Collecting Art The Smart Way – Venice Biennale

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The Venice Biennale is THE rendezvous of all true art collectors. I was lucky to be one of them for its grand opening last week. The Biennale is a major art event across the entire Venice with a series of official displays to all the galleries coming in to curate the most extraordinary shows in a series of Palazzos. When the Venice Biennale was founded in 1895, one of its main goals was to establish a new market for contemporary art.
 
The thematic title for the curated group show in the Arsenale, ‘Viva Arte Viva’ is a celebration, going against our pessimistic times, of the role of artists and their working processes. With a total of 120 artists in the show, as ever with the Biennale, there is too much to see and not enough time so amongst high waters, delicious Italian food and most romantic canals, below are my highlights: 
 
1. Jesse Jones – Irish Pavilion in the Arsenal. The piece takes its title from the 1970s Italian wages housework movement, which women chanted ‘Tremate, tremate, le streghe sono tornate! (Tremble, tremble, the witches have returned). The full installation is immersive – from the song we hear to the video showing every inch of a woman’s body to her actual bones standing still in the corner of the room. It’s visceral, moving and feminist.
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2. The Pool NYC – what I love most about the external gallery shows in Venice is the creativity of their curation. Forget the boring white walls that we see everywhere in London or New York and imagine a series of colourful, charged interiors from the 16th century. Add contemporary art, make it surrealist and wow! The Pool NYC Gallery is one the finest examples of this.
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3. Jacob Hashimoto & Emil Lukas – The End of Utopia – Palazzo Flangini. As you get off your tiny boat and step onto the first wooden step of Palazzo Flangini, the first thing that you see is this enormous installation made of tiny circles – each circle being a dark take of the American flag – it’s timely, challenging and real.
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4. Alex Vervoodt Collection at Palazzo Fortuny – I almost missed my flight as every room was pure magic! The artworks range from Basquiat to Ellsworth Kelly and the curation is very on point – this enables you to re-engage afresh with the most famous artists. This year, the curation was about intuition and how it has, in some form, shaped art across geographies, cultures and generations. A must see, even if you miss your flight!
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5. Artist Tehching Hsieh – Taipei Fine Arts Museum of Taiwan Temporary Exhibition. I always feared structure, extremes and contrived routines. I ran away from every form of control and thus seeing the installation of artist Tehching is very moving. ‘One Year Performance 1980-1981 (Time Clock Piece) shows the year the artist spent recording every hour with a worker’s punch clock and camera.
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An advocate for artists since a young age, Marine managed her first gallery at age 21, opened her first art gallery in Los Angeles at age 23 and finally created her current business, MTArt, to promote the artists she believed in across the globe.

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