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Exploring Life & Business with Christine Galvez of Metalight New York

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Galvez. 

Hi Christine, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Born and raised in France, I had a 10-year career in investment banking. In 2011, life made me move to the United States and allowed me to embark on a new career. I became a metallurgical artist/artisan… A hobby that has become a profession. Indeed, as a little girl, my fondest memory was the sound and sight of my father’s metal sparks in his workshop. These sparks inspired me to try my hand at metalwork and years later to join the Art Students League in NY where I have created a personal universe filled with light and art. 

The public recognition and appreciation for my work has strengthened my resolve to create inspired artistic work, but also to craft more functional pieces. My expanded body of work reaches from the naturalist world of sculpture and art into the world of design and function. In the artisan tradition, my work covers three principle areas: sculpture, luminary, and furniture. I created the METALIGHT NEW YORK label as a vehicle to showcase my complete work and make it more accessible. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I encountered challenges and that is something I am grateful for as it helped my motivation to grow. I faced many challenges when starting Metalight New York, including leaving a safe and comfortable job that I had studied and gained experience for. Indeed, the decision to leave a nice job was not easy to assume. Moreover, embarking on a new way of life where only you and the appreciation of customers count for the sustainability of the activity, this decision was not easy, but I have no regrets so far. 

The pandemic was another obstacle and not the least, which eventually turned into one of the greatest opportunities. Having no place of work following the closure due to COVID, my move to a new space was more than necessary. 

It seemed like an overwhelming task to move all my tools and materials under these circumstances. A doubt even invades me: Should I continue? 

I moved into a big, shared studio full of creators. I’ll never forget how warm and kind the welcome from the entire maker community was. I really met a real team and that’s what allowed me to focus and create again. This move was a total success and an extraordinary opportunity that accelerated everything in my business. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
My motto that drives my work is: “No art without life, no life without art”. A creation can therefore be functional and beautiful. In other words, the label that suits me the most is functional art. 

My creations, therefore, combine art, design, and functionality, using steel and as often as possible scrap objects for the sake of ecology and recycling. 

I love metal in all its aspects: shiny, rusty, or raw. 

I forge and weld this material in order to tame it because it is often considered cold and unfriendly. My goal is to make it warm and seductive. In order to reach this objective, I create subtle shadows, unexpected plays of light, everyday objects, or furniture that enchant us on a daily basis. 

The decoration becomes poetic, resplendent, or makes you dream. 

I like to define myself as an artist/craftsman because I do not only create unique pieces, but I am also able to listen the wishes of my customers and integrate them into my universe. I can customize any lamp, furniture, objects. 

We discuss the dimensions, the location, what they like or dislike, their needs, and I offer them a project. Their piece is therefore unique and personal. 

This freedom in terms of creation and realization, carrying out the project myself from A to z, gives me great flexibility in my work and allows me to create the perfect piece that will sublimate their interior. 

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
I must thank my clients who appreciated the subtlety of my work from the start and who even became collectors for some overtime. I have the chance to see them follow my new creations. I am always very touched and moved to meet them during my exhibitions, meetings for a personal project, or during deliveries and installations. They let me enter into their intimacy through the decoration and I am very honored. Their support is certainly the most gratifying and encouraging. Metalight New York would be nothing without them but also without my father, to whom I owe everything. He gave me this passion for metal and gave me my first skills. Besides, I have the chance to work every day in a very pleasant studio, surrounded by very warm people whose smile comforts you every time you meet them. I am very grateful for that. 

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