ART Venice Biennale Louis Vuitton: sights to be hold

The Venice Biennale has always been one of the most exciting international cultural events. For this year’s 59th edition, Louis Vuitton hosted a range of special tours, exhibitions and more. Stylist and influencer Declan Chan was on the ground and shares his experience

Louis Vuitton restauro Ca’ D’oro. Photo: handout

Transported by a Louis Vuitton-branded water taxi from the Venice airport, we began our Venice Biennale journey at the iconic Hotel Danieli, located at the heart of Venice, right next to Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square).

Just outside the hotel, I spotted one of the eight traditional Venetian newspaper kiosks refurbished by Louis Vuitton. It was fashioned into a pop-up bookstand selling the entire Travel Books series, including the City Guides and Fashion Eye collection. This stand infused the neighbourhood with exuberant colour and energy.

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The first stop of the art tour was Espace Louis Vuitton, a cultural and exhibition space on the top floor of the brand’s Venice flagship store. Inside was a site-specific exhibition by German artist, Katharina Grosse, titled Apollo, Apollo.

The large-scale installation was made of metal mesh and printed in a vivid spectrum of colours featuring the artist’s hands, a chair and a pair of shoes extruding from the mesh surface. Apollo, Apollo’s draped form and saturated hues created a dreamlike landscape reminiscent of Venice’s canals and reflecting light.

Katharina Grose, Apollo, Louis Vuitton, Venice. Photo: handout

The tour of Espace Louis Vuitton was followed by a lavish lunch in honour of Grosse at Palazzo Ducale, an iconic building in St. Mark’s Square that is not usually open to the public. The panoramic view of Venice from the building’s lookout was absolutely breathtaking.

After lunch, we had the privilege of joining a press preview of the Venice Biennale. We managed to squeeze in three hours to tour the Arsenale. But what seemed like an ample amount of time was barely enough to see a quarter of what was on display. There were dozens of gigantic pavilions hosting thousands of contemporary artworks, categorised by country and territory.

Refurbished newspaper kiosks. Photo: handout

On the second day of our journey, we visited the museum Ca’ D’oro – a historic late Gothic palazzo – which Louis Vuitton is helping to renovate and restore through its support of the Venetian Heritage Foundation. It is the brand’s passion to preserve architectural heritage.

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Apart from the palazzo, the Maison also renewed its partnership with Muve (Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia), a foundation that manages the cultural programming and protection of heritage throughout Venice.

A series of paintings by French artist, Émile Bernard, will be restored and exhibited at Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia beginning in December 2022.

The trip came to a finale with a gala dinner at Ca’ D’oro, hosted by the brand and attended by actress, Isabelle Hupert, and brand ambassador, Deepika Padukone, among others.

It is the pursuit of excellence in every field that sets a luxury brand apart. We will definitely see more and more luxury brands participating in Venice Biennale, and Louis Vuitton has set an admirable template for the other houses to follow.

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