Venice through the Eyes of an Artist, a Collector, and a Curator
It’s hard to fathom what it’s like to visit the Venice Biennale until you experience it firsthand. Art is ubiquitous, from the two main venues—the Giardini and the Arsenale—to ornate palazzos and churches across the city. And particularly during the opening week, the art-world crowd is ubiquitous, too.
For artists, art professionals, and collectors, the Venice Biennale is an opportunity to scope out the current state of contemporary art on a global scale, to catch up with peers and colleagues, and to celebrate the exhibiting artists.
As the 58th Venice Biennale opened its doors last week, we asked attendees to capture the sprawling, international event through their own perspectives. We gave Polaroid cameras to an artist, a curator, and a collector—
New York–based artist
During her first visit to the Biennale, Chloe Wise made the rounds at the Giardini and the Arsenale. Some of her favorite pieces in the central exhibition were by Korakrit Arunanandchai, Nabuqi, and Henry Taylor. And at the Giardini, she took snaps at the Nordic pavilion, the Serbian pavilion, and the American pavilion. She also caught up with friends and peers, like fellow artists Ed Fornieles and Alex Da Corte, as well as art advisor Dan Oglander and curator Michael Bank Christoffersen.
Oh, that’s me (yes, my aura is sepia) proudly serving up lunch and looks. Here we have a buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomato, puntarelle, and micro spinach salad with the cutest snap peas and a lemon vinaigrette. I know what you’re thinking: “Chloe, you literally haven’t had time to respond to one email, or shower really, and there’s a bajillion pavilions, how did you have time to find a farmer’s market in Venice and make such a beautiful lunch for your loved ones?” Well, I just did. Get over it.
Oh, that’s nice.
multimedia installation work is always outstanding and stresses me out in a good way. Do you guys think we should briefly date by the way? I think it would be a look. Maybe a Swiss moment for Art Basel. Let’s workshop this.
A scenic moment to consider.
vibrant hues and painterly textures are by no means aptly represented in this photo, but that’s not my fault. It really isn’t. And even if it was, can we just focus on what a beautiful painting this is?
A sculptural installation featuring natural elements with industrial materials in the Nordic pavilion.
“Venetian Vere” or “the Verechant of Venice.” Note: Not only will I take credit for art direction and photography of this beautiful and possibly iconic image, I also will assert, humbly, that I did Vere’s eyebrows on this day.
Me and Michael Bank Christoffersen! Get ready for us! Coming to a Danish contemporary art museum near you! (Well, probably not that near to you, unless you live in the Danish countryside, but in any case, here we are.)
Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; co-founder of ARTNOIR
Larry Ossei-Mensah took us into a day of seeing art, peers, and artists at the Arsenale and Giardini. In the morning, he attended the inauguration of Ghana’s first-ever national pavilion. There, he caught up with artists including Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, John Akomfrah, Ibrahim Mahama, and Arthur Jafa. After, he ventured through the two venues of curator Ralph Rugoff’s “May You Live in Interesting Times.” He was drawn to works by Kahlil Joseph, Michael Armitage, Henry Taylor, Martine Gutierrez, and Soham Gupta. The day wound down at the American pavilion, with the sculptures of Martin Puryear.
A view from walking to the Arsenale in the morning.
Photographs by Felicia Abban, whose career spans almost 50 years and who is considered Ghana’s first female professional photographer.
Jon Gray of Ghetto Gastro and artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye celebrating and catching up.
Detail of a painting by
A photograph by
Collector and founder of Times Square Space
In addition to attending celebrations of artists showing in the Biennale, Tiffany Zabludowicz takes us through the main exhibition venues and beyond. In the central exhibition, her highlights included Alex Da Corte’s video Rubber Pencil Devil (2018) and installations by Liu Wei and Korakrit Arunanondchai. She also loved Naiza Khan’s Pakistani pavilion, Anna K.E.’s Georgian pavilion, and the Golden Lion–winning Lithuanian pavilion, featuring an indoor beach opera.
Good morning, Venice! A dreamy view to wake up to.
The view from lunch!
First, the Arsenale! So many friends with incredible installations at the exhibition! Mind blown by Korakrit Arunanondchai’s installation, a world of stories and spirits.
Alex Da Corte’s video is an epic compilation of 57 short videos, each one wittier and more wonderful than the last! And this one had the Statue of Liberty peeping through the window of our house made by
Lovely Zabludowicz Collection Invites artist, Jake Elwes!