"When Viewing Art, be ready to participate, to be moved and inspired by the uniqueness of the message as it pertains to you."
The Venice Biennale has been the pinnacle of the art world since it was first held in 1895. Every two years, creators of all sorts from the vast and varied nations of the world come together to showcase their work. It is a celebration unparalleled, a gala for contemporary artists, appreciators, and tastemakers to converge - over 300,000 people have gathered for the festivities in a single year. In recent years, it has even grown to encompass other realms of culture, including theatre, dance, music, architecture, and cinema - enabling a greater dialogue across the divides of genre and style.
If ever we need evidence that contemporary art is alive and well, the Biennale provides it for us. The number of participating artists and countries grows per year, a flourishing of creative energy continuously gaining momentum. So great is its power that it cannot be contained, with unofficial satellite exhibitions appearing around Venice, and other biennales emerging in Istanbul, Havana, Berlin, Shanghai, and a number of other cities around the globe.
Looking deep into the event's history, so many of the art world's most remarkable names appear as featured participants. The Biennale is the intersection of history and modernity, tradition and the cutting edge - the center of life for the art of the present day.
Jeff Koons's Balloon Dog on display at the 2011 Venice Biennale. [image source]
This past year, I was thrilled to open an exhibition in tandem with the Venice Biennale. The gorgeous Museo Diocesano di Venezia became home for Love & Peace, a finely curated selection of my flower paintings and sculptures. I felt so blessed to know that my works could bloom in the eyes of the Biennale's visitors, finding their place within the venerated city.
I felt my heart beat in time with scores of others who have devoted their lives to beauty and pursuit of creation. The far stretches of the world folded and, together, we offered up our greatest achievements for the enjoyment of all mankind. The Biennale highlights the genius that is the inheritance of every nation of the world - and the power to unite those nations through the unceasing magnificence of art.
Ana Tzarev's Love & Peace is on display at through November 24. To learn more about the Love & Peace Campaign, visit www.lovepeaceflower.com.
Can art save the world and pave the way for peace?
Looking far into the history of man, it is apparent that the epochs of each civilization are marked by one common trait: a great flourishing of the arts.
In as many varied and beautiful forms as the mind can imagine, those who came before us elevated themselves and their people through bountiful creative expression. At last, existence meant so much more than survival! From Egypt's pyramids and wall paintings to Greece's incredible epics, from India's stirring songs to Japan's incomparable theatre, we find achievements that have inspired for centuries. Between renaissance and revolution, the tides of social unrest and stability produced the paintings, songs, operas, and poems we have come to view as time's greatest treasures.
Botticelli's universally-renowned Birth of Venus.
The tradition continues into this day. Across the globe, visual artists, dancers, composers, and authors crystallize the present, preserving it so that future generations may learn of our struggles and triumphs. Artists are mankind's most effective historians, storytellers, and communicators. Through their work, life takes shape and develops meaning that is instantly grasped - their gift is tremendous, capable of giving more and reaching further than can be fathomed.
For the past year, my life and my work have been dedicated to the belief that genuine positive change can manifest through art. I have observed the transcendent power of creativity; I have witnessed the ways it touches people from all walks of life. Art is the one true universal language, understood instantly by the mind and the heart. My Love & Peace Campaign focuses on unifying the nations of the world through the common experience of interaction with public art, and as I have brought my monumental flower sculptures to locations across the globe, the resonant power of beauty to create harmony has left me astounded.
But this goal of establishing harmony through art cannot be achieved in isolation. For progress to be won, artists who work for change must come to be recognized and supported by the leaders of the world. I implore Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the members of the UN to consider instating an International Day of Arts, so that we may celebrate the diversity of genius possessed in each nation of our shared world - a world that yearns to be healed.
Across the vast divide of differences that set all people apart, there exists within artistic expression the thread that can bind us together. Let art and its creators receive the honour they deserve and engender the change we need, so that the beauty that defines every unique culture also will become the force that fosters peace among them.
Ana's Thought: "Artist, make all your life's work come to harvest time in total Love & Peace."
On 21 September, people across the world found reason to celebrate, united by common cause: The International Day of Peace. All nations of the Earth lit up with goodwill, hearts burning like beacons of hope for a safer, freer world to be shared.
As an artist, my aim is to bring a peaceful world into being through creativity and communication. I was overjoyed to witness and take part in the tremendous spread of love on this day. The Love & Peace Campaign, my ongoing sculptural project carrying art into public spaces around the globe, has provided me with strong evidence that the sentiment of the International Day of Peace shall never fall on deaf ears -- the cry for peace grows louder each day!
Children in Shenzhen gather around one of Tzarev's Love & Peace flowers.
As the Campaign has made stops in locales the world over -- from Prague to Shenzhen, from New York to Singapore -- I have seen how great the demand for Love & Peace has become. In each place where the giant, shimmering remembrance poppies are displayed, people pause to reflect, document, and share. We all wish to be part of the greater good, and each small gesture we make is an invaluable contribution to growing progress. I thank all who have visited these sculptures as they continue their global tour and wish that the message of Love & Peace travels with them forever.
We are never in want for inspirational figures in our efforts to reach a world where Love & Peace reign. Among the greatest and most respected names in history are those who shone from within, upturning currents of violence with offerings of justice and grace. We look to Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, and countless other brave, priceless souls who elevated the spirit of all mankind.
Ana Tzarev and Ringo Starr stand together for peace.
But our bright stars do not only illuminate the past -- there are so many among us who, through their actions and words, guide us along the path of peace today. Malala Yousafzai, after overcoming such horrible violence, has dedicated herself to a life of activism. Aung San Suu Kyi's indomitable dedication has made her a luminary not only for the people of Burma, but for all who champion freedom.
We must always keep in mind that the potential for all great beauty is encased within a seed in our souls. With diligence, patience, and empathy, the seed will germinate and bloom into a gift for our fellow men. Each of us is capable of magnificence beyond our imagination -- what will your gift be?