On May 9th, art and culture enthusiasts, creators and collectors from all corners of the world will be gathering in Italy for the 56th Venice Biennale. For Cinthia Pires, Studio Manager for Domingo Zapata in New York, it's an opportunity to represent the artist, spend time with dealers and see the work of distinguished talent from across the globe.
Cinthia has been working with Domingo as his right hand for over 3 years. As a well-traveled contemporary art world insider with numerous events under her belt, she sheds light on the International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale for Travelle:
How is the Venice Biennale different from other art shows?
As one of the largest and most prestigious contemporary art events of the year, the Venice Biennale is not to be missed if you want to connect with the world's top artists, collectors, galleries, curators, and dealers in a magical setting. Since it's not a selling art fair with a commercial focus, you can build great relationships in the industry without it feeling transactional.
What is your role at the event?
As Studio Manager for Domingo Zapata, I'm responsible for all the logistics of the trip including arranging the venue for us to stay and host events in, such as the beautiful Palazzo de la Mula where we had our show "A Midsummer Night's Dream" two years ago.
While in Venice, I focus on designing the creation room, managing the setup of the exhibition and organizing events featuring the artist. With all the moving pieces, a lot of work and energy goes into putting it all together.
What does your typical day at the show look like?
During the day, I spend time exploring the exhibitions of other artists and galleries while overseeing Domingo's schedule of interviews and meetings. The Venice Biennale takes place at the Giardini, the Arsenale and in variousother locations in Venice, which means that I end up walking around the city a lot. Sunscreen and anti-humidity spray for my hair are a must! Domingo and I usually end the day with meeting clients and potential buyers for dinner at one of Venice's fantastic restaurants.
On the day of our exhibition, things can get quite hectic. I start with setting up the pieces for the show at the Palazzo, finalizing the guest list and checking in with media representatives. Once done, I take a break to regroup while doing yoga or running. As the host of the exhibition in the latter part of the day, I spend time socializing and ensuring it goes smoothly.
How do you pick outfits to travel with?
I don't like to overpack so I make sure to bring my favorite pieces which are versatile and look great regardless of the occasion. My staple daytime look is a Lanvin blazer, skinny pants, and Valentino Rockstud Cage Flats which are comfortable but have plenty of personality. In the evenings I opt for nude high heels like the Sergio Rossi Lizard-Stamped Patricia sandals and beautifully ornamented dress or jumpsuit from Valentino. They're great sets for nice client dinners and the night of our exhibition. I love a bright lipstick from Givenchy for a pop of red to add to my look.
Any other travel essentials that you can't be without while in Venice?
Since my outfits during the day tend to be functional, it's all about the accessories to dress them up. I always have an iPhone in my hand to take photos and respond to emails. I love the Adopted Python case to make it look more stylish. My Givenchy purse is large enough to fit business cards, Fendi sunglasses for the day and a nice scarf as it tends to get a bit chilly by the water in the evening. I always bring a full Kor One Water bottle so I can stay hydrated as I run around. Lastly, I really can’t afford to be jetlagged with all my responsibilities so I make sure to take melatonin before my overnight flight to Italy and before going to sleep the first couple of days I’m there.
What are some of your favorite places to eat healthy during the fair?
You really can't go wrong in Italy when it comes to dining options. If anything the issue is putting on extra pounds so I try to go for at least a quick speedwalk or run using MapMyRun to discover new routes around the city!
Our team usually regroups to discuss the day's activities over breakfast at the Palazzo. Since we have meetings over a lot of the meals, we arrange lunches and dinners at some fantastic restaurants nearby, including Hotel Monaco, La Zucca, Acqua Pazza, The Gritti, Riviera, and Cipriani. I can't wait to go back!