2017 Venice Biennale

Courtney Love Is Here in Venice to Defend Damien Hirst


Courtney Love.


A quick scene from last night: a rainy patio at the Bauer Hotel, guests ducking into the few umbrellas and buying the €25 tickets needed to procure a cocktail. And then emerged Courtney Love, the pop culture icon and national treasure, who I got to know a bit when I went with her to a show of her paintings at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut. She had been told to go to the Bauer, but by then it was a little packed.

“They say it’s like the Chateau Marmont of Venice or whatever,” Love said.

She looked around and wondered why she didn’t really know anyone there.

“Nate, explain to me what’s going on,” she said.

Nearby, David Zwirner was sitting with friends at an umbrella-covered table, Jean Pigozzi was trying to deal with the ticket-for-a-drink system, and Gavin Brown was handing over his phone to L.A. dealer Hannah Hoffman, who used to work for him as a director at the enterprise, and jokingly asked her to sell some art.

The patio at the Bauer as seen from the water.COURTESY TRIP ADVISOR

The patio at the Bauer as seen from the water.


I told her I wasn’t really sure what was going on.

Love asked what she should see at the Biennale, as she hadn’t been yet, and I said that she might enjoy the Anne Imhof performance, as it seems to have the Courtney Love punk aesthetic going on. She said she was planning to go on Wednesday.

What had she seen? Damien Hirst’s “Treasures From the Wreck of the Unbelievable.” And she liked it.

“I love Damien! And I’m here to defend him,” she said. “I just saw him the other day.”

And then Courtney Love said she was going to bed, even though it was only midnight.

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