Venice Art Biennale
with Venice Art Biennale
Over the past month, the art world’s attention has been focused on the Venice Biennale, one of the most notable international shows on the planet. Many artists who are not in the invitation-only exhibition come to Venice to share their work in unaffiliated gallery shows and take advantage of the Biennale-boosted foot traffic. One such artist chose a more unorthodox setup for his Venice sideshow. Banksy (previously) joined the hordes of street vendors selling paintings to pedestrian tourists with a salon-style setup that merged several paintings together. Titled “Venice in Oil,” the multi-panel work depicts a gas-guzzling cruise ship towering over the ancient city as gondoliers in traditional dress row by.
Last week, many media outlets speculated that a stenciled artwork on a canal wall, depicting a migrant child holding up an S.O.S. flare was created by Banksy. But the British artist verifies his own work by sharing it on Instagram and his website, where the piece has yet to appear. The video below offers an on-the-ground view of the artist’s guerrilla street stall.
Update: The morning of May 24, 2019, Banksy claimed the rumored migrant child stencil in addition to his streetside setup.
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In 2017, one of the most talked-about works seen during the Venice Biennale was Lorenzo Quinn’s Support, which was not an official part of the iconic art fair. The sculptural installation of hands emerged from Venice’s waterways and appeared to hold up an old building. His follow-up piece to Support, which has been installed with backing from London-based Halcyon Gallery, is again not officially associated with the Biennale. Constructed with white resin, Building Bridges features six sets of reaching arms with hands clasped over a waterway, meant to represent people and cultures coming together over differences.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Quinn explained, “Humanity has never grown by creating barriers. It always grows when it opens up its borders and it welcomes new cultures. Venice is a testament to that… It has been a driving force of European growth always.” The location of the towering white appendages at a former shipyard provided viewers with multiple vantage points, and at night Building Bridges was illuminated from below. A photo gallery on Quinn’s website shows the artist at work on his large-scale sculptures, and you can follow along with his new projects on Instagram.
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Installation Artist Chiharu Shiota Casts a Tangled Web of Thread and Keys at This Year’s Venice Art Biennale
The 2015 Venice Art Biennale is home to Chiharu Shiota‘s ‘The Key in the Hand,’ an elaborate entanglement of red wool and keys that dangle above two ancient looking boats. Living within the biennale’s Japan pavilion, the installation nearly blocks out the ceiling with its mass of crossing strings, and includes a collection of more than 50,000 keys.
The piece points towards memory through its composition of materials as the keys were collected from thousands of people around the world. Each key holds memories of the individual through their previous daily use, and now hangs amongst the many other memory-tied talismans above the heads of passing visitors. “Keys are familiar and very valuable things that protect important people and spaces in our lives,” said Shiota. “They also inspire us to open the door to unknown worlds… I would like to use keys provided by the general public that are imbued with various recollections and memories that have accumulated over a long period of daily use.”
The Japanese performance and installation artist often employs the use of everyday objects like beds, windows, and shoes within her work to explore the relationship between living and dying and to access memories found within these objects. Often Shiota’s installations fill an entire room, yet hold a delicate and poetic composition. Recent solo exhibitions include “Follow the Line” at the Japan Foundation in Cologne, Germany, “Chiharu Shiota: Works on Paper” at Hadrien de Montferrand Gallery in Beijing, China, and “Seven Dresses” at Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken in Saarbrücken. Shiota was born in 1972 in Osaka, and has been living and working in Berlin for the past two decades. (via designboom)
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Editor's Picks: Photography
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.