Red Bull Curates kicked off a new season of Canvas Cooler Project exhibitions on January 31 in San Francisco. The exhibition drew nearly 1,300 visitors to Public Works in the city’s Mission District to view work by 20 Bay Area artists. The artists were given the assignment to interpret the clean surface of a Red Bull cooler according to the aesthetic of local San Francisco bars, lounges and restaurants. Two of the artists were awarded for their standout, interpretive coolers: Akira Beard andSlvster. Each won the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work at the SCOPE Art Fair during 2013 Art Basel in Miami in December. For both artists, it will be their first time exhibiting at a major international art fair…
Let it be the new cliché: Art Basel wasn’t seen in a day. That’s the first of many startling realizations that overcome you while cruising and perusing a pulsating Miami Beach, absorbing as much expressive, progressive, and impressively offensive art as you do solar rays and eye candy. That’s the second realization: maybe inviting your girlfriend along was a bad idea: much as you try to safely avert your gaze, everywhere you look a gorgeous hip-yet-pseudo-sophisticate in a skin-tight tube dress materializes before you. You lay eyes on your girlfriend and realize (realization 2.2) that she’s taking in sights of her own, purposefully or not.
The doors finally open, you’re officially ensconced in the largest, most eclectic art show on earth. Where to start? You start off in the Sixties: Miró, de Silva, and Picasso right there in front of you. Masters near their end. You could stare from six inches away at these works all day, but you have to move, move right along. There are 260 art galleries from five continents, and you’re hell-bent on seeing what they have to offer.
You’re here because you respect art, all art, you really do. But wonders you what a dozen glasses of variably-filled water are doing on a shelf on a wall at the largest art show in the world. You linger in the freshet of artsy-farts, waiting for any one of the estimated 2,000 featured artists to appear with damp fingers and ring them round the rims, the sonorous harmony of wet friction hushing ten thousand bodies in wonder-filled awe. Multi-media artistry? Sonic expressionism? Impressivism? But no one appears and the display is tossed aside in your mind as little more than college-style dorm décor.
The art is wild. So are the people. The isles seethe with these wild people: scholarly French speaking Catalan; mid-aged ex-wives in track pants with demonic designs of stoic house cats shooting lasers from their eyes; dishevelled youth in fashionably-unbranded organic cotton with shaggy side beards parted at the chin; gay dudes in Budweiser wife beaters and American flag boxers and suddenly you’re realizing the paintings and sculptures and carefully-positioned army duffle bags, penis fish in vagina tanks, and flashing neon signs of encouragement aren’t the only displays trying to make a statement; many of the visitors are shock-value works of art(?), too.
Apple™ is everywhere. “No Photos” signs are conspicuously not present; handheld camera-GPS-computer-phones have made such requests unenforceable mandates. iPhones snap Instagram photographs of iPads powering what you think to be a papier-mâché bird with a Bluetooth headcam “flying” circles around a rotating gear, taking 360° video—hey, cool, there’s you—on the iPad-generator-thingy. This could be art.
You descry a handicapped old guy cruising in his power wheel chair, trailing an iPad 2 attached to a bit of string attached to a lure of some kind. Does he expect a cat or small kid or anachronistic flip-phone-er to chase after it, like dogs at the track, in some cruel joke? Is it an interactive piece? Or just another big-city nutter. Either way, is it art? You wonder…
You wander. You wander the labyrinth: the isles and rows, and turn corners to find faux rolling hills casually enclaved amongst the overwhelm and the excitement. Some of it is abstract; some of it delusional. Some works truly move you; some are just damn cool. Your knees hurt from the slow, observant cant you can’t help but adopt. You’re taking in what you can. You avoid nothing, save the food court, where swarms of hyper-energetic middle-schoolers gather loudly, bumping into everything. You observe a potential buyer become dissuaded, annoyed by the rug rats, move on and maybe or maybe not return; you observe the rubicund-with-rage face of the potential seller.
There’s a lot involved with selling at Art Basel Miami Beach, the least of which are the price tags: the numbers you overhear: the casual “two-point-three for the set, Miss;” the unimpressed miss’ smirk, and the “He is an important artist.” Disparity? Too small a price tag? Too big? A bluff? With movie stars, ballpark heroes, over-played musicians, millionaires by trade or name all art collectors these days—if only for these four days—you realize that the procuring of pieces at Basel is an art itself. You become blasé to the numbers and names being traded. You plop a seat beneath a fake tree on the most distant paper-grass rolling hill. It’s a park in a building in a park. It was assembled and will be disassembled with the other pieces, booths and stalls. On it’s slopes you rest.
You’re beat, man. Your girlfriend’s feat hurt. Both your stomachs rumble. Time for lunch.
And with the gurgling tremble deep within you, your weakened muscles, comes your final realization: you need more time. But first you need a break.
Traipsing along Lincoln, Washington, Collins, 15th, 16th, 17th Street, Espanola Way… you finally settle at crowded French sandwich spot for the best sandwiches in South Beach.
You’re revitalized, but your plan needs reworking. Everything in the art world is happening in the South Florida fashion-cultural-fiscal-social epicentre this weekend, but the Miami Beach Convention Centre, at eleven years of hosting Art Basel, is only just that: the center. The purlieus expand to the corners of the city. Including Basel, there are twenty-two art fairs bustling right now, with tickets ranging from free to “only if we sneak in”. Bars are hopping as Happy Hour gets under way. Music comes at you from corner stores and concerts across the city. Passers-by chatter about plays, like Kurt (about Cobain), and you feel you need to see it. There are the art parties, where you plan to mingle amongst big-wig celebs and supermodels who have a heart-throbbing twist on the English language. A few of whatever A-Rod is drinking and you won’t care that you won’t be able to afford buying anyone anything for the holidays.
Transferring Venetian Causeway, on your way to Wynwood, the early evening shines a SoHo glow over Miami. Advertisements flash everywhere (most for Absolut Greyhound, which you plan to have much of later) and the city has officially illuminated. Basel banners bid you farewell, while a computer-generated silhouette winding her hips on the east façade of a downtown skyscraper welcomes you to the mainland.
After Wynwood, perhaps a foodtruck dinner. Hemmingway today would re-write his Parisian classic, set it here amongst the food trucks and night clubs and hip soirees. A Moveable Fiasco.
Wynwood is impressive. The works slightly more manageable than actual Art Basel, you finally stop asking yourself “is this art?” Nay, this is art. See and appreciate. It’s not hard, but it’s not easy. The art takes a toll, especially when it takes up your day, your weekend.
You’re idling in traffic, east-bound on MacArthur, back to beach-side, Facebooking old friends for a place to stay the night.
Basel banners welcome you back. To 4th street, for a free Verge Art Miami Beach fair. But what you’re really back for are the parties: the clubs whose previously stoic fronts are now open doors with lines of sparkling clubbers patiently waiting for their night to begin. You and your girlfriend way your party options. You’ve researched the highlights: Choice Meeting; Livio & Roby; Fuck Art, Let’s Dance… and those aren’t even the invite-onlys. This is nuts, but it’s nothing new. Art Basel hasn’t altered Miami one bit. Okay, next weekend won’t be Basel. Something else will steal the spotlight, but right now, you have to take it all in. And you need more time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you need more than a day to fully appreciate Art Basel.
Art Basel… you’re head spins and your body shakes from bass beats and you think: what a great excuse for Miami to be, well, Miami for another weekend.
In a sea of images, Derek Gores is making unique pictures that stand completely on their own. Their blend of abstraction with such interestingly familiar portraits and stills create a dichotomy that really works. Derek took a minute to sit down with us to talk about his process while getting ready for Miami this year. If you are out here be sure and stop by to check out the amazing details in his work!
Art Nouveau: You are in Florida right? Do your surroundings play much of a roll in the images you create?
Derek Gores: I’m sure somehow… I’m in the unique spot on the planet where humans reached out to the moon and could also go to the beach. There’s a combo of problem solving and patient daydreaming around all the time that gives me new fuel.
AN: I have heard you say like to see how far you can deconstruct your subject. Can you talk about your process some? Do you sketch your work out or work spontaneously?
DG: I do some wet drawing work that starts from abstraction and sometimes becomes an object, often figurative or spacial. However In the collage work I work it backwards, from a photo reference in a space I breathed, and then I do start with a simple sketch with a sharpie marker usually and then layer in the abstraction of the pieces of paper. I am after the essence of a real figure, often hinting at elapsed time perhaps, but I build the figure out of opposites. I like using linear, sharp, man-made elements you wouldn’t think of as art, like a schematic or a map for example, so that the life and the space you find is that much more surprising when it hits.
AN: Have you always worked loosely or is this a theme in your work?
DG: I was super tight as an 18 year old, but once I saw the end of that particular path I’ve loved anything that can distract or get in the way of that kind of accuracy. Water, using two hands, all sorts of outside influences, collaborations with the subjects, etc.
AN: It seems like this push towards abstraction is what allows your viewers to insert there own interpretation?
DG: True, I love ambiguous spaces and all kids of references in the recycled elements, so that viewers can use their own memories as they interact. The spacial play I would say comes especially from Franz Kline’s abstractions, and the Klimt/Schiele play with flattening spaces as a way to make their figures pulse out at you.
AN: What have you been pursuing in your most recent work?
DG: Two things especially. Lately I’ve been playing with transparency in the pieces, where shadows see through to another space. Also, this year I have played with a more involved narrative, even if it isn’t clear what’s happening. I’d say my subject has become the study of ‘fierceness’- the admiration of a strong individual woman whose beauty is the result of her choices and actions and lifestyle. The first several I’d say showed a weight in her eyes, and my most recent show the fun of living.
AN: I know you aren’t crazy about the word ‘collage’, what else have you been calling it lately?
DG: Cleverness, Advanced Scrapbooking, and it gets a little cooler with some European influence, see look: ‘cøllage’
AN: I know you have been really busy lately, what shows or projects do you have coming up?
DG: Select Fair at Art Basel Miami! Huge! and next big awesomeness is a show in the Spring at Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles. And another in Barcelona. Details on the way…
AN: That will be awesome, are there any artists or galleries you are looking forward to seeing at Art Basel?
DG: I must locate Hush. My other favorites: Christopher Maslow, David Burton, Jeff Filipski. Check ‘m out!
48″ x 48″ collage on canvas
48″ x 48″ collage on canvas
Corinne Stevie recently waltzed herself into Terry Richardson’s TerryWood release party at THE STANDARD during this year’s Art Basel. KESH, Azealia Banks and Pharrell were among the many stars making appearances.
Lions, Tigers & bears? You should be more scared of the Warhols, the Harings and the OBEY’s on the wall
Dominance on tap. The latest show at Gregg Shienbaum Gallery was a precursor to what to expect from the upcoming Art Basel. The list of featured artists read like a who’s who of contemporary art of the past 40 or so years. From the old pop masters: Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Chuck Close, Robert Rauschenberg, Tom Wesselmann, to the modern day art stars: Damien Hirst, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Takashi Murakami, Space Invader, DFace and more. Id youre in the Wynwood area of Mjami, ever check out this gallery. Can’t wait to see what they have cooked up for Art Basel.
One of Miami’s most lovable street artists is set to open his latest solo exhibition Ahol: Full-Time Feb 17 at Mercenary Square in Little Havana. His first exhibition in two years, Full Time finds the artist saluting the working class by visually and sonically documenting the decay of society. Tuning inward, he focuses on fruitless jobs he’s worked while juggling being an artist. This is Economic states and shapes. This is the American Dream of epic proportions. We sat down with the artist, to talk more about his show, the art scene in Miami and his take on the low brow art vs high brow art debate.
There are many parallels between UK based street artist Banksy and New York based street artist TMNK. Both have had their share of fame, criticism and replicators. While the former seems to be a reluctant art star, the latter basks in it. TMNK recently pulled off the impossible, when his work wasn’t included in this year’s Art Basel exhibition he took a page from Banksy’s book and put the work up himself. Call it Creative Curating.
Last week was freaking insane Miami’s streets was exploding with art everywhere.I finally got the chance to experience Art Basel and I must say it was amazing. Seeing all that art reminds me that art is very important to the evolution of our culture. Even though I was out and about enjoying the art scene I still made time to design some t-shirts for a company called Rah Threads.Enough talk here are the photos
Artists hate comparisons and love them at the same time. NYC based street artist TMNK aka NOBODY is taking his naysayers to task this week at Art Basel in Miami. He is declaring boldly, “TMNK is not Samo.”
New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida was my rival high school. Shoutout to DASH. But New World’s Stairwell Project at the Sagamore Hotel South Beach is an awesome concept. The project commissioned artists to take over the space at the Hotel in the stairwells with awesome large-scale murals. Awesome art ensued. Take a closer look at at video of the project and more photos below.
Tools Of The Trade is taking a trip from the Bay area to Miami for Art Basel. They will be setting up a pop-up art gallery for the week featuring artists such as Mike Giant, Ron English, Donny Miller, Tara McPherson, Buff Monster, Claw Money, Anthony Ausgang, Mark Bode, Vaughn Bode &More. The opening party will be Friday, December 3rd from 8pm-2am. The pop up gallery is located at 153 N.W. 36th St. Miami, Florida 33127, and will be open to the public December 2-5, 10am-8pm daily.
For those of you who love to get the party started, Tools of the Trade will be hosting an after party at the Overthrow Castle December 4th. This event will feature carnival games and secret musical guests and DJs will be performing at the free event. The Overthrow Castle party will be held at 51 NW 20th Street, Downtown, Miami 33137.
Art Basel is coming to Miami December 2-6. A show we’re eager to see is “Charades” at Scope Art Fair with Mauger Modern Gallery. Continue reading Charades at Scope Art Fair During Art Basel