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sophie weinstein

72 Hours in Antwerp

72 Hours in Antwerp

The beautiful Belgian port city of Antwerp has existed since around the 1500s and has a wealth of historical and contemporary institutions to explore. We were invited by This Is Antwerp to participate in their cheekily nicknamed ‘Antwerp bootcamp’ also known as ‘Discover Antwerp Through Experience’ or D.A.T.E. Eager to find an Oh So Arty insider in this cultural hub, we packed our bags and flew to Antwerp for an enlightening few days with other creatives, bloggers, and artists. We are looking forward to unveiling Oh So Arty in Antwerp but until then, enjoy this compilation of our favorite places from our Belgian sojourn.

Day one was a whirlwind of checking into our beautiful accommodations for the weekend at the boutique Hotel Pilar and meeting all the other individuals participating in D.A.T.E. We then prepared for a city bike ride with Cyclant. Peddling around Antwerp was the perfect way to see the city! A highlight was cycling through the impressive St. Anna’s Tunnel or ‘The Underpass’ as it is known by locals.

Biking through St. Anna's Tunnel. Photo by  Niko Caignie .

Biking through St. Anna's Tunnel. Photo by Niko Caignie.

In the evening we went to the Berchem district and toured PAKT, an old warehouse site that currently functions as a creative hub and office area that also has restaurants, bars, housing and unique events. We ended day one with drinks from The Antwerp Brew Company at Seef Brewery.

The Antwerp Brew Company at Seef Brewery .  Photo by Niko Caignie.

The Antwerp Brew Company at Seef BreweryPhoto by Niko Caignie.

To start day two we hopped back onto our bicycles and road to the open air Middelheim Museum. Located in a city park on the edge of Antwerp, the Middelheim Museum presents a large collection of modern and avant-garde installations that are free to view. During our visit we saw the exhibition Experience Traps which featured sixteen contemporary artists, who created monumental sculptures and installations that responded to the Baroque landscape of the park.

Middelheim Museum. Photo by Niko Caignie.

Middelheim Museum. Photo by Niko Caignie.

After an amazing morning in the park we biked on to MUHKA, the Museum of Contemporary Art. Like many creative partners in the city, MUHKA is participating in the Antwerp Baroque year in which throughout 2018 the city presents a program juxtaposing old and new Baroque. Their current exhibition Sanguine Expo (on view until September 16th, 2018), curated by Luc Tuymans, perfectly captured this relationship between old and new.

We made time to stop off at Plus One Gallery which represents Belgian and international artists. The gallery has two locations, one in Berchen and the second in Nieuw Zuid and is a great destination for contemporary art lovers visiting the city!

For dinner we grabbed a bite at Native Food serving organic food with authentic and locally sourced ingredients. The relaxed alfresco atmosphere makes it a perfect place to decompress after a long day of touring.

PAKT. Photo by Niko Caignie.

PAKT. Photo by Niko Caignie.

As we came to discover, you can’t visit Antwerp without immersing yourself in its rich Baroque history. A visit to the house of Peter Paul Reubens, one of the most influential Baroque painters is a must. The Rubenshuis displays several of his paintings and contains his workshop as well as a lovely courtyard. Visiting Rubenshuis will satiate art history fanatics, and give you a taste for what life was like in Antwerp at the time of Rubens.

Rubenshuis. Photo by Niko Caignie.

Rubenshuis. Photo by Niko Caignie.

Grabbing a quick breakfast bite at Sanba coffee shop we started day three at the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom or Museum at the river). Designed by the renowned Neutelings Riedijk Architects MAS was established in 2011 when older museums had to close for maintenance. MAS has something for everyone including ethnographic art, maritime art, the city’s archive and a detailed exhibition of Antwerp shipping history.

When in Belgian it is practically required to indulge in Belgian fries. Make your order upscale at Baraque Friture. Fries in hand we decided to check out the newly opened Port House, designed by world renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Hadid’s design epitomizes the dynamic identity of this port city. Contemporary art has a place at Port House too and we were awestruck by the monumental drawings of the young Belgian artist Rinus Van de Velde, currently exhibited in the space.

Port House designed by Zaha Hadid. Photo by Niko Caignie.

Port House designed by Zaha Hadid. Photo by Niko Caignie.

Our final arty stop was to the Plantin-Moretus Printing Museum named after the 16th century printing company and located in the home of its owners. As with many historical sites in Antwerp, the Plantin-Moretus museum has a connection to Rubens as the artist was a close friend of the Plantin family and some of his paintings are on display. A UNESCO World Heritage Site opened to the public in the 1880’s, this museum is a unique arty venue. During your visit make sure to check out the museum's collaborator Kastaar, a graphic design studio with a collection of historic printing material. Within their workshop Kastaar creates custom-made printing projects.

  Plantin-Moretus Printing Museum. Photo by  Niko Caignie .

 Plantin-Moretus Printing Museum. Photo by Niko Caignie.

Exhausted and inspired form our whirlwind exploration of Antwerp we sat down for dinner at Bar Noord with all of our new creative contemporaries to digest the past 72 hours. Immersed in the verdant Park Spoor Noord we sipped on spritzes and toasted this fascinating city. Stay tuned for an Oh So Arty local insider in Antwerp coming soon. If you’re interested in taking a private art tour in Brussels please click here to learn more.

We would be remiss not to mention our fantastic colleagues who joined us during these few days in Antwerp. Please check out their creative endeavors throughout Europe. Birdy Ben, Tony Skeor, Mimo Mali, and Dimitris Ladopoulos are all artists who were commissioned to create new art work for This Is Antwerp. There were also bloggers and writers in our group including: Stefania Guglielmi, Angel Trinidad, Local Lore's Réka and Adrienn, and Maximilian Prag.

A special thank you to the amazing team at This is Antwerp for inviting us and hosting us in what was an unforgettable stay and to Niko Caignie for all the beautiful pictures. 

Viewing installations commisioned from  Birdy Ben ,  Tony Skeor ,  Mimo Mali , and  Dimitris Ladopoulos . Photo by Niko Caignie.

Viewing installations commisioned from Birdy Ben, Tony Skeor, Mimo Mali, and Dimitris Ladopoulos. Photo by Niko Caignie.

72 Hours in Prague

72 Hours in Prague

This Spring Oh So Arty was invited by Petrohradská Kolektiv and the Czech Center Tel Aviv to visit Prague and explore the city’s unique art scene. Our hosts took us to contemporary galleries, major museums, adorable coffee shops and chic cocktail bars. We have compiled our favorite insider destinations in Prague in this article guide to inspire your future arty travels. 

Our first stop was the Petrohradská Kolektiv, an artist run art center that offers artist-in-residence programs for 12 artists as well as studio space and housing accommodations. Established in 2016 in a former chocolate factory this cultural hub is nothing short of amazing. Petrohradská hosts 60 Czech artists and 12 foreign artists every year. They host a Live Art Program in the Petrohradská Room where you can catch alternative concerts and more. Make sure to visit the buildings spacious rooftop when you are there as well!

Petrohradská Kolektiv with a work by Klone Yourself.

Petrohradská Kolektiv with a work by Klone Yourself.

After meeting with both Czech and international artists at Petrohradská Kolektiv we were ready to eat! We had our first of many delicious meals at Madame Lyn Restaurant. Opened in 2013 Madame Lyn is one of the first Vietnamese restaurants in Prague. Offering delicious food, nice wines and an outdoor garden space this restaurant is worth a visit.  

Exhausted from traveling we went to bed early and prepared for another arty day around Prague. Day two’s excursions were all about galleries! We visited four Prague galleries: Svit Gallery, Nevan Contemporary, Hunt Kastner and Polansky Gallery. Hunt Kastner is located on the hip Borivojova Street which also has other galleries, design shops, bars and clubs. If you find yourself on Borivojova Street Oh So Arty Prague insider, Martina Freitagová recommends stopping for drinks at Bukowski’s Bar and shopping the sustainable designs at Playbag

Hunt Kastner Gallery on the hip Borivojova street

Hunt Kastner Gallery on the hip Borivojova street

The next morning began with coffee at Cafe Savoy. The restaurant’s design evokes a vintage feeling harking back to the First Czechoslovakian Republic. Make sure to look up and enjoy the Neo-Renaissance ceiling dating back to 1893 as you enjoy fresh bakery products. 

Next we visited the National Gallery in Prague which has an impressive and encyclopedic permanent collection as well exciting rotating contemporary art exhibitions. We were lucky enough to see Katharina Grosse’s installation ‘Wunderbild’, which in itself made the trip to the museum worthwhile. It is on view at the National Gallery in Prague until January 2019 and we cannot recommend it enough. 

After thoroughly enjoying the art offered by the National Gallery we decided to stop by its restaurant, Cafe Jedna where we treated ourselves to coffee and pastries. At the recommendation of local Oh So Arty guide Martina we then visited Meet Factory, a cultural hub offering everything from exhibitions, music, theater, dance, and cool gigs. It was clear to that us that there is always something going on at Meet Factory. 

Katharina Grosse 'Wunderbild' at the National Gallery of Art

Katharina Grosse 'Wunderbild' at the National Gallery of Art

Then we took a walk through the old town of Prague to enjoy its historical charm. If you’re looking for a hotel in the city we recommend the Hotel Palace Praha located within walking distance of the famous astronomical clock. A member of Leading Hotels of the World this luxury hotel is housed in a majestic art nouveau building that has been operating since 1909.

Photo courtesy of the Hotel Palace Prague.

Photo courtesy of the Hotel Palace Prague.

To celebrate our last evening in Prague we visited Bar Cobra. Located in the Holešovice/Letná district, Bar Cobra offers great drinks, music, and vibes. If you’re interested in exploring Prague like an Oh So Arty insider visit our guide Martina Freitagová's profile here.

To read our 72 hour city guide of Madrid click here.

In Conversation: Vera Vladimirsky

In Conversation: Vera Vladimirsky

In Conversation: Vera Vladimirsky
Part One of an ongoing series by Oh So Arty

About In Conversation
Through our private art tours Oh So Arty guides and clients have the privilege of engaging with some of the most talented emerging artists in the contemporary art scene today. They invite us and our clients into their studios where they share their ideas and artistic practices. With our latest editorial series we are putting our guides 'In Conversation' with these artists to expose their work to a broader audience.

The first edition of In Conversation features our Editorial Coordinator Sophie Weinstein and Tel Aviv based artist Vera Vladimirsky. 

Sophie Weinstein: Hey Vera. It’s been such a privilege visiting your studio on multiple Oh So Arty tours in Tel Aviv and hearing about your experiences as an artist. You’ve had so many successes at such an early stage in your career. Can you tell us about one of your first major projects, The Last Apartment / Where Are You From Originally? 

Vera Vladimirsky:  I always present first The Last Apartment or Where Are You From Originally? Series as the beginning of where I’m coming from in regards to themes that are a big part of my research and my interest. It refers to a concept or a notion of home and what a home is. Home aesthetics act as a signifier of processes of social and and cultural economic structures.

SW: Home is definitely a major motif in your oeuvre. Why does this notion of home occupy so much space in your creative process? 

VV: I look at this concept of a home and I look at these processes because it’s a part of my biography and the experience of immigration. I immigrated from the Ukraine when I was little. I always look at home aesthetics as signifiers of larger and deeper processes and I like to combine aesthetics from the Ukraine, the aesthetics I grew up amongst and the Israeli ones.  Basically going back to all the apartments I ever lived in and challenging myself with questions about home aesthetics and the idea of a home as being a sense of belonging and a sense of identity and place and creating your own safe zone.

Vera discusses her series  Where are you from originally?  in her Tel Aviv studio. Photo by Pavlina Schultz.

Vera discusses her series Where are you from originally? in her Tel Aviv studio. Photo by Pavlina Schultz.

SW: Your latest series of works, Paper Walls, manipulates the medium of photography to create unique installations in a variety of spaces. Can you explain your inspiration behind Paper Walls?

VV: Just after graduation I realized I really want to combine and refer to these home aesthetics that I grew up around in Ukraine where it’s very heavily decorated, ornamented in many many layers. A former Soviet home is just many layers of wallpaper and carpet on the wall and table clothes and curtains and cushions and sofas and everything is in some different flower pattern. I really wanted to channel this and combine it with common, local, generic Israeli aesthetics I can see just right in plants on the side of the road. 

To really combine these two - I photograph local, common, generic plants and flowers, then I create wallpapers that are repetitive, endlessly continuous, high resolution, seamless patterns that I print on very high quality wallpaper that is suitable for this kind of imagery. Then I create spaces with those patterns and I aspire really to create interesting, challenging and beautiful spaces that really raise questions about the feeling of an individual within space. 

My whole surrounding is very vibrant and is very inspirational and I’m very grateful for all the people I’m surrounded by and the discourse I am a part of. 

SW: Why have you chosen to work with photography as a medium?

VV:  I grew up within this medium, as my grandfathers of both sides are professional photographers, and so is my aunt. This medium was a huge part of me becoming a creative person, and for me, choosing this medium was a natural step. I got my first camera from my parents at the age of 14, and I plan to create my next body of work using it. I’m really keen on the role of photography in its ability to represent reality. I like to challenge, in a way, the medium of photography and use it to deconstruct and reconstruct a space and reality as a whole, using techniques of collage and assemblage, and trying to find meeting points between representation by photography and other media of visual art.

Paper Walls at Fresh Paint Ten 2018. Panels are 240x95 cm

Paper Walls at Fresh Paint Ten 2018. Panels are 240x95 cm

SW: Paper Walls have been installed in many stimulating venues. Most recently it is being shown at the high end Tel Aviv boutique, Verner. What was it like intervening in this space that is so different than a traditional gallery or museum display? 

VV: I’m really excited about having a larger and broader dialogue and discourse with many kinds of meeting, practices, and discourses. Verner provides this opportunity for me as an artist. It was so wonderful to collaborate with Sarah Peguine and Oh So Arty to curate this unique exhibition.

The Paper Walls series was also shown in the 2017 Jerusalem Biennial and in the Bat Yam Museum. I like that it has been exhibited in both traditional places like museums and non-traditional places like Verner. 

Models wearing clothing from Verner in front of Vera's installations. Styled by Shenkar students. Photos by Aviv Avramov.

Models wearing clothing from Verner in front of Vera's installations. Styled by Shenkar students. Photos by Aviv Avramov.

SW: You showed your work in the recent 10th edition of Fresh Paint Contemporary Art & Design Fair in Tel Aviv. What can you tell us about the work you showed at this years fair? How is it a departure or extension of your previous body of work?

VV: The first time I ever exhibited this work [Paper Walls] was in Fresh Paint Seven - they gave me the first shot with this series. Since then I’ve created and exhibited different and new patterns and I’m really happy for the opportunity to show these new works in Fresh Paint Ten. One major difference in this new work is that I show them on panels that are also on a frame base that elevate them from the wall and this way it is modular. 

SW: You’re in the process of receiving an MFA from Bezalel, a prestigious program in Israel. What do you appreciate about the Tel Avivian art scene you are working in?

VV: In regards to the process in the MFA I can really say very genuinely that I’m thrilled about my artistic process through this program. I’m happy to live where I live because it’s a very vibrant area of galleries and also street art and the Bezalel MFA is there and many of my friends who are also artists. My whole surrounding is very vibrant and is very inspirational and I’m very grateful for all the people I’m surrounded by and the discourse I am a part of. 

Vera's Top 5

If you're interested in meeting Vera or other Tel Aviv artists consider booking a Tel Aviv art tour with Oh So Arty.

Guide to Gallery Weekend Berlin

Guide to Gallery Weekend Berlin

All the best spring-time exhibitions are opening during Gallery Weekend Berlin. Established in 2007 it has become a staple on the global contemporary art calender. Many renowned galleries, museums and private collections are inviting the international art scene to visit Berlin and see the best the city has to offer right now. It's an absolute must for collectors, curators, and art lovers. We've created this list of must-see exhibitions to help you navigate the weekend like an Oh So Arty local.



Thursday, April 26th

The weekend starts early with an exhibition opening at Julia Stoschek Collection Berlin. The private art collection presents Emissaries a new solo show of Ian Cheng’s work.

From April 25th to the 26th, the New York Times is hosting the inaugural Art Leader Network Conference in Berlin. Make sure to catch a lecture hosted by this event coinciding with Gallery Weekend. At the leadership conference distinguished experts will examine the impact of the rapidly changing art market on the contemporary art scene and cultural institutions. For a list of speakers visit the event site here.


Friday, April 27th

Gallery Weekend Berlin officially starts on Friday evening. All 47 participating galleries will be open to visitors from 7 to 9 pm. We recommend kicking off the weekend at Chert Lüdde for the opening reception of Patrizio Di Massimo’s installation, Inside Me dealing with ideas of sexuality and spirituality. Another great exhibition opening Friday night is Claudia Comte's, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth at König Gallery

Claude Comte, studio view, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

Claude Comte, studio view, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

If you’d rather skip the opening night gallery crowds then we recommend seeing Hello World. Revising a Collection at Hamburger Bahnhof. In this exhibition the museum looks critically at its own western centric collection and examines cross-cultural exchanges from the late 19th century to today.

Mladen Stilinović,  An Artist Who Cannot Speak English Is No Artist , 1992

Mladen Stilinović, An Artist Who Cannot Speak English Is No Artist, 1992

Saturday, April 28th

On Saturday participating galleries will be open from 11 am to 7 pm. There are myriad exhibitions to choose from but the first two on our list are at Esther Schipper and Sprueth Magers. Catch me if you can! AA Bronson + General Idea, 1968–2018 at Esther Schipper Berlin is a striking photography presentation not to be missed. Sprueth Magers will unveil three separate exhibitions by the artists Andro Wekua, Senga Nengudi and Kara Walker. While all three are sure to be impressive we're most looking forward to viewing Walker's video Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale, 2011. 

Kara Walker,  Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale , 2011. 

Kara Walker, Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale, 2011. 

Make your way over to Berlinische Galerie at 6 pm for a reading and screening with Cryill Lachauer. He will be discussing his latest exhibition at Berlinische Galerie, What Do You Want Here?

Unwind with a drink on Saturday night at the Outset after party at Kino International starting at 11 pm.

Andro Wekua,  Levun Portrait , 2017

Andro Wekua, Levun Portrait, 2017

Sunday, April 29th

Spend your Sunday visiting these four galleries who are participating in Gallery Weekend Berlin for the first time. Dittrich & Schlechtriem presents the first solo show in their gallery of works by Andrea Greiner. For his show Hybrid Matter Greiner has created new works that reflect on mankind's relationship with nature. Also new to gallery weekend are Lars Friedrich exhibiting work by German artist Peter Wächtler and Gillmeier Rech who will be presenting Stockholm-based painter Jim Thorrell. The final newcomer is Alexander Levy with a promising show by Julius von Bismarck, Immer noch der Lauf der Dinge. For this exhibition Bismark has installed a moving walkway covering the entire floor of the gallery which forces the visitors to be in constant motion.

JuliusVonBismarck,  Immer noch der Lauf der Dinge , 2018

JuliusVonBismarck, Immer noch der Lauf der Dinge, 2018

For a full list of participating galleries visit Gallery Weekend Berlin's website here.

If you’re interested in learning even more about the Berlin art scene join us on a private Oh So Arty tour!


Banner image: Merav Ben Loulou.

Ron Arad’s Inaugural Gallery Show in Israel

Ron Arad’s Inaugural Gallery Show in Israel

As one enters the stark white cube of Gordon Gallery at 6 Hapelech street in south Tel Aviv they are immersed in the imaginarium of Ron Arad. His oeuvre is notoriously challenging to define; he is simultaneously considered a designer, artist, sculptor, and architect. There is not just one label that suits him. The ambiguity of Arad’s work is highlighted in his premier Israeli gallery show All And Nothing where he is seen again pushing the boundaries between art and design.  

Pressed Flower Yellow,  2013. Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York.

Pressed Flower Yellow, 2013. Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York.

All And Nothing is Arad’s inaugural show in an Israeli gallery despite having been born in Tel Aviv in the fifties and studying at the Jerusalem Academy of Art. The large scale installation of Arad’s work at Gordon Gallery, made up of two major elements, can be interpreted as a reaction to his homecoming in Tel Aviv’s art scene. This response is evident in his uber contemporary large scale collage installation which is a continuation of his famous Pressed Flowers series depicting crushed cars. Within the fragmented composition scraps of a promotional poster from an event held just days before at the newly opened Tel Aviv hotspot, Herzl 16 are recognizable elements of the large scale collage. 

A very recently created collage, building on Arad's  Pressed Flowers  series

A very recently created collage, building on Arad's Pressed Flowers series

A detail of scraps of a promotional poster visible in the collage from an event at Herzl 16

A detail of scraps of a promotional poster visible in the collage from an event at Herzl 16

Jutting fragmentations appear again in the adjacent installation composed of amoebic shaped mirrored tables that decorate the floor and walls. Reflecting the violent collage on the opposite wall they mimic the chaos and energy of contemporary Tel Aviv.

It is within the reflected images and the fleeting intangible glimpses one catches as they maneuver the many mirrored tables, that Arad’s installation really shines. The many mirrors appear to have been thrown against the wall, shattering and scattering into their current locations. Undulating from the walls and on to the floors, the viewer ponders how to define the pieces. Are they tables? Sculptures? Or mirrors? Herein lies the complexity of Arad’s work. 

One table mounted to the wall stands out for what first appears to be an abstract bubble pattern. Upon further inspection it reveals itself to be the Hebrew word ‘Klum’ meaning ‘nothing’. A bit tongue-in-cheek, Arad has spelled out ‘nothing’ with exactly that. It is the absence of material or nothingness that creates all that the show presents.

Hebrew word ‘Klum’ (כְּלוּם) meaning ‘nothing’ spelled out with bubble cut outs.

Hebrew word ‘Klum’ (כְּלוּם) meaning ‘nothing’ spelled out with bubble cut outs.

All And Nothing  exhibition view 

All And Nothing exhibition view 

Endlessly entertaining and thought provoking, All And Nothing is a visual treat that escapes the confines of a classic gallery show much like Arad has dodged labels that seek to confine him throughout his career. All And Nothing is on show at Gordon Gallery from March 22nd until June 2nd, 2018.

If you are interested in taking a private tour of the show please contact Oh So Arty here