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Gifts For Artful Giving

December 18, 2015

Are you becoming stressed out by the gifts that you have not yet bought? Are you continuously racking your brain for the perfect gift? Well look no further then the list below. Giving art-inspired gifts to those you care for will not only make you look cool but, will ultimately make you seem infinitely more cultured than you probably are. Listed below is the continuation of the gift list I made for the Sixty Hotel group. Hopefully one of these lists will be able to satisfy your needs.

For the Foodie
One of the best things about strolling through the Big Apple is experiencing all the different types of food it has to offer. While you cannot take all of them home, the Christina J. Wang scarf that is covered with illustrations of New York’s most delectable goodies is a great way to preserve the memories.
For the Accessories Lover (Woman and Man)
Featuring Barbara Kruger’s text-based imagery these red and black sunglasses are sure to add a bit of artistic flair to any outfit. kruger_glasses
Deborah Kass’ OY/YO cufflinks may not be for everyone but this version of her Pop Art OY/YO paintings and sculptures are certainly one of the most playful and luxurious accessories that anyone could wear.Kass_cufflinksFor the Kid in your Life
In celebration of the 150-year anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice Adventures in Wonderland, an oversized full color illustrated hardcover edition has been released for a new generation. Experience this magical journey through the eyes of a wonderful artist in this exceptional gift.alice_in_wonderlandFor the Retro Homemaker
No kitchen is complete without a Kit-cat clock. Invented in 1932 by designer Earl Arnault, this clock continues to fascinate viewers with its signature wagging tail, rolling eyes, and contagious smile.
For the Co-Worker
Help your co-workers step up their mug game with a beautiful design from the MoMA. Any of these eye-pleasing designs are sure inspire as well as make a splash when hanging by the water cooler.
Mug Van Gogh Starry NightFor the Ugly Sweater Competition
This season it is hard to please everyone. So when all else fails, let them eat cake! Fruit cake that is. With this silly and endearing sweater you are sure to melt even the most frozen heart.

The Fair without a Name- Untitled 2015

December 10, 2015

Untitled is a relatively new fair for which a tone has not been established. While the airy tent is well curated with galleries from across the globe, it does not have some of the polish that other fairs have. It feels like it has more independent ideals and appeals to the less commercial side of art without fully making the jump to work that feels unfinished or anti-art.

Dennis Koch
Untitled (Versor Parallel), 2015
Color Pencil on Paper
68in x 48in
Laura Krifka
Jiri Georg Dokoupil
Kelsey Brookes
On top:
Mean Ratio, 2x 24in. No. 4, 2015
Acrylic on Canvas
24in x 24in

On bottom:
Sati No. 9, 2015
Acrylic on Wood Panel
25.25in x 25.25in
Hassan Hajjaj
Ben Stone
Trip Ship, 2013
Painted Cast Resin and Plywood
Sasha Pierce
Jochen Hein
Ocean Surface XXXIV, 2015
Acrylic on Cotton
51.25in x 70.75in

A Glimpse of Pulse 2015

December 9, 2015

Pulse is one of those fairs that usually lean towards the tech/light installation/interesting process side of art. While this year there were more painting/photography, the fair still felt like the booths had a more modern and design oriented feel. The artists who were exhibited are a good mix of emerging to mid-career artists. Being in that position makes them more prone to taking risks and more exciting for a viewer. The following images are some of my favorites from the fair.

Matthew Abbott
The Rights, 2014
Acrylic and Oil on Canvas
50in x 50in
Jose Parla
Mark Wagner
Year Zero, 2015
Currency Collage on Panel
40in x 30in
Alyse Rosner
Mirage, 2015
Graphite, Fluid Acrylic and Ink on Yupo
60in x 144in
Simon Schubert
Untitled (Poe House Boston), 2015
Graphite on Paper
David Price
Sky Painting No. 5
Oil on Panel
29in diameter
Lily Kelly
Tali (Sandhills), 2009
Acrylic on Linen
Samuel Stabler
Untitled (Yellow Cut-Out), 2015
Hand-cut paper with Acrylic on Verso
30in x 22.5in

Best of Art Basel

December 7, 2015

As I have said before the Art Basel Art Fair is the most commercial and the largest of all the art fairs during the art week in Miami. This year 70,000 people are estimated to wander amongst 267 galleries representing 32 countries where about $3 billion in art will be exhibited. The fair appeals to collectors who are ready to spend serious money on art -meaning thousands to millions of dollars. These are corporate collections, institutions, and people who have made the commitment of time and knowledge to art.
This year there was a lot of abstraction and concentration on texture in all forms. Also there were a number of Frank Stella pieces because of his recent retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. However, I am always attracted to the brightly colored, offbeat and interesting pieces that are not widely shown in the setting of the fair. While my documentation of Basel could have been more inclusive to give you an idea of the entire fair, below are the pieces that stood out to me.

Peter Saul
Cold Sweat, 1999
Acrylic on Canvas
55.125in x 77.875in
Ian Davenport
Black Hydroxate, 2015
Acrylic on Aluminum
78.75in x 78.75in
Walton Ford
Zurichsee, 2015
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
41.5in x 59.75in
Shepard Fairey
Power Bidder, Plate, 2015
Hand-rubbed, rolled, and transferred ink on photo-etched magnesium plate
32.25in x 24in
ShepardFairey_Power Bidder_blog
Hank Willis Thomas
Counterbalance, 2015
Yoan Capote
Isla (calma), 2015
Marilyn Minter
Doll Part, 2014
Enamel on Metal
44in x 38in
Harold Ancart
Untitled, 2015
Oil stick on Paper
51.125in x 35.375in
Robert Longo
Xu Zhen
Under Heaven –3320NU0147, 2014
Oil on Canvas, Aluminum
78.6875in x 55.0625in x 5.875in
XuZhen_Under Heaven_blog
XuZhen_Under Heaven_detail_blog
Fred Tomaselli
Double Landscape (Large), 1995
Saccharin, Acrylic, Resin, Wood Panel
48in x 48in
Daniel Arsham
Ash Selenite Basketball Jersey, 2015
Volcanic ash, Selenite, Hydrostone
31in x 20in x 13in
Keiichi Tanaami
Vision in the Womb, 2015
Acrylic paint, Digital Pigment Print, Silk Screen Print, Glass Powder on Canvas
39.375in x 80.125in
Andreas Gursky
Dubai World I, 2007
120.875in x 87.9375in
George Condo
Blue Painting, 1986
Oil on Canvas
59in x 59in
Robert Longo
Untitled (Marie), 2014
20in x 20in
Jacob Hashimoto
The Earliest Memories of the Universe, 2015
Acrylic, Paper/Dacron, Wood
72in x 72in x 8in

Why do I go to Basel?

December 7, 2015

Every year someone asks me “Why do you go to Art Basel? Are artists supposed to go? Doesn’t it bother you to see art in an art fair setting?” These questions puzzle me. Not because of the questions themselves but because they show a lack of knowledge about the art world.

The art world is one of the only industries in the world that can be whatever it wants to be. There are no set rules to guide you through. People often consider themselves experts overnight by reading a few books and advise others on the few subjects they know. Others spend years educating themselves on the nuances of every movement. The prices for work are unregulated and the value of a piece is not necessarily determined by the technique, materials used, or time spent creating it but rather the greater need for it. The artists themselves range in personality from extreme attention seekers to “don’t talk to me unless I talk to you”. Of course the spectrum of these traits vary and there are some artists who believe that they are like everyone else outside of the art world- which still borders the crazy line. With all of this in mind, what is so special about Art Basel Miami Beach?

Art Basel itself is an extreme opportunity for art collecting. In the U.S. there are very few occasions that galleries bring what they think is their best work to display for our viewing pleasure. The participants in Art Basel are usually the top tier galleries exhibiting some of the most famous artists in the world. The art shown is for collectors who are used to the high price tags with which the work comes. Over the years it has become more commercial than all the other fairs and has become the best example of art as a business. The Art Basel fair is not extraordinary but if you are at all interested in the art market, it is a good way to see what people in business think collectors are seeking. As an artist, I think that artists should try to understand how dealers’ think– What they think will sell or whom they are appealing to. (Not that whatever they do would change an artists point of view). It is just good business to understand how the market conducts itself.

One significant way that fairs have changed the art world is that idea of understanding what you are looking at is lost. Viewers breeze past most of the art without really looking at the details of each piece. Like running through flashcards before a test except no one actually knows what is on the cards themselves. On one hand when you see so many people interested in the idea of art it is encouraging. But when you see so many people not taking the time or opportunity to really consider what it is they are looking at or looking for, it is disheartening. Therefore the problem with art fairs for artists lies within the business model itself. Artists should understand that there is no way that buyers would ever visit all the galleries that set up shop in Miami in such a short time. But artists (and collectors) should also encourage their dealers to display more provocative work that educates and challenges the viewers’ eye instead of just appealing to what might look good next to “their beige sofa in the assigned display space”.
The following posts are most of the wonderful ideas/pieces of work/random but impactful statements that I discovered over my time during Art week in Miami. Hopefully it will help you get a sense of what is out there.

Delve deeper into Frieze 2015

May 21, 2015

Writing these posts about the art that I see sometimes takes longer than the actual presentation of the art itself. But for me sharing the art that I see is like going on a really great trip. Here are more of my selects from Frieze 2015.

Simon Periton, Guerilla Gardener, 2015
Steel, spray paint, lacquer, 82.625 x 51.75x.5in
-Not sure what this sculpture was about but loved how it changed as walk around it.
Matti Braun, Untitled, 2015
Silk, dye, powder-coated aluminium, 260 x 200 x 4cm
-Basic color study similar to the almighty Rothko but, regardless of who it is inspired by, was beautifully done.
AA Bronson, White Flag #3, 2015
Rabbit skin glue, champagne chalk and raw honey on cotton and metal grommet on linen, 94.5 x 156cm
-A provocative piece to show at a U.S. fair. Also after reading the material list, I have no idea how it was made.
Andreas Lolis, 21st Century Relics

-While most of the time I have no idea what is going on in Lolis’ work, there is something always impressive about an allegory with gold leaf detail.
Philippe Decrauzat, Flags, 2015
Acrylic on canvas, 46.125 x 46.125in
-The subject of contemporary corporate art is becoming more and more popular in non-corporate arenas. While this is a great example of art that incorporates movement and perspective as well as plays tricks with your eyes, I wonder if it sells for people’s homes.
XU Zhen, Play – Spire of the Sky, 2013
Genuine and artificial leather, BDSM accessories, foam, metal, wood, 310 x 60 x 60cm
-I’m all for progressive art- art that pushes boundaries and people’s limits. But when I saw this bondage and sex toy tower, it made me curious where this would go and who would buy it.
Darren Almond, Fullmoon@Waimea Canyon, 2013
C print, 70.86 x 70.86in
-Wish I was capable of capturing this photograph without the reflection because it is so beautiful.
Olafur Eliasson, Your confidence, 2014
Colored glass, stainless steel, paint (anthracite), 77.5 x 26.5 x 26.5in
Jenny Holzer, Selection of plaques from Living Series, 1980-1982
Enamel on metal, hand-painted sign, 21 x 23in
-Every fair is guilty of having a lot of pieces of art with words and neon being the subject. Luckily this Holzer selection is actually interesting.
Linder, Principle of Totality (Version I),
Gerben Mulder, Roosters Song, 2015
Gouacher, pencil and pigment dispersion on watercolor paper, 142.5 x 160cm
-Roosters Song is one of those pieces that the more you stare at it, the more you see. The abstract forms and rough drawing help to create great movement.
Giuseppe Penone @Marian Goodman Gallery
-I love when a gallery designs the booth. The dynamic use of the booth, tent height, and organization of the art makes a subject seem more attractive and an artist’s vision more clear.

Frieze Favorites

May 19, 2015

Frieze is one of my favorite art fairs that comes to consume the New York art world. Sometimes seeing art at a fair can seem endless; it’s hard to focus and it’s hard to tell what is good, what is bad, and what is just ugly. But the organization at Frieze and the ideas that are presented make it easy to have a wonderful time. Every year I am able to tour the show and root out what I think are the best things to see. While you may not agree with me, this is what I saw and loved.

Choe U-Ram, Gorgonian Chandelier, 2013,
Metallic material, machinery, electronic device (CPU board, motor, LED), resin, 82.6 x 42.1 x 37.8in
-When I see Choe U-Ram’s work, I’m instantly captivated. I find the movement of the electronics mesmerizing and completely unique.
Damian Loeb, Cygnus, 2015
Oil on linen, 36 x 36in
-At first glance I could not believe that this piece was a painting. It was unreal!
(See the detail below for a closer look).
Wayne Thiebaud, Drumstick Dinner, 2012
Oil on canvas board, 14.875 x 19.875in
-Love Thiebaud so much! He is one of those artists that are so familiar and reassuring to me, that it feels like I’m home when I see his work.
Damien Hirst, Ptolomea, 2012,
Entomological specimens and hammerite paint on canvas, 108 x 72in
-I know Damien Hirst probably did not make this piece himself. But whether it was made by him or someone else, the talent and work that it took to make it should be valued.
Beatriz Milhazes, Sem titulo, 1992,
Acrylic on canvas, 25.5 x 31.4375in
-I have been following Beatriz Milhazes’s career for thirteen years and I have never seen a work this early. By observing the artistic elements in this painting you can understand how the details in her bigger work evolved.
Robert Longo, Study for Astronaut/Armstrong, 2014,
Ink and charcoal on vellum, 14.25 x 20.87in
-A great example of a beautifully detailed study. I always find highly detailed studies fascinating because they help tell the story of the larger work.
Paola Pivi, It’s not fair, 2013
Urethane foam, plastic, feathers, 48x 96.5 x 25.25in
-Who knows if this art could give a viewer any emotion other than amusement? Regardless, who says that it should?
Daniel Arsham
Rose Quartz Eroded Chicago Bulls Jacket,
Rose quartz fragments, marble fragments, hydrostone, 29 x 38 x 12in
-A continuation of his Future Relic series. (Read more about it here). I’m always fascinated by the process of how his work is made.
Catching up to the Future, 2015
Cast objects in geological materials, sand, wood, glass, Glass diameter 46 in, Underground diameter 84in, Depth25.5in
Bernard Frize, Miscela, 2014
Acrylic and resin on canvas, 67 x 59.25in
-Was not familiar with Frize’s work before the fair but I found this piece mesmerizing. The colors are bright and the design is completely hypnotizing.
Gert & UWE Tobias, Untitled,
Framed woodcut on canvas, 80.75 x 80.75 x 2in
-A constant favorite of mine. (Read more about them here). I find the weirdness so appealing. Every time I see one of their pieces it makes me feel like the subject is of something familiar and yet, at the same time something so foreign that it scares me.
Satoshi Ohno, Prism.darknight., 2015
Oil, acrylic on canvas mounted on panel, 243 x 122.5cm
-Ohno’s pieces are not for everyone but the highly detailed and sugary sweet, prismatic color combination really strikes a cord with me. It is like looking into the craziest gem facet.
Daniel Rich,
Guangzhou Circle, China,
Acrylic on Dibond, 72 x 59in
-The architectural design and precision of these pieces are wonderful and remind me of old 1950/60s travel posters. Plus I love seeing how A-type some artists can be!
Ice Rink, Pyongyang, 2015
Acrylic on Dibond, 72 x 59in
Jean-Baptiste Bernadet
-Did not get the name of this painting but could not stop staring at it. What the photo below does not tell you was that this piece was HUGE. It was probably around 10ft. It makes me think of oil slicks on a wet pavement mixed with some fantastic aftermath of a fabulous party.
…to be continued.


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