How Artmonte-Carlo Transformed Monaco Art Week 2019

How Artmonte-Carlo Transformed Monaco Art Week 2019

Artmonte-Carlo brought the likes of Robert Mapplethorpe and Tracey Emin to the Monegasque capital for Monaco Art Week 2019.

Artmonte-Carlo brought the likes of Robert Mapplethorpe and Tracey Emin to the Monegasque capital for Monaco Art Week 2019.

Text: Emily McDermott

Monte-Carlo is known as the playground for the rich and famous—and  that’s all the more reason to love it. Embrace your inner Kylie and set off for a city boasting pristine streets lined with Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dior, the largest spa in Europe (Thermes Marins), and countless five-star luxury hotels—primarily Hotel dê Paris, where turndown service includes La Prairie Skin Caviar and which also houses Prada’s newest two-story location. It’s no wonder that Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Moss are among the region’s regulars.

Last week, the principality saw a surge in visitors for its annual Monaco Art Week, which offers cultural happenings that bring people to places outside of their usual yachts, casinos and clubs. The mainstay of this seven-day affair—which is, of course, complemented by four- and five-course lunches and dinners at Michelin-rated restaurants like Le Grill and restaurant-cum-clubs like Crazy Fish—is artmonte-carlo, a relatively intimate art fair with 50 international galleries in this year’s iteration. Some exhibitors, like 303 Gallery, dedicated all of their space to one artist (in this case, the Berlin-based sculptor Alicja Kwade, who currently has a solo show at the gallery’s New York location and a rooftop installation at the Met), while others presented a smattering of V favorites, such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Chloe Wise and Tracey Emin.

Yet instead of a seaside view outside of the Grimaldi Forum, the unique architectural site where the fair takes place, however, was a kind of barrier wall plastered with a utopian image of the blue Mediterranean. Monaco being Monaco (both the second-smallest country in the world and one in which more than a third of the population are millionaires), a new island is currently being constructed, giving a not-so-subtle nod to Dubai and its three Palm Islands. Who needs the Seychelles or Mykonos when you can build your own private paradise? But just a fifteen-minute walk away, the views from Hotel dê Paris do not disappoint. Some rooms look out over the actual sea, while other windows open onto the famed Casino de Monte-Carlo, which served as inspiration for the setting of the first James Bond novel Casino Royale and is physically included in Bond films like Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye, as well as Ocean’s Twelve.

Even more of a reason to plan a visit during artmonte-carlo is their partnership with a chartered jet service that allows you to truly travel and feel like a star. Private jets shuttle visitors to and from Berlin and Monte-Carlo or Brussels and Monte-Carlo, due to the art world’s overlapping schedule. So step on board, enjoy some Moët, and live a few days in the land of the rich and famous.

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