For the first time in the history of the Italian Pavilion at the Tese delle Vergini in the Arsenale di Venezia, one sole artist will present his artwork to represent Italy.
Valentino Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli, pictured below in his signature all-black with a touch of the Maison's infamous red, and Chief Executive Officer Jacopo Venturini, stand to support the work of curator Eugenio Viola and the artist Gian Maria Tosatti for the Italian Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.
Piccioli has been overseeing the creative direction at Valentino since 2008, at first jointly with his long-time creative partner Maria Grazia Chiuri. When Chiuri moved to Dior in 2016, Piccioli took over the Maison as Valentino's Creative Director. Since then, he's been an unstoppable force at merging fashion with the other arts -- be it films, through his 2019 collaboration with Luca Guadagnino which premiered in Cannes, or books, when alongside social media reading community Belletrist soon "Valentino will send 100 celebrities, influencers and journalists a limited-edition hot pink Valentino box with three drawers lined in the label’s trademark and, each containing a book that hasn’t yet hit stores," as the NY Times reported earlier today.
That the Maison Valentino would become patrons of the arts, and more specifically figurative art, was only a matter of time. These days, fashion houses and their foundations are the most solid art benefactors, in the same way the Medici family were patrons to Michelangelo, Botticelli and countless other artists of the Renaissance.
In their press release it says: "Maison Valentino continues its commitment to promote and sustain culture with projects that aim to a cultural comeback and reciprocity. Le Gaggiandre of the Arsenale, next to the Tese delle Vergini, which hosts the Italian Pavilion, is the location where Pierpaolo Piccioli presented his Couture Show in July 2021, Valentino Des Ateliers. A project entirely conceived as a dialogue with contemporary art and young artists. On that occasion, Valentino sponsored the 49th International Theatre Festival -- La Biennale Teatro 2021."
So yes, let's add theatre to the many artistic ventures backed by Valentino under Piccioli's direction.
"The Creative Director, once again, wants to pay a homage to the city of Venice and to its cultural panorama. The city that for him genuinely and spontaneously generates vibrations on art, theatre, music, architecture, cinema, and everything that has to do with creativity. For Pierpaolo Piccioli, Venice is the natural perceptive scenario for a conversation between art and fashion where a creative mind can envision its creations," the release continues. It is undeniable that Venice is a city that inspires, captures one's heart and never leaves it.
And the many celebrities dressed in Valentino who stepped off the water taxis in Venice are proof of the intrinsic elegance of 'la Serenissima' ("the most serene")-- as Venice is known to insiders.
Artist Tosatti and Piccioli enter in a dialogue of inspirations that derives from a shared curiosity and values: a common quest of building a multi vocal community as well as an ongoing search for ever-changing, unexpected expressions of artistic sensibility and creativity, in every shape and forms. They possess a mutual awareness of what it means to be the human and our roles as such in modern day society, within our contemporary environment. The pavilion's curator Eugenio Viola proposes a project that acts as a powerful statement on contemporaneity, giving a daring interpretation of present times.
Tosatti's art is configured as an intermediate that contains and blends a plurality of languages, going from literary references to the visual arts, from theater to music and performance, all with the intent of creating new awareness, in a place that seems poised between dreams and errors.
'History of the Night and Destiny of the Comets' is imagined as a large environmental installation, offering a striking vision of the current state of humanity and its prospects, with a proactive and optimistic perspective.
The Italian Pavilion is now open to public, until Sunday, the 27th November 2022.
All images courtesy of Valentino Spa