With Chic Icon being the official media partner of the Monaco Art Week which takes place on July 13-18th, we had the opportunity to have a conversation with some key personalities from this year’s Art Event.
Located on the Northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the Principality of Monaco has established itself in the art scene. Monaco Art Week has been a staple in the art industry, representing the unique style and culture of local art and various artists around the globe. With the recent dissipation of the COVID- 19 pandemic, there has been a longing for in-person activities and specifically art viewing.
Art Week in Monaco first came to fruition in 2018 with the goal of bringing the culture, galleries, and institutions together to experience art alongside the breathtaking coast. The art displayed in this year’s show range from modern to classic to contemporary, featuring some of the world’s finest artists. The event will incorporate various forms of art stemming from film, sculpture, and photography. This is an art lover’s dream to experience first-hand the beautiful art in an illustrious country.
The event differs from others as it is not held in one specific section, exhibits and galleries can be found scattered around the Principality of Monaco, able to be seen through a specific route to maximize the art-viewing experience. You can make a stop in the Monte-Carlo district to see paintings and sculptures from the Italian artist Sergio Fermariello and also go down the street to see Louise Bourgeois’ mind-bending spider sculpture.
To help better understand the process and the ins and outs of Monaco Art Week, with Chic Icon being the official media partner of the event, we had the opportunity to sit down with Louise Gréther, the President of Monaco Art Week & the Director of Artcurial Monaco, and Caroline Davaripour Jelmoni, the Secretary of Monaco Art Week, to further highlight this year’s subject. Both being highly experienced individuals in the art world, they offer us an in-depth take on what Art Week means for Monaco and what to expect in this year’s event.
How did you get into the Monaco art scene?
Louise Gréther: I arrived to Monaco over ten years ago from Paris via London, and I opened the Artcurial Monaco office in July 2015. I was lucky to meet Maître François Tajan when I first arrived, who spoke to me about his intention to open a permanent office in Monaco. Artcurial had just finished the sale of the entire contents of the Hotel de Paris and had, of course, already established a good name and reputation for themselves in Monaco, having conducted their summer luxury sales in the Hotel Hermitage since 2004. Artcurial is a very dynamic and entrepreneurial auction house, and the Monaco office has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. This summer, we are introducing our biggest auction to date with the addition of Monaco Sculptures and Artcurial Motorcars to our traditional luxury sales (fine jewelry and important watches) in the Hotel Hermitage starting from July 19th.
Caroline Davaripour Jelmoni: I have always been surrounded by art and have immersed myself in this environment by working with my brother Kamil, an interior designer, passionate collector art patron. Since the opening of his first office in Cannes, we have developed a gallery activity in order to support the artists who are close to our hearts. We naturally pursued this activity by moving to Monaco in 1984.
How would you describe the overall vision and mission of Monaco Art Week? How did you get involved in the Monaco Art Week association?
Louise & Caroline: The Monaco Art Week Association was created on the initiative of Laura de Jonckheere and Fabrizio Moretti under the impulse of the arrival of the Artmonte-carlo fair, and we both joined the association right from the start, convinced of its importance for the Principality. The aim was to give visibility to Monegasque initiatives at a key moment in the calendar when great cultural events coincide.
After a difficult year, it seemed important to us to perpetuate this project, to support artists, and to show that galleries and auction houses are active and present in the Principality.
How would you classify this year’s edition?
How is this year’s Monaco Art Week differ from the last one?
Louise & Caroline: This edition was complicated to set up, like all current events in the current environment. We still had a lot of uncertainties this spring, but when Artmonte-carlo confirmed its edition, it seemed important to us to be by their side.
This is an edition we are proud of as we now have the patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, which is extremely important to us.
Despite the fact we have been faced with extremely tight deadlines, we were supported by the dynamism and will of all our members, as well as by the incorporation of new participants who are major figures of the Principality. Historic galleries, such as the Adriano Ribolzi gallery, and new arrivals, such as Hauser & Wirth, have just inaugurated a magnificent space in One Monte Carlo. We also have the chance to count on the collaboration of very active curators, such as Magdalena Gabriel, Future Contemporaries Committee Member of Serpentine Galleries, and Director of Gabriel Fine Art, who participates in an exhibition of Sonia Falcone & Pierre Bonnefille.
How do larger events such as Art Weeks differ from specific showcases and galleries?
Caroline: We are now seeing Art Weeks in many cities. They offer a format that is different from a living room while offering a dynamic that comes close to it. This collective meeting offers new synergies and makes it possible to solicit an ever-increasing public. Visitors are offered a route through the Principality, in various spaces, which some might never have visited. In the case of Monaco Art Week, we cover different periods, from Renaissance to contemporary art and different types of mediums (painting, photography, sculpture, installations). We are also fortunate to have the Artcurial ‘Monaco Sculpture’ program that punctuates the route of works installed in the gardens and prestigious palaces of the Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) and offers pieces that may no longer be seen in a public space.
With everything being digital these days, how important is it to be physically present for the art show?
Caroline: We belong to the ‘old school.’ Even though we have also exposed ourselves to social networks, physical encounters are at the heart of our work. Whether they’re with the artists we present, with whom we spend a lot of time, or with our clients, who come to the gallery or whose house we know. It is therefore important for us to continue to present physical exhibitions that create an irreplaceable meeting space.
Louise: Auction houses have seen an increase in online sales this past year, but the basis of our work is direct human contact. Indeed, we support people in the sale of their precious objects, often at complicated times in their lives. It is important for us to keep a physical, visible, and palpable dimension, also through the works that we put on sale. “Monaco Sculpture” is a project of our late François Tajan. Thanks to the SBM with whom we are proud to collaborate, we are able to offer the public, throughout an exclusive period, sculptures intended for private sales. These are presented in a remarkable context in the gardens and prestigious establishments of the SBM.
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