Art at Bay’s Basel Guide 2013

MIAMI 2013

Overwhelming, I know.  The early days of December seem to bring to Miami countless exhibitors in countless fairs and just a week to check it out.  Personally, I’m even finding the abundance of guides to the Miami Art Fairs staggering.  Thus, rather than burden you with another guide we thought we’d just give you a peek into what some of the ART AT BAY staff plans on checking out and why.  See you in Miami!

Danny Olda’s Guide

My personal circumstances are only allowing a two night trip to Miami.  In order to make the most of my time I figured I’d be a nerd about it and actually list every exhibitor I specifically wanted to see in each of the fairs I’ll be heading to.  I won’t bother you with an exhaustive list but here are some of my highlights for two of the fairs I’ll be stopping by.

NADA Miami Beach-NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) is perhaps the only non-profit fair in Miami.  This may account for the particular perk of free admission to the public.  Please don’t let this lead you to believe that this somehow reflects poorly on the caliber of the exhibitors.  My list for NADA is long but there are three I particularly wanted to see.  The Horton Gallery of Manhattan’s Lower East Side has had an impressive queue of exhibitions over the last year.  Last spring’s Trudy Benson solo show alone made my tug toward NYC just a bit more taut.  I’m also really looking forward to seeing another LES gallery at NADA: Klaus Von Nichtssagend.  As a brick and mortar gallery, Klaus has been especially supportive of digital and New Media art (e.g. check out last spring’s Sarah Ludy solo).  I’ve also especially enjoyed Klaus_eBooks – a series of interactive artist ebooks that serve up a pleasantly confusing mix of art, literature and digital art.  They are seriously interesting and offer much more interaction than many would expect from a gallery.  Finally, there’s Chelsea’s Foxy Production.  Foxy Production also consistently hosts awesome exhibits.  I especially love the work of Sterling Ruby from the Foxy Production roster and hope to see some of the artist’s work in Miami.

ART UNTITLED-ART UNTITLED is fairly new – last year was its first.  Still, it got off to a strong start with good reviews and seems set to do likewise this year.  I’m particularly stoked to see booths from some publications that I love.  My first stop will likely be with one of my favorite art bloga: Art F City.  It’s always a pleasure reading editor Paddy Johnson’s work – I saw a lot of you recently shared her New York Times piece on paying artists fairly.  When Art F City makes it to fairs they seem to find exciting ways of exhibiting/selling digital art.  This year is especially interesting.  Cloaque is an art Tumblr that is perhaps best described as a never-ending mind-eating digital tapestry.  Art F City will be premiering a print of the blog feed, a football field-sized(!) print.  Take a second to check out Cloaque, you’ll quickly get an idea of how awesome this print could be.  UNTITLED will also feature booths from a couple of arts and culture mags that particularly enjoy: Esopus and Cabinet.  Both are a bit difficult to find in local book stores so I snatch them up whenever I see them.  Stopping by their booths in Miami may be good time to finally get subscriptions.  I also need to mention the Jeff Bailey Gallery.  A sports metaphor?  Jeff Bailey sort of reminds me of the Rays: they’ve developed a strong roster of artists through emerging artists/farming.  There’s something special about a gallery with this kind of quality that is also so open to emerging talent.  Check out their past exhibits to see what I mean (or better yet, check them out at UNTITLED).

Victoria Casal-Data’s Guide

I’m happy to announce that I will be making my rounds through Basel with press pass and camera in hand. I will be crafting top ten lists based on a few fairs for Beautiful/Decay. Last year I was unable to enjoy Basel properly due to school, but now I am free to conquer Basel with all my might. Looking forward to meeting art bloggers, artists, and gallery owners. You will find me in the following:

Fairs

Art Basel Miami-Art Basel can be quite intimidating…there is a lot to see. It is also quite pricey, but honestly, it is worth your $$$. It is held in the Miami Beach Convention Center. From the old Modern masters, to the top contemporary artists, you can find everything here. My favorite thing about Art Basel would have to be their out most responsibility to make it a solid international Art fair. You will find galleries from Eastern Europe to South America. The diversity is quite compelling,  and it will create an interesting multicultural dialogue within you, and amongst those that are around you.

PULSE-PULSE Miami, now in its eighth year, has become one of the leading Contemporary art fairs held in Miami. The PULSE venue is split into two distinct parts. One section of the fair is comprised of gallery booths showcasing works of multiple artists. The other section, IMPULSE, is dedicated to select galleries featuring works by a single artist. Artists who have work on display in this section are put in the running for a cash prize, which is awarded to one artist at the end of the fair. Last year, German artist Nadine Wottke was honored with this unique distinction for her porcelain relief sculptures. One of my favorites on display is the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

José Parlá, DeKalb Avenue Station, 2011 Acrylic, ink, oil, collage, plaster and enamel on canvas Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

José Parlá, DeKalb Avenue Station, 2011
Acrylic, ink, oil, collage, plaster and enamel on canvas
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

NADA– As Danny mentioned, this fair is one of the few non-profit fairs at Basel.  Twenty-five galleries from fourteen countries will be on hand with works from emerging global artists. Look for these upcoming galleries: Marlborough Chelsea, SculptureCenter, Alden Projects, American Contemporary, Nicelle Beauchene, Brennan and Griffin and Callicoon Fine Arts.  NADA’s “special invite” preview is on December 5th, which I will be attention, is from 10am to 2pm. The fair is open to the public — free of charge — after 2pm on the 5th and through Sunday, December 8.

Robert Lazzarini motel door (kicked-in), 2012 With Marlborough Chelsea Gallery

Robert Lazzarini
motel door (kicked-in), 2012
With Marlborough Chelsea Gallery

Miami Project- Miami Project, the fair  started last year by the ArtMrkt fair group (whose events include Texas Contemporary and ArtMrkt Hamptons), is returning for a second edition. Fifty-six galleries are on tap, including the most famous of most: Fredericks & Freiser, and Yossi Milo.

Ring Master, 2013 Ink, acrylic, and glitter on paper: 30 x 22 inches With the Fredericks & Freiser Gallery

Ring Master, 2013
Ink, acrylic, and glitter on paper: 30 x 22 inches
With the Fredericks & Freiser Gallery

Brazil Art Fair– Brazil will getting a lot of attention this year with over 40 galleries exhibiting at the new Brazil ArtFair running from December 3 to 8 in Woodson Park on NW 36th Street in Midtown. Their goal is “to go beyond your everyday art fair…with a private initiative for the promotion and internationalization of Brazil’s art market,” the fair’s founder Michel Serebrinsky explained to Art Info. Some galleries to watch: Multiplique Boutique, Lourdina Jean Rabieh, and Paralelo Gallery.

Panta Rhei, folhas sintéticas, 2012 Lourdina Jean Rabieh Gallery

Panta Rhei, folhas sintéticas, 2012
With Lourdina Jean Rabieh Gallery

Parties/Art & Music Events

Basel Castle – Basel Castle, produced by the Overthrow Collective in association with Embrace and ABV Gallery, is an art and music festival combining street artists and upcoming electronic musicians. The fair, on view all day on Dec.7th, includes unique interactive games, installations, exhibitions, and live performances by both the artists and musicians. The line-up includes Nychos, Skinner, Matt W Moore, Meggs, Jeremyville, Buff Monster, Madsteez, and a DJ set by SBTRKT,  amongst others.

Basel_Castle_2013_Lineup_Flyer

Hyperallergic’s cocktail part at Aqua Art Miami- On Friday, December 6, from 6 to 8 pm, our favorite blog, Hyperallergic, will be hosting their second cocktail party at Aqua Art Miami (1530 Collins Avenue, South Beach, FL). Great opportunity to meet with the brilliant writers; Danny and I will definitely try to talk to Alicia Eler about her Selfie theories while having a cocktail or two. You can RSVP here.

Hyperallergic’s ‘Blogger’s Tour’ of Art Miami-On Saturday, December 7, at 11am, you can join Hyperallergic’s editors Hrag Vartanian, Mostafa Heddaya, and Jillian Steinhauer at Art Miami and Context for an hour-long tour of the fair. The tour includes stops at the fair’s highlights, and an opportunity to engage in dialogue with dealers, who will be available to answer questions about the artworks on display. The tour will be followed by a lively Informal discussion. You can RSVP here.

Juxtapoze Magazine Party– Juxtapoz  is moving into a private beach house at the Shore Club (1901 Collins Avenue, South Beach) for a four-day series of parties and events with San Francisco’s Chandran Gallery. They’ve scheduled art installations by Geoff McFetridge, Andrew Shoultz, Monica Canilao and SWOON, and even an evening hosted by Shepard Fairey. The spot will be happening from December 4 until the 7th, but many of the parties are invite only.

Darkside visual and audio exhibition – Milk Studios and Moishes Moving are hosting an incredible show with Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington’s Darkside and an art installation by Children of the Light. The showcase space is located at 318 NW 23rd Street. Darkside will be performing on the 5th of Dec at 10pm.

Shlohmo – American electronic musician from Los Angeles, Shlohmo will be performing at Bardot on Dec. 7. Since I will attending Bastle Castle that night, I will be missing this show. However, if you are a fan of innovative, downtempo electronic music, this is the show for you.

“Via” Culture on Tumblr: Forsaking the Creator for the Curator

fumblr

My dashboard.

The line separating novelty and innovation is a thin one.  Whether Tumblr will leave an indelible mark on art remains to be seen.  However, there is a trend that is unlikely to recede back into the digital pool of microblogging anytime soon: disappearing authorship.

Galleries tend to stick to a strict ritual of crediting an artist: wall texts and labels, 200 word bios, artists’ statements, press releases.  However, these are all functions that are virtually meaningless in Tumblr.

I realize I’m far from the first person to point this out.  In fact, of the many words written about art and Tumblr this loss of authorship is consistently a primary concern.  I wonder, though: is this ‘loss of authorship’ perhaps actually a transfer of authorship? Is curating the new creating?

This tendency to separate the art from the artist is primarily due to the way Tumblr mediates the way we view images.  Tumblr is used for text-heavy posts the way marijuana is used for medicinal purposes: I suppose it happens sometimes.   Really, the vast majority of posts are simply images.  The posts from various tumblogs pile up on a user’s “dashboard” as an endless procession of images.  It’s easy to see how the artist behind a piece could get lost in the infinite scroll.

For example, in his essay for Hyperallergic Ben Valentine writes, “This quick and easy dissemination of content is great, but it creates an issue: sustained attention on a single work is hard to come by, therefore deemphasizing authorship.”

Beyond being buried in a mass of images, an artist’s credit is lost further by the way Tumblr favors bloggers over the blogged.  In Tumblr’s art world, the sought after skill isn’t so much rooted in creating art as it is in finding art.  This is especially conspicuous in reblogged images where an artist’s credit is often missing but a bloggers “via” credit is rarely left out.  Thus, Valentine goes on to warn that for some, “Given these reasons, it would make sense for artists to be wary of putting their work on Tumblr.”

However, rather than avoiding the site, some artists are changing the way they work with it.  For example, artist Carlos Sáez’ tumblog project Cloaque, a self-described “digital landfill”, is essentially an exercise based in creative curation.  On Cloaque, the content itself is not as exceptional as the way it has been collected.  Further, while Cloaque is rare among tumblogs, it’s the beginning of an arts trend.

After all, favoring the blogger over the blogged isn’t the creation of Tumblr but a reflection of its users. Tumblr artists are often of a generation that works from within the internet, rather than adding to it from without.

The idea of the artist as a mediator of images has existed and been accepted since the days of Andy Warhol.  Thus it’s surprising that its praxis on Tumblr can be so troubling to some.  As popular as appropriation is, exceptionally few are comfortable with the prospect of actually having their work appropriated.

The Tumblr shift from artist-as-author toward artist-as-editor will most certainly stick around within a social media context.  What is of special interest, though, is how this would eventually translate within a gallery setting.  How willing will we be to ease our conceptual grip on the idea of the artist-genius, to start wrangling the mountains of information instead of adding to it, and relinquishing owner over images?