Re: Florence Biennale 2005
Mr Culver ---
Congratulations on your invitation to participate in the Florence Biennale. Your talent and commitment are recognized by the Comitato Scientifico. You are being offered an opportunity and not an obligation, as your invitation is open-ended, so that if you cannot take part this year, perhaps in later years.
Part of the difficulty in juggling the economics of the situation is being unfamiliar with the ramifications and mechanics of exhibiting work in another part of the world. There is much to learn, many pitfalls to avoid, and an extra large additional effort required to make the most of the show. In addition, comprehending the loosely translated english version of the italian regulations is a real test. There is an artist fee, x dollars. This is the charge your dealer would absorb to place your work in an art fair or expo, and it helps to see it as a reason to seek the support of private and public sponsors.
Although 800 artists in a show is way too many, there are several millions of people on this planet who think of themselves as artists. At Florence, you have the opportunity of meeting and making friends from folks who have dedicated themselves to visual art from around the world. While this internet facilitates the virtual mingling of cultures, life is much sweeter in person.
In 2007, a new director will take over from John T Spike, whose enthusiasm and naivete has guided the development of the Biennale for the last four events. He has returned to his primary love and area of expertise, old master italianate paintings.
Classifying this 10 day exhibition as a vanity show is accurate and useless. Certainly there are wealthy artists who purchase two spots or more and exhibit fabulously funded production. For those less well off, this is a chance for resentment or a draw for the upper crust who support their own and a chance to expose new work to people with resources. Check your funds against your enthusiasm, and make sure that if you go you do not rely on economics alone to determine your satisfaction.