Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Art Basel Favorites...

After breakfast at the Rubell Family Collection last Thursday, I went to the Convention Center to see Art Basel. I went early so I could meet Michelangelo Pistoletto and hear him talk about his new book, The Third Paradise. He talked about his version of the infinity symbol that has a large circle in the center with two smaller circles connected parallel to each side. Where the Third Paradise consists of artificial needs and comforts leading to over consumption and corrosion of the natural planet. When asked, "What advise would you give young artists?" He simply replied, "change the world."

Michelangelo Pistoletto

There is so much to see at Art Basel, but here are a few of my favorites...

Favorite use of space...

I only wish they would have painted the floor as well. I have seen it done, but you have to bring in your own flooring to paint.

Favorite interactive art...

This was a huge heart like shape that was constructed out of wood with bench like seating inside. In the center there was a drum with a drumstick hanging from the ceiling on a bungie cord. While we sat inside we pulled on the bungie cord so that the drumstick would bounce down and repeatedly hit the drum like a heartbeat.

Reproductor, by Rochelle Costi

The instructions:
1. choose and take an image from the wall.
2. fit it to one of the tables (on the left of the glass if you are right handed, on the right if you are left handed)
3. copy the image using a pencil or a pen.
4. hang it back on the wall where you found it.
5. hang your drawing on the allocated walls.

The red plexiglass provided a reflection from the photograph that made it easy to copy. It worked like a light box. My favorite part about this exhibit is that it enabled everyone who participated an opportunity to say their art was displayed at Art Basel!

Favorite piece that people question, "Is that art?"

Favorite use of material...

The clothing on these men are all made from buttons.

This piece by Mondongo center panel is made from stickers and the two side panels are carved.

Close up of the stickers used in the center panel above.

I hated seeing his use of a bird, but the skull covered with iridescent beetles is quite unique.

Birdseed sculpture


Favorite place to take a photo in front of...

Lastly, my favorite piece...
Al Anatui

Friday, December 3, 2010

Breakfast Basel Style at the Rubell Family Collection

Jennifer Rubell

Thursday was the second day of Jennifer Rubell's Goldilock's breakfast for which I arrived early hoping to meet Jennifer. As I predicted, most of the press had moved on to another Basel sighting so I got a chance to talk to Jennifer plus she had the time to pose for a photo for me... thanks Jennifer!

I really enjoyed Jennifer's work and love how she gets people to enjoy her art by seeing, touching and eating. The home that housed her exhibit will be torn down later this week, but Jennifer said she didn't know what they were going to do with the property yet. Fire rescue was standing looking very nervous because they had so many extension cords bringing electricity running from the Rubell Collection to heat the porridge and cool the refrigerators as well as for any injuries due to the arduous journey through the whole in the wall from the back wall of the Rubell Collection.

Judy Saylor, a local Miami artist, was on hand to help everyone through the hole in the wall, not so easy if you were wearing heals. I stood out here for a while watching the expressions of people as they carefully maneuvered through the hole. A discreetly placed video camera filming the crowd as they were entering the exhibit would have been a good idea.

First we walked in the gutted house and picked up a bowl.

Past the still standing bathroom there was a table full of spoons.

Turning right, were 36 bright white crockpots filled with porridge.

In the next room to the right were rasins.

And to the left, there was sugar.

In the back kitchen, they had two refrigerators filled with milk.

Lastly, we all gathered in the backyard to enjoy our porridge. Luckily, it was a cool morning for Miami: 55 degrees.

This is what I hope to see during Art Basel week. I love the unexpected and to be able to participate in the art. I only wish there were chairs outside of every shape and size to finish the concept of Golidlocks finding the right chair. It could have also been a reflection about finding the right art.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Art Basel: Wednesday 2010

"Harriet" by Matthew Day Jackson

Excitedly, I headed out this morning to see the Rubell Family Collection and the Margulies Collection. First on my list was the Rubell because I wanted to see Matthew Day Jackson's work. I was delighted to see that his work is very textured and detailed. He uses wood, shell and yarn.

The brown lines that you see on the face are done with a wood-burning tool and the white of the eyes are mother of pearl with green glass sphere irises all of which are hard to see in the photos.

"Another Man's Cloth" by El Anatsui (112" x 156")

The art above is my favorite piece at the Rubell Collection by El Anatsui. Anatsui is a West African artist who creates sculptures out of food tins, aluminum roofing, etc. who's work is a metaphorical commentary on modern consumerism. This piece is made from upcycled cans that are attached with copper wire.

After the Rubell Collection, I went over to see the Margulies Collection. At the door they were collecting donations for the Lotus House. The Lotus House is a resource center and residential facility serving homeless women and infants in Miami. The program seeks to improve the quality of life for women in need through programs like helping at art events.

From the front door, I immediately saw the exhibit featured above upstairs. I love the colors and the textures used by Dutch artist Folkert De Jong. However, I wish he would have chosen a different material to create the sculptures because they are made from styrofoam and polyurethane foam. The figures were inspired by the Harlequin characters from Picasso's Rose Period. When I was looking at the sculptures, I found myself taking to a curator from Rome standing next to me. I asked her if she liked the installation and I expected her to say something very profound and sophisticated, but all she said as she looked down her nose was, "they look creepy."

The next exhibit I loved so much and had so much fun looking at that somehow I didn't write down the artist's name nor the name of the installation. To see the Hulk shriveled up in a wheel chair with a green comb-over, Mr. Fantastic wrinkled and reading and a saggy Wonder Women checking in on an IV laid-out Captain America was enough to make my day! A must see...

Lastly, I met Hannes Kotch from London. Hannes was accompanied by Blair who insisted he take a photo of me under this fabulous light and Natalie, a curator from Canada. Hannes has an exhibit at Design Miami (in the tent located in the parking lot of the convention center) called "Swarm Light" that I hope to see later this week. He showed me a video on his phone of his lighting. The lights turn on in the same pattern that bees fly... so beautiful.