#BMWLUXURY: Cosmoscow’s Margarita Pushkina on Soviet Books and Global Travel

To celebrate the launch of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance, we discuss travel luxuries and biennale essentials with Margarita Pushkina.

Image: Ken Schluchtmann

The BMW Concept X7 iPerformance is the Bavarian car marque’s most luxurious concept SUV yet – with a spacious, ultra-networked interior melding with a top-of-top-end engine. This concept vehicle is a natural design evolution for BMW, whose brand is synonymous with power, luxury and travel — and its intersection: art. As such, they support art’s most direct of travel, providing the fleets of black cars that shuttle the art industry’s VIPs around fairs from Frieze to TEFAF to Art Basel to Sleek’s local Art Berlin.

To celebrate the presentation of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance, we conducted backseat interviews with five international blue-chip collectors. These five influential figures divulged their travel luxuries, and the books they took with them on the road. Reading material courtesy of the collectors, backseat courtesy of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance — the ultimate luxury reading chair.

Margarita Pushkina is a force of nature. Having founded perhaps the Russian capital’s foremost art fair Cosmoscow in 2010, Pushkina is one of the most important figures in the art scene of the largest country on earth. She’s also one of its primary interfaces with the wider world — and, as such, she’s used to life in the air and on the road. With such extensive experience being shuttled between international art events in the back of SUVs, Pushkina was more than happy to share her on-the-road expertise.

What do you read on the road?

I’m currently reading a novel by a very well known Russian writer, Vasily Aksyonov. The book is “The Mysterious Passion,” and it’s about an enigmatic patient during the ’60s in the Soviet Union. It was really a very great time of many poets and artists, and sometimes writers created their best books in those days. At the same time, I’m reading “The Art Market In The 21st Century” by Anna Arutiunova, a journalist and art critic, who collected a lot of information about development and organisation of the art market, in the context of Russia specifically.

Left: image by Ken Schluchtmann; Right: Margarita Pushkina, Courtesy of Cosmoscow International Art Fair, 2017

Is “The Mysterious Patient” typical of the sort of literature that you like to read?

Vacation is a great chance to read these books, because I’m usually reading business books. Fiction books are a great opportunity to think about something else, and to read about other people’s lives. During my ordinary life, I don’t even have time to read my mail!

Do you get a chance to read in the back of a cab? 

Yes, I usually use the opportunity to read in a car.

What’s your favourite way to spend time in the back of a car?

Earlier on, I used to drive a lot. But now I see how many advantages the passenger has: I can read and answer emails, run through stuff in my Internet browser that I’d bookmarked for later, message my friends and make phone calls.

Margarita Pushkina, Courtesy of Cosmoscow International Art Fair, 2017

Have you taken any memorable road trips?

There was a time when I traveled a lot as a tourist, as well as by car. I drove all over Italy. Once me, my friend and my kids travelled through Arezzo, Montecchio, and Sansepolcro: three Tuscan cities closely associated with the great Renaissance artist, Piero della Francesca. We visited the places with his frescoes – such trips can not be forgotten!

How important is car travel to you?

I really like driving in a car. My family and I live in a country house, rather than in our apartment in the center of Moscow. Therefore, I certainly depend on my car in one way or another. But I also learned how to spend time on the road constructively, and now my car is a kind of an office on wheels for me.

Image- Ken Schluchtmann

Have you ever driven a BMW? Did you like it?

We usually hire BMW cars while on family summer vacations. It’s important to have a car you are familiar with, it’s technological and other factors are very high standard. Besides when in Basel I always take BMW shuttles and I used to have BMW car myself a while ago.

How do you make travel less stressful?

I always take a comfortable pair of shoes. If you’re involved in art comfortable shoes are really important, a primary necessity. During the biennales or art fairs, you have to walk a lot, a few kilometres often, which makes me really happy, but you need soft shoes.

What shoes do you wear whilst getting from A to B?

I like my Golden Goose sneakers. They look great and I feel comfortable in these shoes.

What’s your biggest luxuries while driving? 

A good scent, a good sound system and good company to travel with.


For more information on the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance, click here. 

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