Michaela Merz

25th Edition of ‘Art 19’ Zurich

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Each year in autumn there’s a contemporary art fair at the former industrial hall of the ABB.

The work of around 40 galeries from Switzerland and abroad is presented. Contemporary art is very varied. I go to the exhibition each year. I enjoy a lot of it and if I had had the space I would have bought them, some of it however I find dreadful and even repugnant. That’s the good thing about art. Art should polarize. This year it was rather special for me as I was also a part of it, as an object of art. I’m hanging on the wall as a silent portrait. The artist is called Daniel Eisenhut (www.danieleisenhut.com) he has created portraits of female leaders and called his project ‘lipstick leaders’ (www.onethousandleaders.com). Daniel and I spoke about many things, Daniel painted and I’m now hanging there next to the other portraits.

I think Daniel’s great, I’m not too keen on my portrait though. It reminds me of an old evil lady without any sense of humour. I hope that I’m not like that. I think the project’s great and I really like a lot of the portraits. The feeling of being a part of it is fantastic. Daniel is an extraordinary artist and the conversations with him were funny and gorgeous.

You don’t need to like art (but even better if you do) art is there to initiate conversations. I remember how I mentioned my distaste for the client Christmas cards to my former boss. We had three options, one worse than the other. I didn’t want to send any of them. My former boss listened to my complaint and said that he had chosen them himself and thinks they are great. That’s how to dig yourself a hole. Since then I have never complained about art again.

In our office there was a portrait of an unhappy lady on the wall. The portrait was big, very invisible and the lady very grumpy. Every glance into her direction hurt as it dampened your mood right away. Nobody liked the portrait with the lady and her bad mood and everyone was happy when it vanished one day. Yes, it’s true, art can polarize but when it ruins your good mood then a blank wall is just better.

The exhibition is over and if you haven’t been there last week then have a look at the images online. But this year there is the possibility of visiting the 26th exposition.

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