I became familiar with Rachel Sklar through Jen and the magic that is TheLi.st. Both Jen & 20x200 have benefited in incalculable ways from this generous network of amazing women. It’s a safe and welcoming (dare I say utopian?) community for accomplished women who might spend their days as the only woman in the room. The principle of “paying it forward” is constantly at work, and I’m always stunned that seconds after pushing “send”, these wildly busy women manage to reply with no-strings-attached solutions or introductions whenever a member is in need. The conversations around the issues successful women face have sparked so many thoughtful debates at 20x200 HQ. It’s an idea that works simply because Rachel and co-founder Glynnis MacNicol are unstoppable in their efforts to #changetheratio.
If you happened upon Rachel’s incredible piece about her experience being 41, single, and pregnant, then you also know Rachel is about to become a mom. As an ambitious professional lady, I am so grateful to Rachel for putting it all out there. Her bravery inspires me, and I know because I have double the love for my own single mom that Rachel’s daughter will be inspired too. We’re so excited for this brand new family, and if Rachel’s picks are any indication they’re about to have a lot of fun together. —Carrie & Team 20x200
5 Perfect Picks
1) Carnivora, by Brendan Wenzel
I'm pregnant with my first child so I keep looking at art with an eye to what she'd grow up seeing, and learning from. I love this print because it features all sorts of different animals she can learn to recognize. I like imagining her growing up and asking questions about the animals, and picking a favorite (mine is the hyena in the middle).
2) Baby Camel No. 2, by Sharon Montrose
I already have two Sharon Montrose prints which I love, a baby white tiger and a baby donkey. Obviously she'll want more, so I went with Baby Camel No. 2. But Piglet No. 2 was a close second. But let the record reflect that I bought the tiger and donkey prints well before conception because they are so adorable.
3) West Forty-third Street (Yellow Cabs), by Joseph O. Holmes
This is such a classic NYC photo, and I love how it reminds us that New Yorkers live their lives layer upon layer. I like how this will eventually click for my daughter when she learns about perspective.
4) The Universe and Forever, by Wendy MacNaughton
I know Wendy and love her work—it's simple but so smart, always. I know I've seen this, and am sure the first time I did I imagined it as being for a couple. But now I imagine it being for me and the little bun in my oven.
5) F--- you. Pay me., by Mike Monteiro
I have three Mike Monteiro prints: Let's make better mistakes tomorrow, We are going to make it through this year if it kills us, and Let the bridges I burn light the way. This one seems like a nice, succinct addition to the oeuvre. I've gotta pay for the kid's art somehow.
5 Q's + 5 A's
1) Coveted coffee table book?
My mom and I bought the coffee-table book from the Jewish Museum of American History when we went there together a few years ago, and I love going to my parents' place and thumbing through it. It was a really special afternoon with my mom and the book is a gorgeous rendering of the museum.
2) What's your favorite color?
When I was little I always liked yellow, bright sunshine-y yellow. I never really stopped.
3) You've got $5M to spend on one piece of art. What would it be?
Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi, just to confuse future suitors. (JOKE FUTURE SUITORS THAT IS A JOKE.) I actually saw something I really loved recently for $500—a photo of John Cameron Mitchell taken after a performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, with the stripped-down costume and a huge smile. I loved it. It said something to me about personal transformation through the artistic journey. I've been thinking about it for a while.
4) Do you prefer a single statement piece or a salon wall?
A statement piece demands its own space, but I like a salon wall for smaller pieces that fit a theme, or for personal photos. I used to have a great salon wall of my photos, back in the days before digital cameras, when paying for reprints, doubles, and multiple rolls of film signaled a serious commitment to photography.
5) What's your favorite museum?
I love the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Jewish Museum of American History in Philadelphia, and the Jewish Museum of National Heritage in New York.
The 411 on Rachel Sklar
Rachel Sklar is a writer and social entrepreneur based in New York. She is the co-founder of Change The Ratio, which increases visibility and opportunity for women in tech & new media, and TheLi.st (supported by the Knight Foundation). A former lawyer who writes about media, politics, culture & technology, she was a founding editor at Mediaite and the Huffington Post. She has written things on trees (e.g. New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, National Post, Glamour, Elle) and online (e.g. The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Politico, Mashable) and she speaks widely at conferences, events and on TV. She is also the co-host of “The Salon" on The Jewish Channel (check local listings!). Occasionally, she sings.