Lalalli Senna is the niece of Brazilian racing legend and three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna. Before his death in an accident during the 1994 Grand Prix, Senna donated millions of his winnings to children’s charities. He was passionate about improving education and asked his sister, Viviane, to carry on his legacy through the family business and foundation. Next year is the 30th anniversary of Senna’s death and the establishment of the Ayrton Senna Institute. Lalalli is an entrepreneur, artist and philanthropist.
What’s your background, and how are you involved in the business?
I’m an anthropologist, artist and musician. I am founder and CEO of Lalalli Studios, a creative collective working in traditional, visual and graphic art and animation. I am also creative director of Senna Brands, our family business.
I became creative director of the family business after I established my own business. I have been very involved in the recent repositioning of the brand to correlate our values and that of my uncle. I’ve been working on big projects to commemorate Ayrton’s legacy for next year’s 30th anniversary. I’ve also worked with the producers of a Netflix documentary coming out next year.
My family moved to Europe and Miami, so I am responsible for the Senna brands in Brazil. We have a family business where we license products under Ayrton’s name. We have collaborated with McLaren, Ducati, Hublot, and we have done licensing deals in the gaming industry. Part of the brand’s earnings fund the institute. We also have properties, investments and other projects, including five farms in Brazil.
What is the institute’s focus, and how is it managed?
Ayrton asked my mother to set it up before he died because she’s a psychologist. He was focused on improving education for children in Brazil because it’s a big problem. He saw this as a way to maximize children’s potential. We work with public schools providing training to tens of thousands of teachers and have influenced government policies.
It’s financed by donations, licensing deals and private sector partnerships. My mother manages it. As a child, I went all over Brazil with her meeting partners and learning about the initiatives.
Has philanthropy always been a part of the Senna family ethos, even before Ayrton achieved success?
My grandfather built a manufacturing company. He was self-made and humble. The family values were to care about other people. Ayrton as a child would give his things to anyone. He didn't care that much about fame or the image he had. He gave away a lot of money in secret. I meet people all over the world who tell me my uncle helped them.
How do you all handle decision-making and conflicts?
It's not always easy, but we have been learning how to do that. I'm the third generation of the family, because it really started with my grandfather and then Ayrton, with his contribution to the family business. We started restructuring how everybody's going to interact with the family's legacy. Being a small family helps a lot. We have weekly board meetings to discuss everything. The opinions of me and my brothers are taken very well because we proved ourselves in ways that were relevant but outside the family business.
Have you experienced any challenges as the next generation in the family? Advice for others?
It helps when you don't rely completely on your family to have your own career and instead have your own identity. I pursued first my own interests and became highly skilled in those areas. It’s very easy to simply turn up at the family business every day, but to maintain your own professional interests independently requires determination and gives you autonomy. No family business is perfect. There’s a lot to change and improve, but if you depend completely on your family for a living, it’s hard to be a change-maker. Independence allows you to actively challenge things.
The fall and winter art season: What to see, where to go
By MICHAEL KLEIN
As summer comes to an end, I like to open my laptop and
explore what new shows are being offered across the country and the globe. Over the next few months — a busy time for business travel — there’s always a show to see in a museum or gallery.
This list, of course, is personal — full of my preferences and discoveries. Those include big names like Ed Ruscha and Mark di Suvero, whose careers I have followed for decades, as well as new names like William Bradley. My passion for art history means I can't miss shows at NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art; my love of contemporary art sends me to galleries in Austin and Los Angeles.
Here is my list of must-see exhibitions:
Ed Ruscha | Museum of Modern Art | Sept. 10 - Jan. 13, 2024
“I don’t have any Seine River like Monet,” Ed Ruscha once said. “I’ve just got US 66 between Oklahoma and Los Angeles.” "Ed Ruscha/Now Then" will feature over 250 objects in a variety of mediums — including painting, drawing, prints, photography, artist’s books, film and installation — that make use of everything from gunpowder to chocolate. Exploring Ruscha’s landmark contributions to postwar American art as well as lesser-known aspects of his six-decade career, the exhibition will offer new perspectives on a body of work that has influenced generations of artists, architects, designers and writers. After New York, the show heads home to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Ruth Asawa | Whitney Museum of American Art | Sept. 16 - Jan. 15, 2024
This is the first survey show of works on paper by this remarkable Bay Area sculptor, who passed away in 2013. Although now widely recognized for her wire sculptures, Asawa drew daily. Her exploratory approach to materials, line, surface and space yielded an impressive range of drawings that speaks to her playful curiosity and technical dexterity as well as her interest in the aesthetic possibilities of the everyday.
Manet/Degas | Metropolitan Museum of Art | Sept. 24 - Jan. 7, 2024
Two Impressionist painters brought together side by side at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Born only two years apart, Manet (1832–1883) and Degas (1834–1917) were friends, rivals and, at times, antagonists who worked to define modern painting in France. Through more than 150 paintings and works on paper, Manet/Degas takes a fresh look at the interactions of these two artists in the context of the family relationships, friendships and intellectual circles that influenced their artistic and professional choices, deepening our understanding of a key moment in 19th century French painting.
In the galleries:
Mark di Suvero, master of metal sculpture, at Paula Cooper Gallery
Pierre Soulages, later French master painter, at Lévy Gorvy
Edmund de Waal, author and artist, whose elegant ceramics will be at the Gagosian Gallery
John Zurier’s monochromatic abstractions at Peter Blum
Dorothea Lange: Seeing People | The National Gallery of Art | Nov. 5 - March 31, 2024
Featuring some 100 photographs, the exhibition addresses Lange's innovative approaches to picturing people, emphasizing her work on social issues including economic disparity, migration, poverty and racism.
Kay Rosen: Free Food (for thought) | Lora Reynolds Gallery | Through Nov. 11
Peter Hujar: Performance and Portraiture | Art Institute of Chicago | Through Oct. 9
Hujar created direct yet enigmatic portraits of people and animals, pictures of performers and sexually charged male nudes in close dialogue with the performance and movement study scene emerging in New York’s East Village in the 1970s.
The season of art fairs begins in Miami every December when the city hosts a variety of fairs with artworks from around the globe, with works ranging in price from hundreds to millions of dollars.
Art Miami | Dec. 5-10
This fair features emerging and midcareer artists presented by leading contemporary galleries. Aqua Art Miami, its sister satellite fair, takes place in a unique environment — a classic South Beach hotel with spacious exhibition rooms that open onto a breezy, intimate courtyard. It has become a favorite destination for prominent collectors, curators and art aficionados to procure works by young, emerging and midcareer artists while exchanging cultural ideas and forming meaningful connections.
Art Basel Miami | Dec. 8-10
This famous show, now in its fifth decade (in Switzerland, the original Art Basel runs June 13-16, 2024), presents 200 leading galleries from five continents showing significant works by masters of modern and contemporary art, as well as the new generation of emerging stars — there’s plenty to do, see and learn.
William Bradley, Giant Country | Lowell Ryan Projects | Through Oct. 7
This solo show by the English-born painter features works on paper and large-scale new paintings built in layers of brightly colored canvas and including grand geometric collages.
Africa Fashion | Portland Museum of Art | Nov. 18 - Feb. 18, 2024
A major exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London that celebrates the richness and diversity of African creativity, cultures and histories, using fashion as a catalyst. Spanning from the mid-20th century to contemporary designs, Africa Fashion explores the vitality of a fashion scene as dynamic and varied as the continent itself.
The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art of the 21st Century | St. Louis Art Museum | Through Jan. 1, 2024
ACROSS THE POND
Marina Abramovic | Royal Academy of Art (London) |Through Jan. 1, 2024
An art world icon and a performance art pioneer, Abramovic has captivated audiences by pushing the limits of her body and mind for the past 50 years. She has consistently tested the limits of her own physical and mental endurance in her work, subjecting herself to exhaustion, pain and even the possibility of death.
Bill Viola: Sculptor of Time | La Boverie (Liege, Belgium) | Oct. 21 - April 28, 2024
The museum is devoting a monographic exhibition to the American artist, a major figure in contemporary art. Viola is considered one of the fathers of video art. In partnership with Tempora and the Bill Viola Studio, La Boverie is offering the first Belgian exhibition of international scope celebrating the work of this unrivaled video artist.