One trend we identified at NADA was the ubiquity of paintings (noun) with a deliberate absence of painting (verb). Perhaps reactionary to provisional painting—and all its polarizing discourse on authorship, ego, and craft—there was nary an identifiable brushstroke on many of the fair’s plentiful canvases. Which isn’t to say that the work didn’t look painterly: paintings are an easy thing to bring to a fair and sell, but it seemed like no one wanted to paint. What we ended up with is a sampling of strategies to mitigate, or negate entirely, the apparent hand of the artist from the process of mark-making.
And the final Miami reports continue to come in! “NADA is like Williamsburg to ABMB’s Manhattan: hip, relaxed and scruffy, and a little too much.” I haven’t seen scruff and relaxed since Portland. [Scene & Herd]
“Who buys all this shit?” and other questions raised by Christian Viveros-Fauné, when considering art fair art. “[B]eauty is passing, dumb is forever.” [artnet News]
Matthew Leifheit looks at people looking up at the Freedom Tower. [VICE]
Ew ew ew ew ew ew: artist makes soy sauce out of human hair. He was making it because he heard a rumor that China already makes it. [Vulture]
Oh, and the NYPD shot and killed someone inside a synagogue after the assailant stabbed a student at prayer early this morning. It’s on video. [NY Daily News]
There was a two-faced cat, and they lived ‘til the age of 15. Rest in peace, Frank and Louie. [io9]
Also in animal miracles, we forgot to link to this swimming owl last week. A must-watch. [Gawker]
So far, Playboy wins the Art Basel slideshows by a mile, a round-up which, unlike what’s been appearing on art publications, at least includes a moment of reflection. “Does anything truly exceptional go on here or is it all hype?” wonders Zak Stone. Hype. [Playboy]
If you live in Philadelphia, Detroit, or St. Paul, you might want to tune in to hear Bad at Sports interview Tatiana Hernandez of the Knight Foundation. She “manages a portfolio of over 350 grantees, totaling nearly $100 million in investments.” Take notes. [Bad at Sports]
Gift idea for the rich: A pink-and-yellow smiling-flower pillow from Takashi Murakami. It’s only $400! [Artspace]
Wall Street Journalist critic Joanne Kaufman has been banned from receiving free press passes from some Broadway agencies. Rick Miramontez of press agency O&M wrote a blog post expressing his dismay at Kaufman, who recently penned a column about leaving during intermission. She’s still welcome, Miramontez wrote, “If she deems a show of ours worthy enough for her (fleeting) attention, she is more than welcome to call us to arrange tickets – but she had better have a credit card handy.” [Playbill]
Tweets of Old is posting letters to Santa from the early 1900s. Among other stuff, children asked for bananas, a waste paper basket, and wood. [Tweets of Old]
Seattle police in riot gear have outfitted themselves as Robocops with bike helmets, according to this twitpic. [Twitter]
What’s with all the oversized clothing as art? I sussed out three examples at NADA yesterday, but I’ve heard there are more. Send pictures along if you have them and we’ll add them here. Because this needs to be diligently catalogued and archived.
Unlike years prior, where the sales were so quick dealers actually lost track of what they sold to whom, NADA was a little quieter. Nobody was complaining, as pretty much everyone had made back their costs and then some, but perhaps some of the other satellite fairs such as UNTITLED. have finally managed to tear away a share of the emerging market.
I haven’t talked to a single person who isn’t sick of the art fairs, but since we’ll all be in Miami this week for them, we’re in this shit together. So let’s make this as quick and as painless as possible. Here is the Art F City fair guide. We didn’t bother listing everything because it’s not worth trying to see everything. A little curation never hurt anyone.
“Animals will eat just about anything. The proof is in the radiographs.” So runs the tagline for the Veterinary Practice News X-ray contest, where they asked contestants to submit their best animal X-ray results. Winners include a 3 year old great dane who had eaten 43 ½ socks, a german pointer who ate a shish kabob skewer and all, and a frog that ate 30 small ornamental rocks while in his cage. [Veterinary Practice News]
Thomas Galbraith of online auction house Paddle 8 argues that there would be greater transparency in the market, if collectors let sales go to auction more often (as opposed to relying on the gallery). There’s some truth to this, but let’s also remember that Paddle 8 does not make their auction results public. [Businessweek]
A new study concludes that if you went back in time and killed your grandfather, you’d still be okay. This supports the theory that there are several versions of every history, and the time line we exist on is only one. [Scientific America via: Animal]
The NADA Exhibitor list is out and it’s longer than ever. That’s not too much of a surprise given NADA’s sales success last year. Our favorite addition? P! [Artnews]
Ben Davis says that “Mattress Performance: Carry That Weight” is amongst the most important performances of the year. The piece was conceived by Emma Sulkowicz, 21 Year old Columbia Student who was raped on the first day of her sophomore year. She is carrying a mattress twin college dorm mattress everywhere she goes until the university forces the perpetrator out. [Artnet]
An interview with Jenny Dubnau, a realist portrait painter (and ASAP member). “Everyone thinks photography is real, but it is just a fiction like anything else. Over time, I realized there are reasons that I paint from photography. It is distancing, yet paradoxically it adds to the emotion; it creates a kind of tension.” [Hyperallergic]
Woo-hoo! AFC friends Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw’s souvenir shop gets a write up in the Wall Street Journal! [The Wall Street Journal]
Milton Glazer, of the “I <3 NY” logo, has coined a new slogan for the times: “IT’S NOT WARMING IT’S DYING.” This comes with the urging of the New York Attorney General for the state to take action now. He’s now suing the EPA for not enforcing the Clean Air Act. [Animal New York]