Bizarre and Beautiful...

Bizarre and Beautiful...

...was my take on Art Basel Miami this year which I was lucky enough to attend, though I'm still getting used to the 60 degree temperature difference here. If you know nothing or a lot about art, go! Its a huge cross section of painting, sculpture, photography and performance from all around the globe. Like Ina... I heard German, British, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Italian and Japanese crowds milling about eclectic collections both famous and not...

The main convention center was massive, and I was visually saturated at the end of the day. Some highlights of mine there were huge Joel Meyerowitz C-prints, a few Marcel Duchamps, John Baldessari portraits and couple Hunter S. Thompson shots from California in the '60s. Jeffrey Deitch represented NY fantastically as always amongst massive pieces like a three ton cast bell and Japanese goldfish swimming inside a giant thermometer. Out on the beach hung tree huts perched in the palms, and 100 ceramic bubbles covered Watson Island.

L1030500.jpg Art Wrestling took place on a lovely evening, with about 80 men and women signed up with fantastic names like "Beyonce-Slay" and "Bloodbath and Beyond" vying to win donated art. Surrounding the stage were 22 bright orange shipping containers - turned galleries by Art Positions, and a super cool topographical map sculpted out of foam and Nerf ammo. A perfect night to sip your mojito, chill out and make friends on what felt like a mini iceberg, lit from beneath and surrounded by peaceful soundscapes by WPS1 radio.

L1030497.jpg Friday was a packed opening at the Wolfsonian FIU with a book signing with Martin Paar and the "American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow" show on the 4th / 5th floors...they didn't let me shoot inside but I hope this one travels...

The Kaiju Monster Invasion, the hilarious performance creation from Boston students took place across town...their Big Battel I've seen in NYC and tours the country....a weird wonderful experience indeed.

L1030540.jpg David Lynch projected dancing diamonds and music inside gold-trimmed walls of the geodesic shaped Cartier Dome ...big buyers sipped on Veuve and bid on emerald puma necklaces, and a yellow diamond bigger than an iPod shuffle.

Smaller galleries from Seattle, especially the Soil Collective caught my eye consistently, as did the creations out of the Art Palace in Austin and both Northern California's Johansson Project and Toomey Tourell.

And like Ina said, aside of the art...its Miami and I couldn't get enough of the details...

...the little smiles from Cuban boys when you ask for hotter salsa, bikini-clad ladies on the beach holding macaw parrots while talking on cell phones, the leopard prints, alligator shoes, men in hot pants roller blading with huge snakes around their necks, CSI jokes...all really fun. In the Setai garden the people watching out of this world. A few glimpses below...







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The troubled economy was addressed by NY Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz, reiterating what we probably already know: the art market will be hit hard like everyone else. But to me it was hard to feel the recession there; with the unbridled construction, $500G cars revving down Collins Avenue, built-in fat tips on all the tabs felt like a you were in a big bubble. Though I can't personally support the arts financially as completely as I'd like to right now, I can at least fully in spirit: I plan to follow at least 6-7 young galleries and emerging artists from this event, and will definitely return...albeit with a longer time schedule to see it all, 29 decibel earplugs, and a place to crash outside of the main drag, which is best illustrated here:

And the biggest thing I can say is it inspired me to just keep at it...turn on some music, go up to my studio and make stuff.
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