplinary artist, model and collector who was born in Los Angeles and raised between London and Dubai. He has a degree in architecture but bridges his own love for art and design with music and fashion collaborating with fashion houses including, Dior, Alexander Wang, Moncler and Louis Vuitton. Fai is also a musician in his own right.

As guest collaborator for the 2020 edition of Contemporary Curated London, he was keen to communicate his passion for collecting artists such as Ruby (he bought a Sterling Ruby sculpture from Sotheby's) and encouraging a younger art audience to visit museums and open a dialogue with artists.

Sterling Ruby

Sterling Ruby is an American artist who works in a large variety of media including ceramics, painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, video and textiles. In this discussion to mark both Contemporary Curated and the anniversary of the acclaimed Phaidon Contemporary Artists book series, Ruby offers unique insight into his own practice, and the challenges and opportunities of studio life in Los Angeles.

He incorporates subjects such as rebelling against traditional American values when growing up, the associated counter-culture, the recent US election giving the audience a glimpse in to that perennial source of great fascination and intrigue, the lives of artists.

Michele Robecchi

Michele Robecchi is an independent curator and writer based in London. He studied at the Loughborough University School of the Arts and at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts where he obtained a BA in Theatre Design and a MA in Curating. He is commissioning Editor at Phaidon and oversees the Contemporary Artists series. He worked closely alongside the artist to produce Sterling Ruby, a survey of Ruby's work to date, and the pair continue to collaborate across numerous projects.

The Contemporary Artists series celebrated 25 years in 2020, and includes publications on artists such as Cecily Brown, Jonas Wood, Kerry James Marshall and Frank Stella.

Ashkan Baghestani

Ashkan Baghestani is Sotheby’s Director of Contemporary & Middle Eastern Art. He studied Design and Management at Parson's, The New School for Design, USA, earning a BBA Degree in 2009 and later a diploma in Middle Eastern Art from Sotheby's Institute in 2011.

He joined Sotheby's Middle East Department in summer of 2012, focusing on the Contemporary Doha auctions and developing this increasingly important art platform. In 2019 he joined the Contemporary department as head of the Contemporary Curated sale, and Director for Middle Eastern and Contemporary Art.