Art Fair march 3-6 NYC, H...
Alessandro Berni, Clio Art Fair founder and owner.
Clio Art Fair is Returning Under the New York City Sky
Interview with Alessandro Berni, founder and director of the project
Alessandro, Why Clio?
Clio is the muse of history. When Clio sings your name while playing her harp, this means that
your name has been admitted to the mental olympus of human history. I’ve always been
fascinated by this mythologic and inspiring figure.
When I conceptualized this idea, I was alone. I suddenly understood that I should create a great
team to successfully carry out my vision. Because of that, the first person that I invited to join
me was Clio.
What are the challenges that you anticipate?
We are a new event in a town saturated with events. It’s hard to surprise Manhattan. I would like
to underline that this show is not born to host emergent artists. Our show is composed of solid
and professional artists. Some of them have their studio and they are not looking for a gallery;
others would like to be represented. Basically all of them use this event to make new
connections in terms of art critics, collectors, curators, and gallerists.
What are the distinguishing traits of your fair, or rather your anti-fair?
We emphasize the concept of anti-fair because galleries are not admitted to show the artists
that they represent. This event is created for independent artists.
Furthermore there are no booths. We highly respect the architecture of the space that hosts our
Fair. The result is a curated international group show.
How does the selection process work?
During the year, we make a call inviting independent artists to send us their masterpieces.
Starting from the best works that we receive, we make our selection. All the works shown have
been previously analyzed to be admitted by our curatorial team. We discuss everything with the
artist. From the dimensions to the supporting materials that will be used.
Where are the artists from?
US excluded, the more represented countries are Italy and Israel. Basically we have artists from
every part of the world including Korea, Argentina, Iran,and also New Zealand. It’s a real
What does “international” mean for you in a global context?
If you live in the highly technological side of the world, everyone uses the same branch of
computer, phone, the same web-sites. But we don’t have the same passport, and in particular
the same history. International could be a superfluous word for artists that don’t include their
past in their works or the the artists that make art with an impact of technology. I was born in
Tuscany (Italy ndr). I’ve lived in Kenya, Ireland, and France. Now I’m the US. I work in English,
French, and Italian, and eat sushi everyday. International is the place where I live. Talking with
you I’m realizing that this word will become superfluous in the future. Let’s defer to the muse
Clio to tell us when it’s time to stop to using it.
Why have you chosen New York, are you planning to organize Clio Art Fairs in the
When it comes to business and energy, there is nothing comparable to New York. The
contemporary art world is a circus that each year likes to travel all around the planet. Chelsea
was the right place to start our adventure. We were born as a nomadic project. We don’t
exclude the notion of us being present in other towns in the future.
Clio art fair 2015 hosts 50 artists plus I’ve heard there will be 5 handwritten documents
signed by Napoleon Bonaparte. Why this choice to select these historical documents in a
context of contemporary art fair?
Napoleon is a fascinating figure with lovers and detractors. His life, his success and defeats are
studied by all the world. He’s still an example for some, an evil person for others.
Despite the personal opinion that everyone could have about him, all the world must recognize
that he’s a man that, because of his actions, left his century as an immortal. I personally own
these documents. His presence is a wish for all the artists included this year. A wish of glory and
success, and why not, that one day, Clio will play her harp for some of them.