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.
What is it about the Turner Prize and its media circus that always brings up the tired “But is it art?” question. That’s arguably the dumbest and least relevant discussion an artwork can generate. This year’s winners, Assemble, are a collective of former architecture students who found fanciful uses for vacant buildings in Liverpool. The daily Telegraph’s art critic Mark Hudson didn’t agree with the selection: “Why bring it in as art? If you’re just looking for stuff that isn’t pretentious and is useful, why don’t you nominate B&Q or Oxfam? … It’s great if art can be useful. But just because it’s useful doesn’t make it art.” That’s a sentiment I’m generally inclined to agree with, but it’s really not applicable here. [BBC]
Brian Boucher shares his account of diving with artist Trevor Paglen. Paglen took a group of 10 art lovers diving 70 feet under the ocean to look at the fiber optic cables that run along the ocean floor. [artnet News]
Zachary A. Bennett visited the SATELLITE Show and shared this account of Open Space’s “Stupid Bar,” the rowdy “competition” across the hall from our space. [Huffington Post]
Controversy is brewing over the recent appointment of Bartomeu Marí as director of Seoul’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA). More than 340 artists—including 2015 Venice Biennale Silver Lion winner Im Heung-soon and media artist Park Chan-kyung—signed a statement questioning Marí’s record, especially in light of his handling of last spring’s censorship debacle at Barcelona’s MACBA Museum. The group is demanding reforms to protect artistic freedom, citing the South Korean government’s increasing bureaucratic restrictions on the arts. [The Korea Times]
Would you believe this? There’s video of a woman stealing a wreath off the front door of a Toronto home at 3AM. It was silver, sparkly, and worth $200. “It’s egregarious,” said detective Frank Olsen. “This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this and I’ve been doing this a long time.” [National Post]
Annette Kelm, the Berlin-based photographer who made the long list of the AGO’s AIMIA Prize, has won the Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photographer. Upcoming shows include a Jens Hoffman-curated solo at Detroit’s Museum of Contemporary Art next year. [Artforum]
The Philadelphia Daily News probably has the most on-point cover today: Trump making a Hitler salute. [@CarlAnka]
Helpful career advice: “Dear Video Artists if you are going to have a section on your website called Current Work don’t make every single Vimeo link private?” [@MatthewLawrence]
Buyers remorse has hit Jean Nouvel’s 100 Eleventh Avenue. The Chelsea condo is less “vision machine” and more “wind tunnel”, allege residents. Woe be the problems of a mid-aughts-designed glass curtain wall. [Curbed]
An interview with artist Katie Rose Pipkin on her social media bots. [Furtherfield]
Last week I [Michael] thought Vector Gallery’s Satanic Suicide Hotline was a far more subversive take on an occult lounge than the Swamp of Sagittarius at Art Basel Miami Beach. Maybe I was wrong? It turns out an altercation in the Swamp of Sagittarius led to the infamous stabbing incident. Vector might have had portraits of Charles Manson and text inciting viewers to murder, but its competition inspired an actual attempted homicide. Obviously, this was a terrible thing and horrible for all parties involved, but noteworthy as yet another parallel between the two spaces. [Gothamist]
And yesterday, love (of the hopefully undying variety) seemed to be in the air at the Artist-Run—two of the participants decided to get married after having met each other just four days prior. Of course, we were there to document the moment in GIF.
Don’t worry, there’s more to come about our Miami adventures. And we haven’t forgotten about New York—our regular events listings will be back tomorrow.
But for now, we’ll be sleeping off our Basel weekend.
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.
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:
Also seen at ABMB: a Skype painting. “‘It’s the best thing I’ve seen so far!’ said the Warhol Foundation’s president Joel Wachs. ‘He’s in the painting!’” [artnet News]
Further ABMB preview reports; Nate Freeman says that a lot of Stellas are selling post-Whitney retrospective, while Brian Boucher tries to make sense of the bright and shiny selfie-baiting luxury artworks with more challenging political works in light of the San Bernardino mass shooting. [ARTnews, artnet News]
OK, last one: looks like Sly Stallone (who’s in an “acquiring mood”) replaced Leonardo DiCaprio as the most interesting ABMB-attending celebrity. [Bloomberg]
According to a new survey by the National Coalition Against Censorship, college students have demanded trigger warnings for spiders, indigenous artifacts, “images of childbirth”, nude models in a studio art class and being told a favourite artist was gay. Seriously. [You’ve Cott Mail]
The National Gallery is taking over the Sobey Award, one of the Canada’s richest art prizes with a $100,000 purse. Previously, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia had overseen the annual award for the past 13 years, but there had been grumblings about it lacking international reach. Looks like this might be the step on the right direction. [Ottawa Citizen]
Imagined dialogue in MoMA’s merchandising department: “OK, beach towels are done. Same with yoga mats. A collab collection—so three seasons ago. Wait! How about a skateboard? A Warhol skateboard. We’ll make sure to emphasize how ‘functional’ they are. It’ll be amazing.” [Observer]
Not surprised: if you Bing search “MoMA Judd” you get, well, Mama Judd. [@gregorg]
It’s raining plastic raindrops. Yes, Miami Art Week is upon us, and you’ve already gotten our take on what’s worthchecking out outside the satellites. Traffic is promising to be a real shit show with the Venetian Causeway being closed, a favoured route to the Beach. Even though the city has a free, Basel express bus, getting around will be even more of a hassle. So more than ever, plan ahead, and rely on our curated fair guide. We’re doubtful you’ll be able to do it all, but that’s always the case anyways with Miami—at least you try to do it all. Gold star for effort.
Art Basel Miami Beach doesn’t technically begin until next week, but myriad satellite fairs, pop-ups, and exhibitions at institutions and artist-run spaces have pretty much turned Miami “Art Week” into a season unto itself. For Miami locals and those who want to check out more than just what you can see at the fairs, this is the guide for you.
Before filing for divorce from his socialite wife, Swiss businessman Maurice Amon has his art consultants come to their Fifth Avenue pad and lift works from their collection — including a Basquiat and Warhol — off the walls. Soon-to-be ex-wife Tracey Hejailan-Amon is stunned, and accuses her husband of stealing and trying to sell the works at auction without acknowledging their 50/50 interest. His people says the works are actually owned by his “corporation”. And, of course, there’s no pre-nup. [New York Post]
Related: Ulay is suing Marina. He says she violated their contract, undercutting his 20% cut on profits made from their joint saleable work. She vehemently denies the claim. This is worth reading only for the totally apt headline: “Ulay v Marina: how art’s power couple went to war.” [Guardian]
The Sotheby’s contemporary sale did well last night totalling $294.9 million, over a low estimate of $254 million. Cy Twombly went for a record high of 70 million. (I don’t get the prices for his work.) Josh Baer thinks the auction did well because there were better, fresher works available. We also learned that Leonardo DiCaprio showed up and maybe the Nahmad family bought him a five million dollar birthday present. (Who cares.) [Artnews]
Ever since Shanghai collector Liu Yiqian snapped up that Modigliani nude at the Christie’s auction for $170 million, the art world has been a-twitter about this former taxi driver-turned billionaire who dared to — gasp! — sip from a $36 million Ming dynasty “chicken cup”. As expected, we get a sense of his tastes via his recent auction purchases: Chinese scrolls, Ming dynasty silk tapestries — you know, the usual 1% accoutrements. [The Art Newspaper]
Paris Photo, Europe’s leading fair for photography, kicks off today. Returning to the Grand Palais, the fair is undergoing a couple changes: two new directors (Florence Bourgeois as director, Christoph Wiesner as artistic director) and a new section spotlighting serial works. [The Art Newspaper]
“I am one of about six African American full professors of Art History in the US. All but one of this number are male.” The #BlackOnCampus hashtag is bringing revelations such as this, from UCLA Steven Nelson, to the fore. Good to know the dialogue around inclusion is now going beyond students to campus administrations. [@TylerGreenDC]
You know, it’s really hard doing the Miami Beach fairs when you have to spend so much time indoors with the booths. Well guess what? The organizers totally feel you on those struggles, which is why they’re bringing public art to Collins Park for an outdoor show. Of course, the usual big names are attached (Olaf Breuning, Sterling Ruby, Robert Wilson, Katharina Grosse). [The Observer]
Four raccoons were responsible for an early-morning break-in at a Newport, OR gallery. [KOIN 6]
Some cheeseball animated GIFs inspired by Magritte. [Hyperallergic]