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Thursday January 10, 2008

A great set of photos from Art Basel. (via Provocateur)


Wednesday December 26, 2007

Boyz of Bazel

As requested, the Boyz of Bazel. There were 11×17 glossies of this floating around. Nice work, gentlemen. (via freegums, unless (update) somebody has a link to a larger version of this file??)


Wednesday December 19, 2007

Anne Tschida asks the musical question, ‘Is Art Basel is, or is Art Basel ain’t Miami’s baby after 2010?’ Caution: this article is replete with words like “nascent.”


Wednesday December 12, 2007

Miami Fever’s photos from Photo Miami. (I just got dizzy typing that sentence.) Also, did you know that MF has a video stream? Here is a nice one of a South Beach club line.


Monday December 10, 2007

Aqua, Wynwood, more Pulse, Geisai, Photo Miami, Aipad, Casa Lin, Art Miami

Art Basel Miami Beach

Shana Lutker’s Hear It Here, at Art Perform, was a bit of a dud, at least from the little bit I saw. Maybe it got cooking later, but for me it confirmed a long standing suspicion that performance art is much easier to pull off in a small enclosed space.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Wynwood: This piece is officially the best thing all week. A kid from Dash high school made it, and promised to send me his information, and of course didn’t hasn’t yet. But and so yes, they were offering to take people’s pictures, right there on the street. This skewers more things that deserve skewering in one stroke then most people manage in a career, and it brings to new heights to the “But is it art?” issue for dessert. Rock over London, rock over Miami, Mission Accomplished. Update: Ilan Wilson-Soler. Thanks to everyone who helped track him down, and thanks Ilan for the kick-ass piece. Let’s have more like this.

Art Basel Miami Beach

At Twenty Twenty, Jen Stark’s How to Become a Millionaire in 100 Days (answer: make 10,000 pieces of paper a day, which is exactly how this piece came about).

Art Basel Miami Beach

Did you hear of a fair called Fountain? Me neither, but I stumbled across it, and was pretty impressed. Here’s one of a few of David Opdyke’s great little sculptures.

Art Basel Miami Beach

William Lamson’s Vital Capacity. A guy is in a vertical chamber, encased in a box up to his neck, his face covered with up-facing spikes. Balloons get dropped on him, and he must keep them up as long as possible by blowing, because, imagine a constant barage of balloons popping right in front of your face. Great use of a vertical LCD.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Bob and Roberta Smith (what is up with those names?), 26.05.07 Never Trust an Hippie. I hope you can read this (and btw it’s over 100 inches wide).

Art Basel Miami Beach

It’s always a treat to see one of Robin Griffiths’ pieces.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Brandon Opalka’s mural covers the entire side of Dorsch. (It’s going to have to be a “to-see,” because my photo here just really isn’t doing it any justice.) Do we have a candidate for Largest Artwork in Miami?




Moore space, Design Miami, Scope, Pulse

Wow… lots and lots to get through here. And I’m leaving out lots more great stuff. Tonight is the party in the Design District/Wynwood, otherwise try to make it to the Positions party — I have photos from last night which I’ll post later, but it was wacked out. OK, here’s yesterday:

Art Basel Miami Beach

Moore Space: Claire Fontaine, Instructions for the Sharing of Private Property. An actual, unabashed, lockpicking how-to.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Loris Greaud, Illusion is a Revolutionary Weapon, M46 paint ball gun with IKB (International Klein Blue) paint balls. Can you imagine?

Art Basel Miami Beach

Design Miami: DM takes itself very very seriously, but that’s not to say there isn’t great stuff to see, both from a practical/beautiful and a spectacle perspective. Lodged firmly in the latter, Demisch Danant’s concrete chair.

Art Basel Miami Beach

“Designer of the Year” Tokujin Yoshioka’s Chair that disappears in the rain. Much more about Yoshioka’s gorgeous installation here.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Scope: As always, Scope rocked. To boot, at least 6 Miami Galleries (7?) have set up shop there. Here’s Shang Hui’s fiberglass Mermaid. She has a temple on her head.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Didn’t catch the artist or gallery (shame on me), but here’s a ~4 foot paper airplane carved from marble. Shocking craftsmanship.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Li Wei, Bright Apex.



Wednesday December 5, 2007

Art Basel day 1

Art Basel Miami Beach

The gates open at noon sharp on Wednesday for the uber-elite guests. Here they are moments before, crowded into the convention center’s lobby. The regular-elite get in at 2 pm, the merely special go to the Vernissage at 5 pm, and the riff raff gets in starting Thursday.

Art Basel Miami Beach

I bring this one up because my man Wolfgang Tillmans is one of the big photographers at the fair. I saw Nice work by Candida Hoffer and Gursky as always, but Tillmans was all over the place. The far wall in this picture shows one of his quintessential photo arrangements, albeit all in frames. The still-lives absolutely slay. (neuger-riemschneider gallery)

Art Basel Miami Beach

The usual suspects at White Cube were rounded out by a huge nazi/horror movie diorama by Jake & Dinos Chapman.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Two magnetized cubes suspended in a corner. Jeppe Hein, 303 Gallery NY.

Art Basel Miami Beach

At von Senger, a concrete-drawing robot. Not a very smart roboy (they had to re-position him once in a while), but he makes up in art brawn what he lacks in brains, yes?

Art Basel Miami Beach

Lara Favaretto. Yes, she wrote that on a wall with a marker and called it art. What are you going to do about it? (“Dimensions variable,” of course.) This is at Galleria Franco Noero, where I also very highly recommend Simon Starling’s “Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty Five,” A projection of a film made by a motion-control camera panning around an exquisite chair, and accompanying diagram. Don’t take my word for that one — check it out.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Last one from Noero — Andrew Dadson’s flowers in black water. Do try this at home.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Arshile Gorky (from 1946) at Matthew Marks Gallery.

Art Basel Miami Beach

At De Carlo gallery, they are probably hating having installed this fake ATM with abandoned baby in silicone. Not to disapoint, attendees kept trying to use the ATM, and ignored the baby in a basket. Hey! How are you so sure that one’s real and that one’s fake!?

Art Basel Miami Beach

George Herold’s paining, Acrylic and bricks on canvas (with, I’m assuming, some sort of Herculean frame and substructure). Aizpuru, which also had more of that rockin’ Wolfgang Tillmans.

Art Basel Miami Beach

At maccarone, an installation dedicated to the Mass MoCA / Christoph Büchel fiasco, mostly framed court documents, e-mails, and a printout from

Art Basel Miami Beach

Also there: huge chocolate Santas with dildos butt plugs. also available in a convenient 1’ size. Yawn.

Art Basel Miami Beach

New this year: Art Supernova, a separate little section where each gallery’s art is separated from their storage and office areas, resulting in supposedly a more museum-like atmosphere. Well, slightly. Anyway, here’s a guy who’ll be performing hair sculptures all week. Stop by for a trim.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Nina Katchadourian’s Continuum of Cute. You’re not seeing the whole thing, but it goes from left to right and from top to bottom. Not sure if you can rearrange them to your liking.

Art Basel Miami Beach

A couple of Felipe Barbosa’s soccer ball sculptures. Too many people to get a good photo of his great wall-hanging.

Art Basel Miami Beach

ShanghART never disappoints. This year: Xu Zhen’s reconstruction of an Asian market. Far as I can tell, stocked with real groceries.

Update: Rather then do a new post, here are pictures from later in the day, NADA and the Stooges show:

Art Basel Miami Beach

Note: this is an animation! Three of these in a row, with discretely concealed projectors, at Vacio 9. Very nice.

Art Basel Miami Beach

This spaceman was part of an interesting installation at Ballroom Marfa.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Wilfredo Prieto’s El Tiempo es Oro/Time is God, at Martin Van Zomeren — this watch, suspended from the ceiling by a very long chain, in an otherwise empty and gray-painted booth. Appears to be accurate.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Gnarly balsa-wood sculptures at Roebling Hall. Yes, it’s about cutting wood, but it’s also about the 16 oz. beer can.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Yuken Teruya.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Blow de la Barra’s radiant booth.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Latest from Ian Burns. If you’re not familiar, it’s live video that’s generated by contraptions made from household objects. This one is a jet (Air Force One!) flying through a storm. It involves a tiny camera, live feed, a toy airplane, spinning background, haze effects (a spinning plastic cup between the camera and airplane, and several motors to make the whole thing shake and jostle for effect. Mesmerizing.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Graham Hudson’s Five Tools, which requires no explanation except that the tape measure at the bottom is about a quarter inch from the ground.

Art Basel Miami Beach

André Ethier, at Derek Eller Gallery.

Art Basel Miami Beach

I was required to post something from this gallery because it’s Czech: Jan Kotik, Coat of Arms of Le Sievr de la Mothe Cadillac (1658-1730), Hunt Kastner.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Yes, it’s the Stooges. They were really great, and it’s difficult to imagine Iggy ever in his life having less energy then he had last night. Another thing I learned — lots of kids are into the Stooges way more then I am. They were psyched.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Some well-orchestrated “mayhem.” Folks were invited onstage for one number, then invited back off before the show continued. Still not bad, and people were rowdy! I got hit in the head with a stray flying bottle, which some kid promptly dove for and threw back in the direction of the stage. Also: I think the Stooges played ‘I wanna be your dog’ like three times.


Tuesday December 4, 2007

Art Basel the links

Installing something impressive in the Botanical Gardens across from the Convention Center.

OK folks, you know the drill. I’ll be delivering coverage from the show all week, more comprehensive information, and sometime Thursday or Friday, the “Art Basel guide for normal people.” For now, let’s get started with some links, of to which I will be adding later:



Monday December 3, 2007

Hey everybody it’s art fair week. Local galleries in Basel: Emmanuel Perrotin, Kevin Bruk (in Nova), Gavlak (West Palm Beach, in Positions). Snitzer is autoselected since he’s the selection committee’s resident Florida expert.


Wednesday October 17, 2007

Miami Contemporary Artists the book! By Julie Davidow and Paul Clemence, with a forward by Elisa Turner. Over 100 artists, including Hernan Bas, Jose Bedia, Teresita Fernandez, Naomi Fisher, Luis Gispert, Daniel Arsham, Susan Lee Chun, Cristina Lei Rodriguez, and TM Sisters. Book launch events around Art Basel, but looks like you can get a copy now.


Thursday May 17, 2007

Alfredo Triff has posted his opening remarks regarding Art Basel from the panel discussion at Snitzer last Thursday. This is an edited version. The “Blogs are dead!” comment, which elicited such a gasp from the audience (oh, was that just me?), has been softened to “The local blog sphere, so effervescent three years ago, is now dead.” Seriously though, Triff rocks: “Artists can co-sponsor public events, alternative shows, public lectures and alternative art presentations. Art needs to go back to the street. Let’s give the market a different kind of spectacle by turning the spectacle on its head!” Listen to the panel at MAeX. Then, for those who were there (or listened to it), any particular impressions?? Let’s get into it . . .



What Art Basel really means for Miami


Plenty. Duh: the Basel engine brings important art folks to town, increases Miami’s prominence as a global art hub, and draws the attention of our ordinary citizens to art. But it’s also often pointed out that these benefits are not transitory — they accrue each time Art Basel is here. If Basel goes away, all the good effects it’s brought thus far stay. “Art Basel has planted and irrigated the seeds for the development of the art community in Miami,” says Mariangela Capuzzo.

But there’s another important piece to this puzzle. It’s not just about what Basel does for Miami; it’s about what Miami does for Basel. Where, in 2001, was an ambitious art fair from Switzerland to set up a satellite event? City size is a secondary factor, as is (let’s face it) the strength of the local art scene. What they were looking for was a city (a) as far from Basel as possible, and (b) with a certain cachet.

Let’s consider how the Basel folks might have thought this one through. They’re obviously looking for a city in North or South America. It has to be considered cool. Let’s say they start with São Paulo, maybe the hippest city in South America. Two problems: (1) how convenient is it for US collectors to travel there, plus the fact that (2) the big German festival Documenta has already sort of beaten them to the punch. The former concern applies to all South American Cities, and as tempted as the Swiss must have been by, say Bogota, at some point they must have realized that it would be easier to tempt S. American collectors to the US then to tempt US collectors to go international. Americans are lazy, we all know that. On the other hand — wait a second isn’t there a city that’s technically in the US, but that’s generally considered to be a part of South/Central America in spirit? You see where I’m going with this?

I grant that, having made the decision to go USA, the Swiss folks might have made lots of choices. New York comes to mind. But I think they were specifically looking for a place to call their own: one that didn’t have a strong established reputation on the international art scene, particularly the fair scene. And since their fair is in the Summer, they needed a spot that’d be comfortable in the Winter — i.e., well south of the Mason-Dixon line. Now your choices are down to a few (admittedly hip) spots in Texas, New Orleans, and maybe Atlanta. With everything we’ve considered, do any of these places hold a candle to Miami? Consider the presumable appeal to rich South Americans. Consider the reputation, within the USA, as a resort/vacation destination. Consider the sheer fucking spectacularness of the place.

What’s Basel doing for Miami? Not an unfair question. But I think we should be thinking just as much about what Miami is doing for Basel.


Wednesday April 25, 2007

The Basel tractor beam: Art Miami changes from early-January to early-December.


Monday January 15, 2007

Art Basel leftovers. Some nice pictures of lingering street art.


Wednesday January 3, 2007

David Byrne’s account of visiting Miami for Art Basel: “why am I enjoying the art so much? Shouldn’t I be taking a more cynical attitude, with all this nonsense going on all around? Am I naïve? I realized the banana doesn’t know much about United Fruit and its nasty ways as it grows in the fields . . . The next day was overcast as I rode my bike over the Venetian causeway, a lovely island-hopping ride — bridge, island, bridge, island and partly shady too . . . I went for a pee and when I opened the bathroom door a couple were coming out of the one stall — ooops, I guess the cocaine days are not over down here just yet.” Just skip the beginning, where he waxes philosophical on the evolutionary function of art, and read to the end. Also see a slideshow of Byrne’s favorite pieces from the fairs. (via rakontur)


Friday December 15, 2006

An Art Basel flickr photoset, dominated by pictures of the Friends With You parade. Great!



Miami Basel: An Art Costco for Billionaires. Ok, fine. But “glorified sandbar?” I have an idea, Mr. Trebay. Why don’t you report on something other then a list of events you heard were happening and shit you read off a press release? The closest thing to a fact we get in this piece is the bit about 216 NetJet flights because, what, it was impossible to make more then one phone call? (thanks, Lei)


Thursday December 14, 2006

The tables of Basel

One of the great things about Art Basel was the galleries from all over the word trying to out-do each other with the tables and chairs they brought in, really the only non-art way they have to distinguish each other. This new photoset has my favorites, with commentary.


Sunday December 10, 2006

Basel weekend: everything else

This one and the next one are the only thing I have from Pulse, which was pretty small, cramped, overcrowded, and cost $10. There were, however, lots of great pieces. This scary little photograph is by Roger Ballen. It totally fooled me into thinking it was a real Joel Peter-Witkin-style photograph, but for some reason on screen now it looks much more like what it is: a digital composite.

More obviously digital, this is a detail from a big image by Dionisio Gonzalez.

Jesus looks over the entryway to NADA.

This little joke piece shows up every year. At $200, (unframed) in an unlimited edition, it makes a killing.

Installation with a customized Gucci suitcase at the Sister gallery (L.A.).

An arresting photograph of an empty Jack Daniels bottle by Melanie Schiff, titled Emergency. Not the only alcoholic humor art we saw: a David Kramer print at Pulse prominently read, “WHOEVER IT IS THAT SAIDLESS IS MORE’ PROBABLY OWES ME A ROUND OR TWO.”

Here’s the NADA building from the outside. Very relaxing, with a big lawn, hammocks, and a little restaurant (nothing to write home to mom about there, though).

This guy performed on the lawn, heavily reverberated voice, guitar, and chime percussion. He sounded a little bit like Panda Bear, but he kept stopping to chat with his friends who came up. We got impatient and left.

An opportunistic resident outside Scope, spraycan-changing the price for parking on her property from $10 to $15. I think her logic was that if someone eventually did park there, she’d boost her profits by 50%. Unfortunately for her, everyone was just parking on the street.

One of the things I really enjoyed about Scope (oh, sorry: ~scope) was the outdoor scene. There was a lot more there then I’m going to show you, including a big stage, a bus with a tent in the back that you entered to see a light show, and some extremely fancy porta-potties. This is the immortal Eric Doeringer, hawking his bootleg versions of contemporary art. Eric is beyond cool: I have a picture of him holding up a fake Art Basel VIP card, with which he apparently got into the Vernissage, among other things.

blood for art

The Blood for Art table. This idea is simultaneously great, depressing, morbid, and inadvisable on a long weekend of running all over town and spending most of your time on foot.

Oh the art. This amazing drawing by Mat Brown.

Other then the Nike logo, a great sculpture. Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto.

Sometimes you just can’t pass up a picture.

Locust Projects contacted Flight 19 (Tampa) to co-present something at Scope this year. They came up with this Negativland piece, Rightmanland, a singing animatronic Abraham Lincoln. Efforts to bring Negativland to Miami are in the works!

Photo Miami was excellent, and for some reason sparsely attended.

Here’s one piece, by Luis Molina-Pantin.


Opening/party for the Monster Show, Thursday night. This is a link to a photoset; click the picture to see more photos from the evening (probably not interesting unless you were there).

Opening at Carol Jazzar’s on Friday evening.

One last visit to Basel.

This wasn’t up before: a loop of magnetic cassette video tape hovering in the field between two fans. No artist info, sorry. Zilvinas Kempinas, Spencer Brownstone Gallery.

Saturday night in the Design District/Wynwood. This is the incomparable Cody ChesnuTT. Cody was performing a new suite of songs, solo electric, and recording it, so he asked us to hold our applause until the end. He was great, and a surprisingly agile guitar player, though I’m not sure the self-indulgence that bugged Pitchfork is waning anytime soon.

Cody’s crowd.

We spent the rest of the night hanging out at Lenny’s. The show he has up includes pieces from his private collection, including a Gregory Crewdson, a Robert Rauschenberg, and this lovely drawing by Hope Gangloff.


Friday December 8, 2006

The Art Basel guide for normal people

inside art basel

Art Basel is fun! You don’t need to be an expert, or have a big checkbook, to enjoy it. In fact, most people there this weekend will just be there for fun, to look. If you’re thinking about it, just go! You’ll have a good time. The Herald, the New Times, and everybody else has big “Art Basel Guides,” but if all you want is to go for a few hours and see what all the fuss is about, just read the next paragraph and go! This isn’t rocket science, and you don’t need to do any major preparations.

Art Basel is here. Google will give you very nice driving directions if you need them. The parking lot across the street from the convention center charges $10, the garage in 17th Street charges $8. It costs $24 to get in for adults, $12 for kids, students, and seniors. The earlier you’ll go, the less crowded it’ll be and the more time you’ll have to look, and maybe take a break for food at Lincoln Road; just tell the person at the door you’re coming back and they’ll stamp your ticket stub or whatever. Once you’re inside, you can find out about Art Video Lounge, Art Positions, Art Perform, and Art Sound Lounge, which are in the neighborhood and which you may want to check out, too. Unless you want more then a casual day trip, don’t worry about anything else; some of the other fairs are great, but they’re much smaller, and a bit of a hassle. The “special events” are a hassle too, especially for parking. I spent six hours at Basel the other day and I still didn’t see nearly everything.

What to expect
I have pictures of some of the artworks I liked here and here. Expect to do some serious walking! Wear comfortable shoes. The fair is laid out in rows, but when you’re walking around it feels like a complete maze. I’d wandering around at random and getting lost. They have a little map, but trying to follow it to “see everything” is an exercise in futility, and you can walk through the same area over and over and see new stuff anyway.

The people who work for the galleries are all very nice. Unlike at some of the other fairs, they generally won’t start conversations with people (which is a relief for me), but they’re very happy to answer questions. If someone tries to talk to you and you’re not interested, nod and walk away — they’ll think you don’t speak that particular language!

Oh, about “stupid question.” Yes, unfortunately there is such a thing as a stupid question. Don’t ask “what makes this art?” or “couldn’t anybody do that?’ Questions about how something was made, or details about the artist, are great. It’s considered polite to preface “How much does that cost?” with a question that suggests why you’re interested in a particular piece. (Eavesdropping on conversations between gallery employees and visitors is a good way to learn interesting little tidbits.)

Officially, cameras are banned, although these days it’s easy to sneak a little camera anywhere. I walked around with a big camera over my shoulder and photographed everything, and though I have credentials that say I can do so, nobody really checked. Lots of people take photographs, so you should be able to sneak one here and there, so long as you TURN OFF YOUR FLASH. (Yes, break out your camera’s manual right now, and figure out how to take it off auto-flash mode and to turn the flash on and off yourself, because the truth is that the camera often does the exact opposite of what you need to take a good photo. But I digress.)

Do save some time for Art Video Lounge, which is across the street from the convention center. I haven’t been yet, but in past years it’s always been great. Art positions is about a 10 minute walk from the convention center. It’s usually worth it, especially if you’re wanting to get some fresh air anyway, but mainly it’s more of the same.

By the way, here’s a link to the Art Basel website, not that it’s particularly helpful.

Stuff for free and cheap
Art Basel is expensive! For a family of four it’s $82 with parking. Personally, I think it’s worth it. If you don’t want to spend the money, NADA is free, and it’s great! It’s like a smaller, more relaxed Basel. There isn’t nearly as much to see, and not all the artwork is as impressive, but it’s very much worth a visit. There’s a parking lot that charges $10, but you might be able to find free parking on the street in the surrounding neighborhood.

I think you can get in free to Basel’s Art Positions and Art Video Lounge without a ticket, but I’m not sure. I’ll find out put the information right here by tomorrow morning. [ Update: Yes, Positions and Video Lounge are free. Also on the beach, Bridge, Aqua, Ink, and a couple of the other fairs are free. Basel is still worth the money, though.]

There’s a list of the rest of the fairs here. I’ve also been to Scope, Pulse, and Photo Miami so far, and all three cost $10. Scope was my favorite — I’ll try to do a post about it later. Photo Miami was also great; much much better then a lot of people were for some reason expecting. I wasn’t as crazy about Pulse. I generally don’t like the hotel-based fairs like Aqua, because the rooms tend to be cramped and not good for looking at art (ymmv).

Whatever you do, don’t waste your time this weekend going to the Miami Art Museum, Miami Art Central, the Margulies Warehouse, or any other place with art that you can visit next weekend, or in a month. These places are all very much worth visiting, but this weekend they’re overrun with out-of-town art people, and there’s a lot going on that’ll be gone by Sunday evening.

Other events
The big thing is Saturday night in the Design District/Wynwood. There’s going to be a huge street party, with all the galleries open, bands playing, and general mayhem. Traffic and parking are going to be the nightmare of the century, but it’ll be fun. I’m probably going to entrust myself to the hands of friends who will know what to do (Update: Though Cody Chesnutt is performing at MocaSonic!). Tons and tons of other events listed at Alex in the City (I don’t know who she is but she’s doing a great job of rounding this stuff up), The Next Few Hours (a great, “mostly kid-friendly” list), and Miami Nights (party-oriented). You might also try to slog through the Herald’s coverage: try here and here, or try the New Times, who says “We’ve got Basel’s best!”, but appears to list everything (I’m just scanning). It’s probably better in the print version. Online they say “see our Art Basel Event listings” but there’s no link, and I can’t find them!


Thursday December 7, 2006

Images from Art Basel 2006, pt 2

Never have so many different people found so many different reasons to dislike a single painting. Commercial, San Juan. This gallery also had a 1970’s GMS custom van in their booth, all arted out with log-cabin wood paneling, hippie furniture interior, and cute girls hanging out inside.

Paul McCarthy plasters his head and one arm into a wall, a piece from 1973. I hope you can see it in this size, because it’s pretty crazy.

Alison Elizabeth Taylor. Super-elaborate inlaid wood job. No paint was used in the making of this artwork, just some shellac.

A perfectly lovely little photograph by John Riddy.

This piece, by Cornelia Parker, appears to be a hologram of a dress, but it turns out to be an actual nightgown in a lightbox, and the nightgown turns out to be the one that Mia Farrow wore in Rosemary’s Baby.

Chris Burden. This image emphasizes a much more subtle use of crappy reflections.

No information on this one, but I’m including it to once again show the prevalence of neon handwriting (“badly organized” — HA!) and cast brass, in this case fluorescent tubes. Elsewhere, there was a life-sized shipping palette, and of course yesterday’s Judd.

A massive dyptic, maybe 8 or 10 feet tall. This was listed as “camera obscura unique print,” which turns out to mean this: The artist brought a pinhole camera the size of the final print to site with the photo paper in it, and opened the hole. The exposure was probably days or weeks, then the pinhole gets closed, and the whole thing gets transported to a light-tight location for removal of the paper, unless the location could be completely darkened to allow someone to enter the pinhole without letting in any light. Since there is no negative, the image itself is reversed. My friends, this is photography at its most hardcore. The subject is a piece of mining equipment, probably about 20 stories tall. You can see something similar driving down the Turnpike by the Rinker facility. The small object in the lower part of the right side is a bulldozer.

Like I said, very little video art. We did get serenaded by this CGI fish, though.

Tomas Wesselman. Anything old was selling for major bucks — this piece is $150,000, but other little paintings on the same wall were three times as much (one of the few booths that included prices on wall labels).

Chrome furniture by Vito Acconci.

Installation by Shintaro Miyake, including painted wood pieces, photographs (of a performance), drawings, sculpture, and stuffed plush animals.

In the same booth, a lovely Hideaki Kawashima painting.

A video installation, from a single overhead camera. Various wild animals wander around from screen to screen. Diana Thater.

Roni Horn. This is a fairly huge piece of cast glass, maybe about the size of a bulldozer tire. The sides and bottom are as cast, rough and naturally frosted; the top has been melted with a blowtorch and allowed to cool, for a perfectly smooth surface.

Elizabeth Peyton.

A painting of a Jesus bust lamp encountering a black and white photograph of a Mickey Mouse toy.

OK, this reproduction came out particularly terrible, which is unfortunate. It’s a photograph of two groups of skiers on some sort of cross-country ski race, possibly taken from a helicopter. It loomed over me — look, you can see reflections of people’s heads about halfway up. The only new Gursky I saw yesterday (?!) so I’m including it despite not having a decent image.


Wednesday December 6, 2006

Images from Art Basel 2006

Lots to get to here. The show seems to get a little more tame every year, but there’s still lots and lots to see. Here’s a few things that jumped out at me; I’m going to give the artist’s name if I have it, the gallery’s name if not.

Jacob Hashimoto. A sculpture of cocktail umbrellas connected by string, 4 levels deep.

Candida Höfer really came into her own this year. This one was my favorite in the show. (Yes, I’ve got glare. It’s going to get worse.)

Handwriting-styled neon was ubiquitous. This piece consists of the first four lines of “Dumb,” apparently based on a scan of Curt Kobain’s diary. The words flashed on and off individually at the speed he sang the lines. Like, um, deep. Dude. (neugerriemschneider, Berlin)

A brass Donald Judd. Probably the first piece of his I’ve really appreciated. Note to gallery: please wipe the top off with a soft lint-free cloth; it’s dusty!

A John McLaughlin painting from 1957. You’re seeing some cracks in this reproduction, but actually it had a lovely texture.

Another blinking-lights sculpture. This one is from Sicardi in Houston. Maybe they play 3-D chess on it.

The same gallery had a number of optical-type works. The sides of the shapes on this one that face away from the front are painted different colors, so that the piece is monochrome except for the little triangular shadows (it’s a subtle thing).

Romare Bearden, stellar in color.

A fantastic piece from the early life of Gregory Crewdson. How he gets those points of light in the photo is a mystery. Then again, the same is true of his more recent work.

Carl Andre intended for these to be walked on, but the galleries generally don’t feel the same way.

In an effort to counteract the anomie-inducing effects of So. Much. Freaking. Art., the organizers peppered the show with “Art Kabinets,” little mini-shows which are at least internally curated. One of these is dedicated to William Wegman. In this photo series he builds a box in John Baldessari’s studio. (Overheard price: $85,000 — CHEAP!! )

A detail from another of the pieces, in which he glued down postcards, and then completed a painting to join them into a composition. Wegman went on to make silly dog photos. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)(Sorry, there I go ruining art for people.)

Collage and electrical tape on wall. (Arnaud, São Paulo.)

Doug Aiken has been one of my favorite artists for years, and he totally saved the day. I’m going to show you three pieces, but this one was my favorite. Unfortunately, you’ll have to go see it yourself, because it faced the food court, and the glare is decimating it.

Nevermind, right? But this 5-channel video piece showed surveillance footage of empty buildings into which individual animals had snuck.

If I read the label correctly, this artist would like to be known as “MR.” On the off chance that that’s incorrect, I’ll just say that it’s Lehmann Maupin gallery, New York. Another neon piece in the background, this time by Tracy Emin. What it says is not important.

You saw the chrome floor earlier? This place had a bathroom-tile floor, with several big bath-themed paintings to match. I really like this one. (Note: I’m getting better with the color time on my new camera, but I really botched it on some of these and couldn’t even save them in Photoshop.)

The second Aiken. This one has polished stainless steel hexagons that slowly shift over time.

When digital meets paint, the results are often not pretty, but this picture probably suffers unfairly for being dragged back into a computer. In person it really had some potential.

A photo of a man’s profile A picture of a man’s profile made by photographing guys with and without shirts sitting on the beach.


I love this ballpoint pen drawing on folded paper, but I lost the name of the artist. Anyone?

Damien Hirst, w00t! These are real cigarette butts which he put out in rows, and then (‘m guessing) had assistants glue down in exactly the same position. Mental.

Another Hirst. Real butterflies were most definitively harmed in the making of this artwork.

Installation by Richard Jackson. Now this is more like it, Basel. Some giant cartoon ducks shitting out paint through hoses into buckets. Life sized (the toilets, not the ducks), natch. (Not right now, but if you don’t see it in person come back later and try clicking it; I might link it to a bigger version.)

A whimsical sculpture with real plates and bowls. (OMR, Río de Janeiro.)

Just like some stuff can’t be photographed, some stuff just sits around and waits for a camera to complete it. Can you figure out what’s happening here? (Lisson, London.)


Wolfgagn Tillmans. Rockstar.

More photography: Eric Baudelaire. This was one of a stellar group of four.

The best color-period Cindy Sherman photo I’ve ever seen.

OK, I’m beat. More tomorrow morning.



zOMG the media


Sam I am

free food


The Basel Media reception. Nobody cares, so I’m going to make it super-brief. Captions, clockwise from top left:

Next up: art.


Tuesday December 5, 2006

Art Basel T minus 1 day


It’s silly for me to talk to out-of-towners since they’re either packing, in transit, or settling in, but whatever. Welcome to Miami Beach. Sorry about the crowds. You’re in the Northernmost portion of the world-famous South Beach (please don’t call it SoBe), a neighborhood called Collins Park. Here’s a map. You’re at the convention center, and the white square in the upper right is where Positions is; the right edge of the map is the beach (the other two edges of the map are just where the map leaves off. Google shows it pretty good). It’s about a 10-minute walk between the Convention Center and Positions, and through a neighborhood that’s experiencing a small-scale and slightly delayed version of what’s happening in all of Miami — massive buildup and reconstruction. You’ll see brand new buildings, old buildings, buildings getting torn down, renovated, and built up. The weather should be okay — it’s not going to be hot like it was last weekend, but it’ll probably rain here and there.

I’ll reserve judgment, but if last year’s any indication, the satellite fairs on the mainland tend to be better then the ones on the Beach. The Beach fairs (such as Scope and Aqua) are mostly in hotels, and I find that sort of setting very claustrophobic and not conducive to looking at art — you’re in a small room, usually with a desperate gallery owner breathing down your neck and being all friendly and shit. The beautiful building of NADA and and even the absurd tent of Pulse were more open and relaxed to me (at least last year).

A general word of advice, as much to myself as anyone else — go slowly. There’s no way you’re going to see everything anyway; it’s better to have quality time with fewer pieces then to run around looking for some sort of cream. If you think you can spot the stuff you really need to see very easily, you’re probably just accentuating your self-imposed tunnel-vision. Also, this might be a good year to stop fawning over overpriced German photography. Maybe.

Now let’s have today’s list of links:


Monday December 4, 2006

The word on Art Basel

Basel always brings some temporary outdoor art installations. This one is in front of the Jackie Gleason Theater. Some more are here and here

Yes, I’m going to be talking about Art Basel this week; apologies to those who don’t care. For non-art people who are interested, I’ll probably do a post on Friday to tell you what to see if you don’t want to see everything. For the others, somewhat more frequent updates on what’s particularly interesting.


Tuesday November 28, 2006

The Art Basel Plan

gallery sign at basel

Art Basel weekend is right around the corner: It happens the weekend of December 9th and the few days before (the official opening is Thursday). If you’re coming in from out of town, you’re mainly concerned with getting yourself some airline tickets and hotel reservations. Us locals have it good. Here’s what the smart ones will be doing:


Friday November 24, 2006

Bert Rodriguez photo installation on Herald building


Bert Rodriguez, You’re only mad at yourself, photo installation on the east side of the Miami Herald building, 2006.

Bert Rodriguez, previously known for buying and returning picture frames with his picture in them, was awarded a $15,000 grant to complete this installation on the outside of the Herald building. It’s a photo of the view from inside the building, flipped horizontally for a mirror effect for westbound drivers. From an interview:

From inside the Herald building I took a photograph through windows of the outside view, and I took the picture from the part of the building where the banner hangs. From inside the building, the banner, which is 60-feet-by-40-feet, will reflect the same view employees always see. From outside — for people on the other side of the bay and driving toward downtown on the causeway — it will look like a reflection.

For a (Snitzer!) artist who operates on the boundary between the obvious and the sublime, this is pretty damn good. He resisted the urge to do something more obvious (say, on the building’s oft-bannered south wall), and nods subtly to the previous Herald-based installation, Wendy Wischer’s fantastic moon projection. But couldn’t $15,000 bought a bigger banner? Maybe three of these next to each other (60’ x 120’), which would also have resulted in a more pleasing horizontally-oriented image.

And yes, it’s up just in time for Art Basel.


Wednesday May 3, 2006

Huh? Abrsoino Gallery has decided not to participate in ABMB06. “Even though our participation in the past few years was economically very successful, I felt that this year we needed to give our artists a fresher exposure and more challenging venues.”

“Is Art Basel Miami Beach played out?” Jose wonders. I doubt it, and I doubt that Ambrosino’s withdrawal would really be the indicator of that. But between this, and last year’s snub of Steinbaum, we have the makings of an Art Basel Miami Beach with very little Miami in it, which makes me sad.