In these strange and surreal times, cinema can provide a welcome means of escape and inspiration, a way to remove ourselves from the reality of life in isolation. Films that focus on the arts, whether through their subject matter or the beauty of their camerawork and locations, can prove even more transformative. Here Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, founder of digital arts platform Arteviste, shares her favourite – and most uplifting – art films.
Directed by Heather Lenz, this captivating biographical documentary delves into the surreal existence of Yayoi Kusama, the iconic Japanese artist and one of the highest-valued on the contemporary art market. Whether you’ve encountered her work with David Zwirner during the annual Frieze Art Fair, at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art or on Instagram, it’s hard to miss her psychedelic Infinity Mirror Room Installations or phallic sculptures.
This exquisite film, which is both love story and tragedy, chronicles the haute bourgeois Recchi family through various affairs. Directed by acclaimed Italian director Luca Guadagnino, the film perfectly encapsulates the opulence of Milan. It also has a personal relevance for me, as my fiancé Timothy and I were kindly invited by Bulgari for Milan Fashion Week in February, and they encouraged us to visit all of the city’s wonderful galleries. Likewise, I hope to attend the Salone del Mobile in the city in June, which Charlotte Rey and Duncan Campbell of the unique design consultancy Campbell-Rey have always chronicled beautifully on their Instagram.
This documentary, directed by American filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn, offers valuable insight into the inner workings of the contemporary art market. If you’re looking to better understand the subtle complexities of auction houses or blue-chip galleries, watching this will be time well spent. I enjoyed exploring the private collections of renowned collectors such as Stefan Edlis, who laments, “There are a lot of people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
It’s a pleasure to indulge in Joe Wright’s wildly romantic retelling of Leo Tolstoy’s 1877 novel. The film glorifies the glamorous yet ill-fated Russian aristocrat Anna Karenina who is unfaithful – with dashing officer Count Vronsky – to her husband Alexei Karenin, a senior statesman. Particularly poignant, because the setting reminds me of summer travels in Russia between Moscow and St Petersburg. There, I researched institutions such as the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, founded by Dasha Zhukova, and the Hermitage Museum.
This beautiful film captures the spirit of Peggy Guggenheim, an illustrious patron of the arts, and was directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland’s granddaughter-in-law. Based on Guggenheim’s most prevalent biography, it chronicles how a modest fortune evolved into one of the world’s leading collections of 20th Century art. Inevitably, her remarkable Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice has become a regular pilgrimage, which I visit biannually during the opening of the Venice Biennale.
Flora Alexandra Ogilvy is the founder of Arteviste, a platform offering bespoke tours, insightful gallery talks and presenting videos, which make the art market more accessible. With clients from Sotheby’s to Frieze and Burberry, she is known for her impressive network.
Follow her @florarteviste.