From the category archives:

Art Fair

FOX News Attempted to Troll Me at ABMB

by Michael Anthony Farley on December 11, 2015
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Last week, FOX News personality Jesse Watters visited Art Basel Miami Beach to troll the art world. The segment aired last night, after heavy redaction and blooper clips being used as filler. This is how I remember our conversation transpiring.

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Two Artists Just Met and Married at SATELLITE’s Artist-Run Show

by Michael Anthony Farley on December 6, 2015
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The Artist-Run at SATELLITE just closed, but things stayed interesting here up until the end. While Art Basel had a stabbing, we had a wedding. James Swainbank, who was showing in Open Space’s Stupid Bar, just married Vinegar (Jennifer) Avery, who was also participating in the show through Yellow Peril Gallery. Really.

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Putting Artists First at SATELLITE

by Paddy Johnson on December 5, 2015
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As I write this no less than six terrible karaoke singers are belting out “I will Always Love You”. This song and many others has been drifting down the halls of Artist-Run thanks to Stupid Bar, which oddly enough, is one of two bar installations at the Ocean Terrace Hotel. (Full disclaimer: Art F City’s F.A.G. Bar is the other installation and is situated next door.) A four foot mop of hair crawls through the hotel’s halls several times a day, as does a guy wearing a lamp shade for a hat and a telephone for a scarf, often followed by a seven-foot drag queen named Lazanya Ontre.

That’s just a whiff of what’s happening at Artist-Run at SATELLITE, an exhibition and curatorial project by Tiger Strikes Asteroid that invites artists to transform rooms in a derelict hotel called the Ocean Terrace into installations. You can actually feel the creative energy seep through the space, and after a week of looking at art safely quarantined in frames and vitrines, that feels nothing short of a miracle.

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Who Wore it Better? ABMB Edition

by Michael Anthony Farley on December 5, 2015
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Inevitably, some people pack the same looks for Miami.

Remember NADA’s legendary pool parties at the Deauville? There always seemed to be at least two art-bros who showed up in the same “statement” bathing suit from American Apparel. But it’s usually more awkward when gallerists inadvertently dress their booths too similarly.

Below, we take a look at accidental twinsies and judge who wore it better:

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Great Strides Made Yet Still Needed at Pulse

by Paddy Johnson on December 5, 2015
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How do you infuse life into a zombie art fair? Ask Pulse Director Helen Toomer. She’s been in the unenviable position of having to clean up years of poor leadership at Pulse, and has miraculously achieved some success during her two-year tenure. The fair’s put together PERSPECTIVES, an impressive discussion series put together in partnership with Hyperallergic and has slowly but slowly pushing some of the long time, weaker exhibitors out of the fair. Meanwhile, Pulse has succeeded in bringing strong exhibitors into the fold like Monya Rowe, Yancey Richardson and Transfer. Great strides have been made.

But let’s be clear: the fair still has a lot of work to do.

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NADA Disappoints Again

by Paddy Johnson on December 4, 2015
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I’ve been thinking a lot about AFC writer Michael Anthony Farley’s post on NADA yesterday. It’s a great summary of NADA highlights and assessment of the fair’s strengths this year. I felt a little disappointed by the fair, though, and I’ve been depressed about it most of it day. Aside from the obvious problems such as a needless maze-like layout and a lack of adventurous auxiliary programming, they continue to peddle a kind of disingenuous kind of class posturing I find increasingly grating.

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NADA Highlights, Part 1

by Michael Anthony Farley on December 4, 2015
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Now in it’s 12th year, NADA Miami Beach is still full of surprises, even compared to younger satellite fairs. For the first time, NADA is taking place in the storied Fontainebleau hotel. Since 2009, the fair had been located in the nearby Deauville’s quirkier, seemingly grander mid-century ballrooms. Paddy had mixed feelings about that context, but I find myself missing it. The Fontainebleau’s more recently-renovated spaces feel a little more generic and paradoxically fancier but less glamorous. The ceiling is lower, there’s no sweeping ocean view from the booths, and visitors must now pay a $20 admission fee. This iteration of NADA is only slightly geographically closer to the convention center, but significantly less far-off from Art Basel proper in spirit.

But while we were disappointed by Basel’s predictability and lack of variety, NADA 2015 is wonderfully inconsistent. NADA’s exhibitors seem to have grown out of a collective trend-invested “cool kid” adolescence and matured into thoughtfully idiosyncratic connoisseurship. Gone are the days of interchangeable booths with matching pastel-and-neon abstractions—here there’s a greater diversity of good work than we’ve witnessed at art fairs recently. Part of this might be attributed to NADA’s shifting demographics: the fair feels less New-York-centric and more international. Many of the booths that impressed us the most were from Germany, Latin America, or Japan. 

Below, highlights from the fair, delightfully all over the map:

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SLIDESHOW: UNTITLED’s Strongest Showing Yet

by Paddy Johnson on December 4, 2015
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UNTITLED. organizers should be giving themselves a big pat on the back. Now its fourth year, the fair is clearly its strongest iteration yet. Part of this is just natural maturing of exhibitors over the course of the last few years—Asya Geisberg, SITE LAB, and Microscope are just three examples of programs that have consistently improved. But the fair’s also done a good job picking up strong new exhibitors, perhaps most notably this year, the Hole and Postmasters.

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Art Basel Feels Like Last Season’s Trunk Sale

by Paddy Johnson on December 3, 2015
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My Art Basel experience will sound familiar to almost everyone following the fair. After a day at Art Basel Miami, most dealers I spoke to still had work available. That’s not to say that sales were slow— just slower than the usual mad rush we’ve become accustomed to over the last few years. According to art consultant Josh Baer, that’s not because the art was bad, but because collectors have become more thoughtful.

Yeah right. Collectors have not suddenly transformed into more curious and discerning people. They’re just not oblivious to the obvious: most of the art on view looked like B-rate work we’d seen a hundred times already. Even people who have nothing to do all day but buy things will eventually get bored of that.

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