ABOUT


ART IS ALIVE is an independent editorial platform launched in London in 2007 by Nicolas Smirnoff. Restructured in 2016, the online publication was conceived for an eclectic audience. It covers news from the full spectrum of the arts.

ART IS ALIVE features exclusive interviews. It also offers a digest on creativity around the world as well as “moments of digital contemplation”. Oh and lots of David Bowie too.

“I believe there are no boundaries between contemporary art, fashion, architecture, design, music, dance and performing arts.” – Nicolas Smirnoff, 2007.

Celebrating its 10 anniversary in 2017, ART IS ALIVE has featured exclusive interviews with Tilda Swinton, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Marianne Faithfull, agnès b, Bella Freud, Django Django, Barnaba Fornasetti, Banks Violette, and fascinating conversations with Helena Christiensen, Louis Fratino, Diane Pernet, Paul Smith, Pandemonia, Alex Farquharson, Iwona Blazwick, Axel Rüger among many other talents.

The title of the publication references James Whale’s 1935 film “the Bride of Frankenstein”. After tiresome experiments, Henry Frankenstein, the main character, succeeds in bringing his bride to life and famously cries “She’s alive! Alive!”. The title also refers to the punk movement phrase “Punk is Dead”.

Nicolas Smirnoff who grew up in Arles, in the South of France, previously served cultural organisations Christie’s, Brunswick Arts, dOCUMENTA (13) curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Chus Martinez, Pace Gallery and Magnum Photos. Nico currently works at Serpentine in London.

In his tenure at Pace Gallery, Nico orchestrated the launch of the gallery in London, Paris and Geneva, produced three catalogues, Alexander Calder: The Calder Prize; Hoyland, Caro, Noland and Lee Ufan From Point, From Line, From Wind and worked on more than 50 exhibitions by artists such as James Turrell, Mark Rothko, Agnes Martin, Robert Irwin, Alexander Calder, Lee Ufan, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jean Dubuffet, Louise Nevelson, Zhang Huan, Julian Schnabel, Loie Hollowell, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Adam Pendleton, Adrian Ghenie and more.

He relaunched the Magnum Gallery in 2021 (and supported the efforts to open the Paris space) and among other responsibilities, curated three exhibitions: Herbert List: ‘Metamorphoses’, Matt Black: ‘American Geography’ presented in London and ‘There’s no place like home’ presented online. Nico was part of the Jury of the 212 Photography Istanbul Award in 2021.

In previous roles in London, Barcelona and Paris, he has delivered campaigns and strategic advice for private and public clients that include the LUMA Foundation, the Lyon, Art Dubai, the Sharjah Biennale, Museion, Yvon Lambert Gallery, and the Royal Academy of Arts.

He has also contributed to The Art Newspaper, Flash Art, Vernissage magazine, with news and reviews.

A regular speaker at Christie’s Education, Sotheby’s Institute, Contemporary Art Society, and Artiq, Nico is currently on the board of charity Art Night, and a former Trustee of Siobhan Davies Dance.

Full profile here for professional connections and invitations.