IM in Venice – Top 5 from the Venice Biennale

Imitate Modern has been fortunate enough to visit the biggest art event The Venice Biennale of the year – this year’s theme, All the World’s Futures was  curated by Okwui Enwezor. Hosted every two years in Italy this event is known to bring creme de la creme of art from around the world and is often referred to as the Olympics of the Art World. This was the 56th edition of the international exhibition,the first one dating back to 1895.

The Golden Lion for the best national participation went to Republic of Armenia and the award for the best artist to American Adrian Piper.

However, the Biennale is really not about winning but participation and we have seen some stunning contributions this year.

We would like to share our top 5 with you…

Maradona by Sarah Lucas, sculpture at the Great Britain pavilion - Venice Biennale 2015

1. Starting from our home country, representing Great Britain  was Sarah Lucas, who has filled the British pavilion this year with her sculptures of bodies: female legs animated with everyday objects like furniture or cigarettes and two giant yellow statues entitled Maradona of arguable gender but with a rather clear giant male attribute soaring into the air.

George Baselitz -Central Pavilion - Venice Biennale

2. In contrast from what is expected from an art exhibition, the medium of painting was in scarce at the Biennale, with artists and curators choosing to exhibit installations, videos, statues and more innovative materials. Among the painted work which we found particularly exciting were canvasses by George Baselitz located at the Central pavilion. These paitings particularly stood out due to their gigantic size and undeniable presence.

Factory of the Sun - Hito Steyrel - German pavilion - Venice Biennale

3. This year’s Biennale has seen an array of video art. The highlight for us was the video installation in the basement of the German pavilion. The video artwork entitled Factory of the Sun by Hito Steyerl was projected in a large room with a cinema size screen which one could watch from the comfort of a deck chair. The film imitated a video game with breakdancing characters dressed in gold body suits, who each told their stories interrupted by faux German channel and insights behind the making of news and of the game itself. With a multi-layered plot and array of meaning, the story behind the video is hard to describe but is almost futuristic and certainly relevant reflecting on the contemporary state of affairs, as well as a captivating and aesthetically pleasing experience.

Do Not Fear - Rashad Alakbarov - Yarat - Union of Fire and Water - collateral event - Venice Biennale

4. We visited a number of collateral events spread around the city of Venice and one of our favourites was the Union of Fire and Water organised by Yarat, a contemporary art non profit organisation from Baku, Azerbaijan. The exhibition was held in Palazzo Barbaro, the former residence of Giosafat Barbaro, a Venetian ambassador who travelled to and wrote extensively on Azerbaijani cities, which nicely played out with with the overall theme of the exhibition exploring the connection between Venice and Baku.

Above is an image of an installation by Rashad Alakbarov spelling out “Do Not Fear” with a shadow of carefully arranged oriental swords and daggers.

Key in Hand - Chiharu Shota - Japan pavilion - Venice Biennale

5. The installation at the Japan pavilion was amongst the most popular among visitors of the Biennale with an array of reposts on social media by art lovers. We could not resist either!

Chiharu Shota’s “Key in Hand” presented a complexly intertwined web of string with 50,000 keys hanging over rustic boats. “Keys are familiar and very valuable things that protect important people and spaces in our lives – they also inspire us to open the doors to unknown worlds.” – explains the artist

A truly beautiful installation that needs to be experienced!

Hello today you have a day off - Jeremy Deller - Venice Biennale


 The Venice Biennale is on until the 22nd November. Make sure to pay a visit if you have a chance to get immersed in and swept away by the art.

Feel free to share your favourites with us and when you are there try not to tire yourself too much running around the city to see everything. Just remember when in Venice today is your day off, as noted in the artwork above by British conceptual artist Jeremy Deller.

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Tyler Shields’ most liked photo EVER!


Little did Tyler Shields know, when posting this photo recently, that it would become his most ‘liked’ photo ever, stirring the index fingers of over 80,000 Instagram and Facebook users, encouraging more than 12,000 to comment and share with their friends.

Featuring Liz C. Walker of the LA Ballet Company, ‘Pointe’ demonstrates that success is not achieved overnight, that real success requires hard work and sacrifice.

“Some people think that success comes overnight. There is no such thing, anyone that you ever see who is successful has worked at it, and if they do it right and calculate it just right, they will make it look easy” – Tyler Shields

Just as Liz C. Walker appears effortless and graceful on stage in pointe shoes, this photograph reveals the commitment and physical endurance required for success in ballet.

“Photography, or anything you do for that matter, is about dedication and I have never lost sight of that. It only gets more and intense for me, I only want to do better and better, and I just want to be better. So if you are reading this and you second guess anything keep pushing keep going and never stop!” Tyler Shields

We hope these words inspire you this week!

Of course, send your thoughts to us via social media: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or in the comments below!

We look forward to hearing from you,

All at Imitate Modern

Tyler Shields - 'Pointe'

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Imitate Modern HQ!


After three days of heavy lifting, transporting artworks and reminiscing about our years in Marylebone we have now settled into our new Little Venice office and showing space. Curated like a gallery with an array of our favourite artworks, we will be running Imitate Modern operations from our new Head Quarters and coordinating a number of exciting summer pop-ups – so look out for those!

If you are interested in viewing new artworks, discussing our summer schedule or would just like to pop in and say hello, please email to arrange a meeting, we’ll bring the cakes…

The brand new Imitate Modern HQ can be found at:
Imitate Modern,
1 Randolph Mews,
W9 1AW

We also have a new telephone number: 02072865744, so do give us a bell Monday-Friday 10am-6pm

Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement coming up next Thursday, it’s time for our next solo exhibition…!

We look forward to hearing from you, keep up to date on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

Have a lovely day,

All at Imitate Modern

A sneak peek at our brand new office space

A sneak peek at our brand new office space

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