I don’t envy the writers stuck with task of trudging through hours of art fair bullshit in the hopes of fishing out a fresh new angle. Aside from protest news, so far Art Basel coverage has consisted of “overheard” roundups, slideshows, and Miley Cyrus sightings. After 14 years, what’s there to say about an event that’s basically a luxury department store? I would imagine, dick.
So this Kim Asendorf GIF goes out to this year’s AFC Miami correspondent Paddy Johnson. “Rio Reset” is a picture of Rio, but the caption on 15folds is particularly relevant to fair season:
Every end is a new beginning, commonly with a higher standard, but sometimes it’s just the same again.
To be fair, I’m including another GIF, “Warenhaus“, in which Asendorf has topped New York with a toilet.
GULF Labor unfurls a(nother) banner inside the Guggenheim to protest the museum’s labor practices. [@occupymuseums]
How did we miss this? Yesterday marked the first-ever Britney Spears Day, a holiday created by the city of Las Vegas. [Aplus]
Years late to the news, the New York Times declares Ridgewood an up-and-coming neighborhood for hipsters. [The New York Times]
Creative Time will be livestreaming this year’s summit at select locations. FOR FREE. The Vera List Center for Art and Politics will host the NY screening. [Creative Time]
If you’re wrapping up your reading on Prospect.3 this week, don’t forget to check out Julia Halperin’s breakdown of the biennial’s demographics. [The Art Newspaper]
Viewers complain that last week’s Doctor Who episode was too scary. [Telegraph]
Germany’s Wiesbaden Museum wants to purchase a Nazi-looted paintings—rather than returning the work to its owners. As a money-raising strategy, the museum has begun hanging the painting so that it faces the wall. For Wiesbaden, that turnaround stunt might generate publicity; we’re not convinced that greater awareness will necessarily bring in more dough. [Tablet]
Bar none, the best response we’ve seen to George W. Bush’s paintings:
Why do they exist? Why are they being exhibited? How are they being used and discussed? Why do they matter?
I think the simplest answer for why George W. Bush started painting is because he has nothing else to do. Bush is toxic and unemployable as a political figure. He can’t campaign for Republicans, can’t talk on television about anything important, can’t give speeches for money, can’t write memoirs, can’t travel to certain countries where he runs the hypothetical risk of getting arrested for war crimes. Painting is a harmless and respectable pursuit that offers an aura of cultured acceptability….
This is as good a time as any to point out that Bush painted his portraits, not just from photographs–a common enough practice as well as a long-established contemporary, conceptual strategy, though I think only the former pertains here–but from the top search result on Google Images. Many photos were taken from the subject’s Wikipedia entry. Bush based his paintings on the literally first-to-surface, easiest-to-find photos of his subjects.
Is this meaningful in any way? If he had one, it would mean Bush’s studio assistant is very, very lazy. [Greg.org]
Maybe we would talk more about Bush’s record if we called that art, too. Allen continues:
Ironically, there is even more important art buried within the Senate’s trove of classified CIA documents. And as Bush was being interviewed by his daughter on NBC, these other artworks were still being actively suppressed. Jason Leopold and Al Jazeera reported that the Senate report contains detailed sketches of waterboarding by Abu Zubaydah, a senior Al Qaeda leader imprisoned at Guantanamo….Since the CIA illegally destroyed its own waterboarding videotapes in 2005, these drawings may be the most powerful visual evidence of the torture regime we have left. [Greg.org]
Koch Industries may hold the most net acreage in leases of the Canadian oil sands, which means they’d have the most to gain from the Keystone Pipeline. Time to stop buying Angel Soft toilet paper, I guess. [Washington Post]
Stay inside, New York. There are many ways to die by snow today. [The Awl]
Attendance at the Frick has more than doubled now that they’re borrowing Vermeer’s “Girl With the Pearl Earring.” Frick staff lets on that over 100,000 visitors have made their way into the collection since the October opening of Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals. [Real Clear Arts]
Can the art world ever recover from the influence of celebrity and entertainment on art? “No way,” remarked one curator at the Centre Pompidou-Metz. “And why would we, with such crossover programming in the upcoming year like Paparzzi! Photographers, Stars, and Artists?”* (*NOT A REAL QUOTE, BUT THIS IS A REAL EXHIBITION.) [e-flux]
Residents and business owners in the LES and and East Village want to keep SantaCon’s drunken hordes out of their streets. Let the protests begin. [Bowery Boogie]
Wow. Larry Gagosian has some harsh words for the new breed of collectors and partiers coming out to Miami. “Two years ago, the audience was a little more interesting from the perspective of the galleries that come here.” [Women’s Wear Daily, Alain Servais]
Ah! LACMA is starting up its Art and Technology program again—the very same one from the 1960s. They sent Claes Oldenburg to do research at Disney; John Chamberlain to Rand Corporation; Richard Serra to Kaiser Steel. Now it’s different; mostly, the program gives office space at the museum. [The New York Times]
Missed this one last week, but the Van Gogh Museum is authorizing 3-D reproductions of Van Gogh’s masterworks. $35,000 for Starry Night, y’all. The first round will debut in January, at the L.A. Art Show. [Los Angeles Times]
Do subjective end-of-year lists not make you angry? Then go ahead, read Complex’s 25 Most Important Artists of 2013 list. Francis Bacon, who just sold the world’s most expensive painting at auction barely scrapes by in the 22nd slot; Robert Indiana is just a nudge ahead of him at 21. Top artists include those who have collaborated with Lady Gaga (#10: Inez and Vinoodh) and Pharrell (#5: Daniel Arsham, #8: JR). Celebrity art collaborations ≠ Most Important Artists. [Complex]