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August 28 2014

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Blasblog From Venice: And So It Begins

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Rev up the water taxis, the Biennale has officially begun. First up last night was a group show called Unconditional Love, near the Arsenale grounds. Olympia Scarry’s installation—a person laying under a sheet, feet poking out, with lights running on either side of the body—attracted the likes of Patrick Demarchelier, Natalia Vodianova and Justin Portman, Olya and Charles Thompson, Russian Vogue‘s Aliona Doletskaya, and Dasha Zhukova. Scarry’s sister Fiona and their father were there, too. “I don’t know why she didn’t ask me to lay under the sheet,” he joked. Also on display at the show was artist Dasha Fursey’s tribute to Vodianova: a sketch of the model that was illuminated and then aged, and was aptly called Dorian Gray. Across town, the English artist Steve McQueen had a show as well, which many people tried to squeeze in between dinners at Harry’s Bar (obviously), Do Forni, and Cipriani’s. But for those who really wanted to stay out late, Stefano Tonchi, David Maupin, and Brian Phillips hosted a welcome party at the Bauer Hotel, deejayed by Terence Koh. That’s where Jefferson Hack, Neville Wakefield, and Diana Widmaier Picasso eased into the Venetian lifestyle. Carine Roitfeld, Marc Jacobs, and Cecilia Dean are due to arrive tomorrow—and they said no one would come this year because of the recession. “Oh, I don’t believe that,” Yvonne Force Villareal said. “I love Venice. It’s my favorite city in the world and it’s always fun here.” She wasn’t kidding. Perhaps for the first time in my entire life, I was one of the first to leave a party—in the wee hours—as other revelers continued to file in.

Photo: Derek Blasberg

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