Real Venice

Mimmo Jodice, Rialto (detail), True Black Fine Art Giclee on "Photo Rag", 40 x 48 in / 100 x 120 cm / Ed. 1/3+2AP, ©Mimmo Jodice, Courtesy of Galerie Karsten Greve, £4,135/ 5,000 Euro

All funds raised from the sales of the art from Real Venice benefit the work of Venice in Peril. For information on how to purchase works from Real Venice
please visit

"Real Venice"

Real Venice, a Venice in Peril project whereby major artists donated their creative vision for the benefit of the lagoon city.

A major exhibition of photographic works of Venice by fourteen internationally renowned artists was on view at Somerset House from 11 October - 11 December 2011.  The exhibition, Real Venice, comprised work by artists invited to Venice to create a portfolio of images, designed to raise substantial funds to save Venice and to create a lasting legacy of the city. Real Venice was mounted by the Venice in Peril Fund and curated by Elena Foster, founder of Ivorypress.


To coincide with the exhibition, select works from the collection were sold at auction in aid of Venice in Peril on 3 November 2011 at Phillips de Pury & Company, London.

The artists are: Lynne Cohen, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Antonio Girbés, Nan Goldin, Pierre Gonnord, Dionisio Gonzalez, Candida Höfer, Tiina Itkonen, Mimmo Jodice, Tim Parchikov, Matthias Schaller, Jules Spinatsch, Robert Walker and Hiroshi Watanabe.

For centuries, Venice has inspired people with its ravishing beauty, riches and strangeness. For the project, the artists were challenged to create a series of photographic images of Venice, perhaps the most photographed city in the world.   As well as addressing the everyday life of the city's inhabitants, its iconic monuments and modern architecture, the artists' photographs capture the ravages wrought by mass tourism and the rise of the lagoon water level.


Over the summer Real Venice was on display at the Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice as part of the 54th Venice Biennale.


All of the works in Real Venice have been donated by the artists to be sold in aid of Venice in Peril.  Selected works from the artists' portfolios were sold at auction as part of the Phillips de Pury Photographs Sale on 3 November 2011.  The remaining works are available to purchase online at


Anna Somers Cocks, Chairman of Venice in Peril stated: 'Real Venice harnesses the creativity, the vigour, the internationalism - and the financial power - of contemporary art to saving Venice'.

The members of the advisory board for the project are Anna Somers Cocks, Chairman of Venice in Peril and Founder Editor of The Art Newspaper, Elena Foster, founder, Chairman and CEO of Ivorypress, and David Landau, collector, businessman and scholar. 


Venice in Peril thank the artists for generously giving their works, thank its partners for their invaluable help, and thank the donors to, and sponsors of, the exhibition Real Venice:


Ivorypress, Phillips de Pury & Company, Somerset House


Mrs Andrew Graham, Sir Ronald Grierson, The Headley Trust, The Kilfinan Trust, Sir Mark & Lady Moody Stuart, Mrs Marina Morrisson Atwater, The Rothschild Foundation, Lord & Lady Phillimore, Anonymous donor


Bisol, Hotel Danieli, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Kirker Holidays, PizzaExpress, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express


"I am delighted to have the opportunity to curate this exhibition because of my enduring love for Venice and to support Venice in Peril's endeavours to secure the city's future sustainability. To have gathered the work of a group of remarkable photographers is a natural way to have in place,  for the 21st century,  an artistic testimony to the city and gives the opportunity to raise considerable funds for the protection of its historical treasures and to help fight the destruction of its beauty"
Elena Foster, Real Venice Exhibition Curator & Founder, Ivorypress

"This is the kind of creative, international collaboration that Venice needs, not only to raise funds, but to get people thinking about why it should be saved"
Lord Rothschild OM
"In the 20 years since it was founded, The Art Newspaper has frequently reported on the threats to this uniquely beautiful and fragile city, but it has never reported on contemporary art about Venice simply because it has hardly existed. At long last, with Real Venice it is happening. What took it so long?"
The Art Newspaper
"Venice needs contemporary art to help us see it with fresh eyes so that new, creative energy will be applied to its salvation".
Anna Somers Cocks, Chairman, Venice in Peril




Ivorypress is a publishing house specialising in limited editions and artist's books, founded in 1996 by Elena Ochoa Foster. Its mission is to promote debate and to commission art works spanning all cultures and subjects. Ivorypress is based in Switzerland, Spain and United Kingdom.

Thanks to the ambitious artistic projects of the publishers, Ivorypress leads international projects related with contemporary Art; produce and curate international exhibitions; advises corporate clients, public institutions and collectors, and creates art publications, films and events internationally.

From its European base, Ivorypress embraces a global network that includes artists, museum curators, directors of Art Fairs, events and private galleries. Ivorypress has been responsible for commissioning site-specific works in Europe and North America by leading contemporary artists such as Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Anish Kapoor and Cai Guo-Qiang among others.

Ivorypress, has also developed large exhibition projects such as "C on cities" for the 10th Venice Architecture Biennale of 2006 and 'Blood on Paper' at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in the spring of 2008, which explored the concept of artists' books from the early twentieth century to the present. Ivorypress has produce short Films and the multi awarded long feature documentary film, "How Much Does your Building Weigh, Mr Foster?"
In February 2009 Ivorypress inaugurated Ivorypress Art + Books - an interdisciplinary space in Madrid - which integrates the world of art with the world of books and reflects the editorial inspiration of Ivorypress publishing house. It incorporates two exhibition Spaces, a permanent exhibition of Artist's Books and a Bookshop that stocks specialist books, limited editions, out-of-print catalogues and a rare selection of books on photography, art, architecture. Ivorypress is becoming an international cultural reference in Europe in collaboration with Art Commissioners which is a division of Ivorypress for specific art projects.

Elena Ochoa Foster

Elena Ochoa Foster was a Hispanic/North American Fulbright Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles (USA) and Visiting Research Scholar at the Universities of Cambridge (UK), Chicago (USA), Kraków (Poland), Hamburg (Germany) and Pennsylvania (USA), amongst others. She was Titular Professor of Psychopathology at the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) for almost two decades; she has also worked in the Spanish National Television, Spanish National Radio and for several years newspapers such as El País. Until 2001, Elena Ochoa Foster was Honorary Professor at King´s College London. She founded the publishing house Ivorypress in 1996. She is the director of the CPhoto Project (C International Photo Magazine, 10 volumes published from 2005 to 2010; and the new project, CPhoto Collection, 10 volumes to be published in the next five years, Volume I appeared in November 2010) which has publications, curates exhibitions and supports academic settings to promote photography and contemporary art (Chair on Contemporary Art at Oxford University, sponsored by Ivorypress), among other activities.

Elena Ochoa Foster handles personally all the editions of artist´s books as well as other Ivorypress publications. Together with the Ivorypress team, she has curated exhibitions such as the Italian Pavilion at the 10th Venice Biennale (Italy), in 2006; NY CPhoto at Phillips de Pury, New York (USA), in 2007; and Blood on Paper at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (UK), in 2008, amongst others. Elena Ochoa Foster was Chairman of the Tate International Council and trustee of the Tate Foundation. Currently she is trustee of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation.


Phillips De Pury & Company

Phillips was founded in London 1796 by Harry Phillips and was soon holding sales for some of the most distinguished collectors of the day including Marie Antoinette, Beau Brummel and Napoleon.   In 1999, the company was bought by Bernard Arnault, the chairman of the French luxury good brand, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH). Shortly after the transaction, Mr Arnault merged with the esteemed private art dealers, Simon de Pury and Daniella Luxembourg ,creating the new team  Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg.  In 2002, de Pury and Luxembourg took majority control of the company with a new remit to focus solely on the sale of the best works of contemporary art, design, jewelry, photography and editions.   In October 2008, Mercury Group, the Russian luxury retail company, acquired majority share of Phillips de Pury & Company to further enable the company's expansion.


Somerset House

Somerset House is a spectacular neo-classical building in the heart of London, sitting between the Strand and the River Thames. Since opening to the public in 2000, Somerset House has produced a distinctive public programme that annually draws over 1.2 million visitors to the site, providing a centre for arts and culture in the heart of London, as well as housing numerous creative communities. The varied, year-round programme includes an open air film and concert season and ice rink, as well as temporary exhibitions focusing on contemporary fashion, design, art and architecture, family workshops and free guided tours. In September 2009, Somerset House became the new home of London Fashion Week.








The Bisol Family's history is firmly rooted in making the finest Presecco in Italy and they are committed to re-establishing Venice's traditional farming methods.  Bisol's acclaimed restaurant, Venissa, is on the venetian Island of Mazzorbo which is part of the Bisol estate and where the vineyards have been restored and the Dorona grape saved from extinction.  Bisol supports Venice in Peril glass by glass.

Hotel Danieli  & Starwood Hotels & Resorts 

A masterpiece of hospitality, Hotel Danieli enjoys a majestic location on Riva degli Schiavoni with sweeping views of the Venice lagoon, just steps from Piazza San Marco. Named as one of the top-rated hotels around the globe, this Venetian landmark is the perfect setting from which to begin an indigenous discovery of Venice.

Kirker Holidays

Kirker Holidays provides carefully crafted tailor-made holidays to 70 classic cities and 250 relaxing rural locations throughout Europe and beyond. Itineraries include selected hotels and private transfers with travel by any combination of air, rail or private car as well as the Kirker Concierge to book opera, concerts and recommended restaurants - perfect for celebrating a special occasion in style.


PizzaExpress founder Peter Boizot created the Veneziana to help protect this beautiful but fragile city. With money donated from every Veneziana pizza since the 1960s, this little pizza has raised over £2 million for Venice in Peril.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Revered as a piece of art and an Art Deco icon, the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express offers a journey unlike any other. Step aboard and you step back into a more gracious, elegant age of travel. Romance, adventure and style are all intimately bound up in luxury train journeys that criss-cross through the sublime scenery of Europe and between some of the continent's most alluring cities.

In the early years of the 20th Century the Orient Express was considered the only way to arrive in Venice and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is a proud supporter of Venice in Peril in its work to preserve the city of Venice.

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