Nothing like Art has the ability to stimulate the exchange of ideas thus enriching our knowledge. The first edition of the ‘art3f – Salon International d’Art Contemporain’ (art3f – International Exhibition of Contemporary Art) welcomed the Monegasque general public from the 21st until the 23rd August 2020 at the well-known Chapiteau de Fontvieille, transformed for the occasion into a large comfortable artistic hub, in complete health safety.
With about two hundred international artists and art galleries as well as over three thousand art works on display and for sale, this kermesse represents undoubtedly the most relevant art event in Monaco after Covid-19 lockdown. Despite its first time in the Principality, art3f is the result of nine-year experience and about fifteen art exhibits around Europe grounded on a cross-border freedom of artistic expression. Revolutionizing the idea of traditional art shows, the ‘Salon International d’Art Contemporain’ aims at giving more emphasis to the utmost human creativeness. Experienced and junior painters, sculptors, photographers and ceramists agreed to meet up in Monaco to share with visitors and supporters their distinctive artistic production to be admired or to be purchased at reasonable prices.
Art has therefore become a living body made up with living artists. These are the basic ideas of the organizers that have attracted a relevant number of art experts, lovers or just newcomers who have crowded the art show since its opening on Friday afternoon.
But what inspired the creation of such an event? HelloMonaco asked Serge Beninca (S.B.), founder and art director of art3f.
HelloMonaco: Mr. Beninca, this international exhibit follows a particularly hard period when we were forced to stay in lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic, what does it mean for you to be here?
S.B.: This opening ceremony has come as a great relief for me and now I have hopes for the future. Last February, we had to interrupt our scheduling immediately. We are delighted then to inaugurate today a new ‘era’ as the first major art event in Monaco and in Europe, after the global pandemic. I am full of joy and I am glad to share this feeling with all participants and co-workers since I consider them as part of one great family. This Salon is also the occasion to test new sanitary measures that are working well. It wasn’t easy to gather so many people coming from different geographical areas where there are still movement restrictions but we succeeded, in the end.
HelloMonaco: What makes Monaco the perfect location where to start a new partnership?
S.B.: We aim at establishing a long-lasting contact with the Principality as a strategic spot to maintain relations with the South-Eastern part of France and with Italy. Monaco is really the best place where to exchange positive vibes, doing networking and businesses with amateurs and art collectors, main goal of our project. We experienced ourselves the excellent reception by Chapiteau, Monaco’s Government and Media. So, we are already looking for planning the 2021 edition in June, or maybe in August, who knows?
But what about the artistic side? HelloMonaco collected some fine points of views from relevant protagonists.
Elvira Byrnes, Australian artist with Russian descents, deals with flowers with a skilled impressionist style and a realist touch full of vibrant acrylic and oil colours, influenced by European and Oriental long tradition. “I have always been fond of Nature that I consider a source of life and my idea is to convey positive vibrations expressing joy, love, peace and compassion”, she pointed out being delighted to be in Monaco for the first time. A balanced use of colours and shadows enhanced by metallic reflections characterises Marek Boguszak’s fine art photography where the lines of a true natural landscape are transformed into unprecedented perspectives drawn up by this Czech abstract artist.
‘BLAH BLAH BLAH Multi’ by Joseph (nickname for Thierry Michelet) is particularly evocative in modern times in which everyone speaks nonstop. “This artist who lives and works in the French Riviera, decided to focus on the text creating a true icon of contemporary art”, underlined Boris Sommier, art advisor at Bel Air Fine Art Gallery, headquartered in Cannes and soon in Monaco. Starting from a spatial dimension, the use of colours expresses inner feelings and free interpretation in the oil paintings by the artist Mylène Badessi from Capbreton (France). A unique three-dimensional acrylic painting technique marked the art production by Eka Peradze, Georgian artist, who reinterprets the idea of Freedom through a series of human-shaped miniatures coming out of the frame.
Olga Malinovskaya, Monegasque artist, ballerina, fashion designer and model, proposes an intriguing art collection named ‘Naked Soul’ inspired by classical ballet figures. “I am very proud to attend such an event in my own Country” – she outlined – “in each painting there is a direct reference to the state of the inner soul through a specific choice of colours and the bright reflections made of gold leaves”. Elegant lady’s silhouette in their stylish garments are the result of the complex process technique by Christine Lavoute from Volvic (France). The terracotta is glazed in an exquisite manner combining the Japanese raku method to a creative and detailed sculpturing. “Each piece is unique and it requires more cooking phases at high temperatures to obtain a biscuit-porcelain effect”, highlighted the artist.
“Un Rhino à Deauville” (A rhinoceros in Deauville – Normandy) is the curious title of an attractive photographic composition by the Belgian artist Xavier Wttrwulghe. “During my travels, I am always looking for unusual places to photograph and to match with subjects of the animal world” – explained the artist – “In this limited-edition production, the idea arose by chance when soon after my visit to Deauville I had the opportunity to have a close encounter with this marvellous African rhino”. A very special photographic tribute to Princess Charlene and the Sovereign Prince was presented by Matteo Brambilla, Italian fine photography artist within Queen Art Studio Gallery from Padua (North Italy), chaired by Maria Grazia Todaro. “I have been focusing on graphic art for a long time reproducing many celebrities”, stated the artist – “I am particularly attached to Monaco where I usually spend much time. So, I thought to make this homage to the Princely Family whom I would like to donate, as I hope”.
Monaco’s first edition of the ‘art3f’ offered without a doubt a kaleidoscope of art techniques and inspirations that will last as a nice souvenir of this “unusual” year.