Thursday, December 07, 2006

Art Basel Begins

Lucky for us, several of the fairs opened early, allowing us to see the work sans crowds, entrance fees, and endless searches for parking.... delightful! In the morning, I went to MOCA and saw a Bruce Nauman show. I had only seen individual works before, but seeing them together, my respect for him grew: I found the depth behind his humor. One of my personal favorites was "The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths".

In the afternoon, met my friend Carol, and we went to NADA and Scope. We weren't as impressed with NADA as we had beeen in previous years, but there were amazing things to see at Scope. Some highlights from from the afternoon: artists Katja Flieger, Arsen Savadov. I had to appreciate the framed anti-art fair and art world post-its of Joe Ovalman, and I saw some new works by Andrea Lehmann, the artist "discovered" by the Rubells last year. When she is on, her work is powerful and provocative, but I have seen as many bad paintings as good ones, and the ones I saw today looked rushed and uneven. She is young: perhaps in a few years, (when she is mid-career artist ; ) ), we will see some consistantly amazing work. My companion for this art journey was Carol Prusa, an incredible artist whose work is in the same meticulously crafted vein as my own. At one point we were looking at a piece in one of the booths, and the dealer came up to us and said "He just made these last week!", and we had to say thank you and turn away fast to keep from bursting into laughter in front of her. I like to dress pretty well when I go to these things, because I get treated with much more respect and I get more information (and goodies) when they think I might be a collector.

When I returned home, there was a Fed Ex package with my ensemble for the Bass opening reception: The Physical Memory/Last Goodbye Dress, accessorized by my ManHead Purse.

The Bass opening was a nightmare: ended up valet parking because I drove around for half and hour, and there was no parking to be found. There was a show of Berlin artists that I enjoyed, and Kaarina's shoe installation did not fail to please, though with the crowd it was hard to see them properly. She also had a suspended shirt piece in the courtyard that was gorgeous and haunting.

Many of the people I know (myself included) are just skipping all the mobbed openings, and trying to see the art on off hours when you can really SEE it.


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