From October 19 through October 22, 2017, Clio Art Fair will exhibit mostly never-before seen works by 42 artists from all over the world. To be held in New York without exclusive NYC gallery representation, it is a curated fair created with the idea of discovering independent artists and showcasing the careers and achievements of already affirmed creative minds.
“In Greek mythology, Clio or Kleio, is the muse of history. When Clio sings your name while playing her harp, this means that your name has been admitted to the Olympus of human history. This is my special wish for all the artists we have selected this year,” says Alessandro Berni, the founder. After spending several years as an Italian correspondent for Parisian art magazines, Berni moved to New York in 2011, and founded his own company focusing on art events and art dealing. As an art dealer, he mainly promotes Arte Povera and contemporary Italian and Israeli Artists. Blouin ARTINFO spoke to Berni about his personal favorites in New York City.
What are your recommendations for must-visit places in New York and why?
Personally, during my first week in NY, I remember being intrigued by the view from the roof-top of the MET Museum, the water-front and views from Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo, and the Arthur Avenue area in the Bronx. Given its special character, I lived there for four years before deciding to move to Westchester County.
What restaurants, bars, and cafes would you recommend in New York and why?
As a 100% Italian guy in NYC, I’m glad to recommend 100% Italian places. I’m a regular at Ribalta, a Neapolitan pizzeria where I like to spend time with friends and follow soccer matches. For a snack, a few laughs and unrestrained conversation, I go to Sfilatino, close to Columbus Circle. For ice-cream, I love to go to Amorino in Chelsea. It’s seriously the best ice-cream in the city.
Where would you go and what would you do if you had a free morning or afternoon in New York?
Definitely, the High Line Walk. It provides a quick escape from my office and a chance to walk among patches of greenery suspended above the noise of the city while enjoying breathtaking architectural views. I think it’s a great place to take a break, get energized and remember that you work in the greatest city of the world. For a really special treat, it’s also great to go to Washington Square Park, read a book and enjoy the street musicians performing with full passion.
Where would you head to in New York for the best shopping and what would you buy?
I am not a premeditated shopper. For necessary things, I shop casually whenever I find a free moment at stores like Tommy Hilfiger and Uniqlo. It helps that NYC has so many great stores and sales everywhere at all times. For not so necessary things and eccentricities, I love hats, so specialty hat stores are my favorites: East Village Hats, the Hat Store, the Hat Shop, City Hats.
Where would you recommend people stay (hotels etc.) when they visit New York?
The Standard hotel in Chelsea. I was also impressed by the Paper Factory Hotel in LIC, Queens.
What are the best places to see and buy art in New York?
Well, as an art dealer and event organizer, I must start from Chelsea, the area that usually hosts my main events. If you are looking for emerging artists, I advise that you keep an eye on the International Award Call for Chelsea. For mid-career artists, look at Clio Art Fair. For artists that have a market already, I like the auction houses’ world. It's an exciting period for contemporary art and it will continue to rise in popularity.
What are the best places to see live bands or musicians in New York and why?
I started to discover the music scene of NYC from the Brooklyn Academy of Music. I am a frequent visitor of the Heath. It’s perfect for a taste of past speakeasy charm with good live music. For classical and opera concerts, I must recommend Lincoln Center. If you like indie rock bands, go to the Music Hall in Williamsburg. For Jazz, check out the Village Vanguard; thanks to their no-cell policy it is like stepping back in time. I also enjoy going to Birdland, the Blue Note, Cornelia Street Cafe, Dizzy’s Club and the Blue Smoke Jazz Standard.
What are the best spots for experiencing New York's nightlife after spending the day at an art fair?
I'm a roof-top fan. So, my best picks are: the spicy energy at the Soho House, the Westlight at the William Vale, the timeless atmosphere at the Gallow Green and the glamorous vibes at the Top of the Standard.
What projects are you currently working on/ involved in?
I’m currently running four art residencies: one in the Bronx, two in Italy (one in Sicily and one in Perugia) and one in China. Making art world-wide and showing it in NYC is the concept of my company. Because of that, Clio Art Fair in a few years has become the main fair for independent artists in the city. As far as the secondary market is concerned, I’m strongly focused on Arte Povera. Challenge me. Ask me to find anything and I will find it for you.
Click below to view a slideshow on New York.