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Vivian Gandelsman

Art researcher & consultant

Vivian Gandelsman

Vivian has always been passionate about the Brazilian art scene.  Her father was a gallerist and art enthusiast. Having grown up in Rio, she now lives in São Paulo, where she works as an art researcher, guide and consultant.

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You know São Paulo better than most. What might a dream weekend look like for a visiting friend?

Based on their interest, I would arrange visits to art collections housed inside some of the most incredible architecture projects.  Usually full of Brazilian modern design furniture, with lots of interesting local people. Such experiences open fascinating conversations. That, combined with a few visits to studios, art galleries, bookshops and museums.

Later, we might have dinner and, if everyone’s got plenty of energy, go dancing and celebrate the local vibrancy. Despite Brazil’s many challenges, joy and happiness prevail!


If you could own one piece of art from any country or period, what might it be?

I am going to go super wild; it would be the Sistine Chapel. Of course, I would not remove it from Vaticano, but if I could attend it frequently and sometimes just by myself, that would be a portal for happiness and a very enriching experience that I could access from any day. That, for me, is the definition of owning because it’s a process based on enjoyment and intellectual fulfilment.

Brazil has long been a front-runner for art and design in Latin America. Why do you think that is?

For sure, it has to do with our important art production, especially during the modernist time and the parameters it sets for our current way of speculating about our future as a country, the urgencies that move us, and our constant political struggles. Besides that, we have a more solid, thought-out art scene in terms of structure than most Latin American countries.

Concerning museological and/or institutional practices, our spaces propose a more developed conversation between the market economy and an effervescent art dynamic, one of the very authentic and experimental practices of medium and aesthetic processes.


Tell us about your project, ArtLoad.

Since 2016, I’ve been participating in projects concerning online experiences, conversations, and the potential of digital experience, how it enriches the exchanges between different actors of the artistic scene, and how gallerists, institutions, museums, collections, and art enthusiasts, engage in discussions regarding the art world. ArtLoad sets this ground of research and has made possible the investigation of my activities and how it resonates with other people’s enterprises.  It has been a pleasure to interview and establish dialogues with different people around the globe.

What are your absolute favourite lunch and dinner spots in Rio and São Paulo when you’re out with friends?

In Rio: lunch at Bira and dinner at Ancoramar. In São Paulo: lunch at Bar da Dona Onça and dinner at Maní. I think those are very representative places of what we can offer gastronomically. In terms of food and environment, they’re diverse and appetizing, and they also connect you to different areas of the city, so it’s a full experience.


What do you never travel without?

The current book I am reading.

What is the most memorable gift you have received?

My visit inside the Cristo in Rio; has changed my whole relationship with the city and it was/still is an unforgettable and remarkable moment. Being inside this landmark of the city has put in perspective the labour and the essential social tissue behind the city’s efforts towards the composition of Rio de Janeiro’s character and its subjectivity. Inside this huge sculpture are the names of the people who built it, like the organisms that compose a body. When you reach its top, the view from Cristo’s perspective establishes a very spiritual yet human experience. I am forever thankful to ArtRio and Oskar Metsavaht for that wholly unique experience.


What Brazilian slang should we know to blend in?

“Partiu,” meaning “let’s!”

Caipirinha, caipiroska, caipiríssima?



What are you most looking forward to doing when some normality returns?

Traveling! I would go to the Middle East; I miss my visits to this part of the world so much!

Vivian Gandelsman's Photos