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Finding gems in the sea of the Armory Fair

March 6, 2015
BertaFischer_1

Navigating your way through any art fair is a little like a trout swimming upstream. You get overwhelmed and tired but you realize you must push through in order to get to the finish. When I go to these things I have to mentally prepare myself for the crowds and gallery art talk that goes hand-in-hand. Luckily for me, yesterday when I arrived at the Armory show there were not a lot of people so I was able to see some of the best pieces without any of the aggregation.

Jules de Balincourt
US As In You Me And Them, 2009, Oil and acrylic on wood panel, 82x55in
I’ve been watching Balincourt’s rise for some time. I don’t know why but his work always gives me a rough Williamsburg hipster wearing plaid shirts vibe (if that makes sense).
JulesdeBalincourt_USAsInYouMeAndThem_2009

Not Vital
Head No.5, 2013, Stainless Steel with PVD coating, 110 kg, 70.47 x 50.39 x 51.18 in
When I saw this sculpture all I could think is that it would attract finger prints – but with the shape of the curves and structure, I don’t think anyone could not be attracted to this Brancusi-esque piece.
Not_Vita_Head_No5

Hank Willis Thomas
Liberty, 2015, fiberglass, chameleon auto paint finish
The sleek design of this wonderful sculpture’s form was modern and yet easily recognizable in its historical significance.
HankWillisThomas_Liberty2015

Brad Kahlhamer
I was unaware of Kahlhamer before yesterday, but this piece had a wonderful surreal quality that I could not ignore.
Brad_Kahlhamer

El Anatsui
Adinkra Sasa, 2003, found aluminum and copper wire, 192x216in
El Anatsui is a Ghanaian sculptor who uses everyday objects like liquor bottle caps and crumpled pieces of metal sourced from local alcohol recycling stations to create fabric like sculpture that seem to be reminiscent of intricate patch work quilts that are frozen in place. When viewed up close his massively scaled sculptures are astonishing as a result of the immense detail of their meticulous fabrication.
ElAnatsui_AdinkraSasa_1

ElAnatsui_AdinkraSasa_2

Abdoulaye Konate
Composition no. 18 (orange avec plumage), 2015, Textile, 72.5×84.625in
In person this tactile piece was really interesting. Each rectangle would ruffle like feathers of a bird when a person would walk by.
Composition no. 18 (orange avec plumage)

Elias Sime
Yechalal 1, 2006, Yarn stitch on canvas, 59.5×33.5×1.75in
Subtle but wonderful. Considering the stitching, I was amazed how this piece was made.
EliasSime_Yechalal_1

EliasSime_Yechalal_1_detail

Glenn Kaino
The Last Sight of Icarus and A Shout Within a Storm
Kaino’s work often addresses ideas about the construction of history, memory and received knowledge. For his site-specific sculpture, The Last Sight of Icarus for the Amory show, he constructed hundreds of cinderblocks cast in paraffin wax that bisected the gallery booth. For A Shout Within a Storm Kaino created a suspended mobile, constructed of more than 100 copper-plated steel arrows, that appears to change form as the viewer changes position.
Glenn_Kaino_2
Glenn_Kaino_1

David Baskin
Lapis Lazuli, 2015, Polyurethane resin, pigment, aluminum, wood
David_Baskin

Luisa Rabbia
Luisa_Rabbia

Xia Xiaowan
85 Two People in the Water, 2013, Glass Installation
This piece is created by multiple 2D drawings on glass layered to create a 3D image. This technique creates a deep image that appears to be holographic. It’s hard to tell from the image below but Xia style borders the line between painting and sculpture.
Xia_Xiaowan

Brandon Ballengee
The Frameworks of Absence, 2006
The walls of the Ronald Feldman booth is covered by Brandon Ballengee’s salon wall hanging of his continued provocative series about extinct species, The Frameworks of Absence. Brandon is known for not only being an artists but also a biologist and environmental activist. His series displays altered prints by John James Audubon, Mark Catesby, John Gould, J.G. Keulemans, Ernst Haeckel, Louis Agassiz Fuertes is hung in chronological order from 1660 to 2014. While you can tell instantly that this series is deep in meaning as well as emotionally for Ballengee, the execution is also flawless.
BrandonBallengee_TheFrameworksofAbsence_1

BrandonBallengee_TheFrameworksofAbsence

Berta Fischer
khalys, 2014, and somerline, 2014, Both Plexiglass
Berta Fischer’s Plexiglass sculptures consume the James Fuentes booth this year. The neon-hued and reflective fluid sculptures are instantaneously intriguing because of the light that bounces off of them and onto the sea of people walking past. The bended and twisted movements of forms that are created within the sculptures seem to be more natural to a moving piece of mylar rather than a extraordinary fixed position plastic sculpture.
BertaFischer_1

BertaFischer_2
Farah Atassi
The Collection, 2015, Oil on canvas, 74x59in
FarahAtassi_The_Collection

David Scher
Mars, 2013, Oil on linen, 51.25×63.75in
DavidScher_Mars_2013

Darina Karpov
I have a continued fascination with Darina Karpov’s work. Here abstractions are like being inside of an object that is undetermined organic matter. I love how intricate her designs are but because of the colors and tones she uses they are straightforward and not overwhelming.
DarinaKarpov1

DarinaKarpov2

Ryan McGinness
Saw this piece in Miami which was a 10th of this one’s size. What I thought was extraordinary was they literally looked exactly the same.
Ryan_McGinness

Matthew Brandt
Brandt is best known for his Lakes and Reservoirs photographs that were developed by soaking his prints in water he collected from the lake he took the photo of. In his Water & Polaroid series, he applies a similar process to multi layered duraclear and duratrans prints and then places them in an LED lightbox. While Brandt’s brightly colored photos are already alluring, the lightbox makes the colors even more brilliant.
Matthew_Brandt

Simen Johan
From the series Until the Kingsom Comes, Untitled #181, 2015
Simen_Johan

Katharine Kuharic
The Nipple I Never Knew, 2015, Oil on canvas, 48x72inches
Definitely the oddest title I came across. Beautiful detail in this mirror image piece. (I’m always a sucker for anything with dogs).
KatharineKuharic_TheNippleINeverKnew

Robert Longo
St. Louis Rams (Hands Up), 2015, Charcoal on mounted paper, 65x120in
My obsession with Robert Longo’s work continues. Though with this piece you either have to be a Rams fan or a football fan that doesn’t mind having a really expensive charcoal drawing of a Rams player on your wall.
RobertLongo_St_Louis_Rams

Irma Blank
Radical Writings, Schrift-Atem-Bild, 8-6-92, 1992, Oil on canvas, 78.75 x 78.75inches
Irma_Blank

Claude Lalanne
Lustre, 2014, Bronze, Unique, 31.5×59.125×59.125in
Sometimes the best things at the Armory fair are the light pieces above the booth.
Claude_Lalanne

Candida Hofer
Catherine Palace Pushkin St. Petersburg III, 2014, C-Print, 70.875 x 82.625in
Candida_Hofer

Gilles Barbier
A very old Thing, 2015, Mixed media, 70.875×70.875×45.25in
Gilles_Barbier

Yue Minjun
Blue Sky and White Clouds, 2013, Oil on canvas, 94.5×78.75in
Yue_Minjun

Jacob Hashimoto
Memory of Some Great Dark Planet, 2015, Paper, wood, acrylic and Dacron, 48x75x8in
Jacob_Hashimoto

Jacob_Hashimoto_detail
Scott Campbell
Be Here Now, 2014, Prepared wood panel with carved and burned floral design, 45x93in
Scott_Campbell

Scott_Campbell_detail

Barbara Takenaga
Sphere (red halos), 2015, Acrylic on wood panel, 24x30in and Flatlandia, 2015, Acrylic on wood panel, 24x20in
Barbara_Takenaga1

Otto Piene
Light Ballet, 1969, Chrome, glass and electric light bulbs
If you missed the Zero exhibition at the Guggenheim last year a piece of the show is featured at the Pier 92 Modern Art side of the Armory show. The Light Ballet by Otto Piene is wonderfully ethereal. Light and shadows continuously play a magical dance on the walls of a small specially built cylindrical room dazzling each viewer as they pass by.
Otto_Piene_series

Unconventional beauty of Beatriz Milhazes

January 5, 2015

In 2003 I went to Venice and saw a painting by a Brazilian artist named, Beatriz Milhazes. I was shocked by its unconventional beauty. I had never seen anything like it before. The composition seemed to capture what i had always thought of Brazil to be- a beautiful tropical paradise with rough uneasy edges.

Now, 11 years later, on my recent trip to Miami I attended the Milhazes retrospective at the Perez Museum. For me to see the work of an artist who I believed could get to this level was inspiring. Standing in a room surrounded by Milhazes’ work, I believe that it is just as powerful now as the first day I saw it.
Below are the images I took at the show. (Some paintings are followed by detailed images).
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_1
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_1_detail
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_3
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_2
BeatrizMilahzes_pamm_15
BeatrizMilahzes_pamm_15_detail
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_4
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_4_detail
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_5
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_5_detail
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_6
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_6_details
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_7
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_8
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_8_detail
Beatriz_Milhazes_PAMM_9
To read more of my take on Beatriz Milhazes’ work click here

Exploration into Miami Project

December 13, 2014

Miami Project is usually one of my favorite art fairs during the Art Basel week in Miami. In the past the art has been fresh and exciting but also fun. While there were remnants of the usual inspiring art that lined the booth walls, the feel of the fair was quite different and was lacking a spark. Below are the pieces that I found most appealing.

Michael Kagan
Supersonic
Miami_Project_Michael_kagan
Contact Light
Miami_Project_Michael_kagan_2
Tom Sanford
Custom Mao (Star Wars Stormtrooper)
Miami_Project_Tom_Sanford_Custom_Mao
David Klamen
Monet Remix
Miami_Project_monet_remix
David Maisel
The Fail (Borox 5)
Miami_Project_2014_Fall_Borox5_MAISEL
Stanley Casselman
Luminor-1-36
Miami_Project_2014_Stanley_Casselman
Andy Diaz Hope
Miami_Project_2014_Andy_Diaz_Hope
Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth
Allegory of the Prisoner’s Dilemma
Miami_Project_2014_Andy_Diaz_Hope_Laurel_Roth_Allegory_of_the_Prisoners_Dilemma
Masami Teraoka
(Though the allure of these images called to me from across the aisle, it wasn’t until after I had walked by did it occur to me that they were by the same artist. Love the evolution of his work).
31 Flavors Invading Japan / Today’s Special, 1980-1982
Miami_Project_31FIJ_Todays_Special
The Cloisters Last Supper/Eve and Giant Squid Hunters, 2012
Oil, gold leaf, and acrylic with gold leaf frame, 123 x 120 x 3 inches
Miami_Project_2014_The_Cloisters_Last_Supper_Eve_and_Giant_Squid_Hunters
Miles Aldridge
The Cult of The Self #3,
Miami_Project_Miles_Alridge

The Details of Untitled

December 9, 2014

Untitled_2014_tent
The galleries that show at the Untitled art fair often lean towards avant-garde or abstract art. However this year the selections seemed to create one big cohesive show instead of lots of small individual ones. Of course there are always hits and misses but the images below are details of the ones I liked best.

Jeff Beebe
Map of the Refractorian Solar System
Untitled_2014_Jeff_Beebe_1
Thomas Müller
Untitled_2014_Thomas_Muller
Markus Linnenbrink
Untitled_2014_Markus_Linnenbrink
Goldschmied & Chiari
Untitled Portrait
Untitled_2014_Goldschmied_Chiari
Rebecca Morgan
Assortment of Face Jugs
Untitled_2014_Rebecca_Morgan
Jen Stark
Untitled_2014_Jen_Stark
Carlos Aires
Untitled_2014_Carlos_Aires
Devin Troy Strother

Untitled_2014_Devin_Troy_Strother

A Rhythm from Pulse

December 9, 2014

Year after year the Pulse Art fair in Miami is one of the finest. This year the fair changed from it’s longtime location at the Ice Palace to be in North Miami Beach in a more efficiently organized tent. I’m not sure whether it was the distant sounds of waves lapping against the sand or the wide aisles but the fair was refreshing. There was a mix of street artists turned fine artists, new technology, and interesting textures and evolved techniques. The images below are some of my favs.

Susie Ganch
Side note: This sculpture was created with coffee lids collected from Starbucks.
Pulse_2014_Susie_Ganch_sculpture
Pulse_2014_Susie_Ganch
Pulse_2014_Susie_Ganch_1
Bovey Lee

Grounded
Pulse_2014_Bovey_Lee_Grounded_1
Pulse_2014_Bovey_Lee_Grounded_2
Rake
Pulse_2014_Bovey_Lee_Rake

Vik Muniz
Postcards from Nowhere: Waterskiing
Pulse_2014_Vik_Muniz
Kim Keever
Pulse_2014_Kim_Keever
Laurie Lambrecht
Roy in Yellow Interior, 1991
Pulse_2014_Laurie_Lambrecht
Natalia Arias
Can’t See The Forest For The Trees
Pulse_2014_Natalia_Arias
Michael Van Den Besselaar
The Robot Portraits Series
Pulse_2014_Michael_Van_Den_Besselaar
Naomi Reis
Borrowed Landscape (Tropics of Africa, Asia and the Amazon via Brooklyn II)
Pulse_2014_Naomi_Reis
Pulse_2014_Naomi_Reis_detail
Markus Linnenbrink
CouldYouNotTellTheDifference
Pulse_2014_Markus_Linnenbrink
Pulse_2014_Markus_Linnenbrink_detail
Bradley Sabin
Magnolias
Pulse_2014_Bradley_Sabin
Maya Hayuk
Pulse_2014_Maya_Hayuk_1
Pulse_2014_Maya_Hayuk_2
Nathalie Miebach
The Wavy Jane
Pulse_2014_Nathalie_Miebach
Pulse_2014_Nathalie_Miebach_detail
Jimmy Nelson
Fell in love with the Before They Pass Away series (which documents tribal cultures around the world) almost a year ago and was delighted to see the photographs at Pulse.
Pulse_2014_Jimmy_Nelson
Pulse_2014_Jimmy_Nelson_2

The Gems of Commercial Art

December 9, 2014

ArtMiami is the most commercial of all the fairs. When I say this I mean that the art is usually the most relatable to the common man or woman. Usually the concepts of the pieces can be understood within a matter of seconds. While I believe any artist who creates should be considered and valued to some degree, I also get annoyed when collectors blindly follow what is trending and little emphasis is put on the work itself.
The following images are the gems I found amongst the mediocre.

Paul Villinski
Art_Miami_2014_Paul_Villinski
Simon Procter
Art_Miami_2014_Simon_Procter
Miya Ando
Art_Miami_2014_Miya_Ando
Jae Yong Kim
Art_Miami_2014_Jae_Yong_Kim
3(three)
Discovered this collective 4 years ago in Japan. They create their art by fusing and melting plastic toys into different shapes. Sometimes cutting the shapes to reveal what has been combined. The art produced does not contain any deep concepts but the execution and technique is pretty cool.
Art_Miami_2014_3_three
Art_Miami_2014_3_three_detail
Art_Miami_2014_3_three_2

Reflections on Art Basel Madness

December 8, 2014

Every year I ask myself- Do I need to go to Art Basel itself? The art does not push any boundaries, it’s targeted to high-price buyers, and it’s exhausting- Why do I need to go? The truth is, whatever hat I am currently wearing (artist, art advisor, critic, or collector), I believe you need to understand the art world at every level. Not just what you are interested in but art/artists who have attained the attention of those who’s art controls the art market and those upcoming artists who are pursuing new concepts and materials.

It seems like a silly concept that someone who is buying art at a multi-million dollar level could influence art being sold on a lower level but the truth is in the taste level. Artists who’s work is deemed unfavorable to move up the art market totem pole, for whatever reason, can not accrue a higher price. Often gallerists from lower markets review what pieces are sold and why and if their art can not be sold then it can not be shown. This whole cycle seems to defeat the entire point of art itself but this is what happens when art and money mix.

This year I asked myself questions which determined what was for sale as I walked through Basel:
-Are people playing it safe?
-Are people buying work, which are in muted tones that cannot jolt the viewer on any level? Or are people buying brightly colored work that contains a lot of shock-value?

The truth as I see it was this year was very bland. There was not a significant amount of brightly colored or muted tone art. There were no highs or lows. The fair was very one note. However I always try to find the bright side of any art exhibit, so below is what I found and liked.

Rirkrit Tiravanija
Art_Basel_2014_Rirkrit_Tiravanija

Ryan McGinness
(This piece was woven silk)
Art_Basel_2014_Ryan_McGinness
Art_Basel_2014_Ryan_McGinness_detail

Takashi Murakami
Heart and Space
Art_Basel_2014_Takashi_Murakami
Art_Basel_2014_Takashi_Murakami_detail
Frank Thiel

Perito Moreno #09
Art_Basel_2014_Frank_Thiel
Osgemeos

Untitled
Art_Basel_2014_Osgemeos
Art_Basel_2014_Osgemeos_detail
Helmut Newton

(These photographs were life-sized)
Art_Basel_2014_Helmut_Newton
Jacob Hashimoto

On Units and Universes
Art_Basel_2014_Jacob_Hashimoto
Art_Basel_2014_Jacob_Hashimoto_detail
Nick Cave
Art_Basel_2014_Nick_Cave
Chris Ofili

Dead Monkey – Sex, Money and Drugs
Art_Basel_2014_Chris_Ofili
Damien Hirst

Side note: In 2003 I first saw Damien Hirst’s work in person. It was a pill wall like this. I wanted to document this piece to show how limited his progression has been.
Art_Basel_2014_Damien_Hirst
Keiichi Tanaami

Figure of Red Elephant and Green Whale
Art_Basel_2014_Keiichi_Tanaami
Art_Basel_2014_Keiichi_Tanaami_detail
Sandra Cinto
Art_Basel_2014_Sandra_Cinto
Marilyn Minter
Art_Basel_2014_Marilyn_Minter_2
Art_Basel_2014_Marilyn_Minter
Beatriz Milhazes

(This painting sold for 3mil)
Art_Basel_2014_Beatriz_Milhazes
Art_Basel_2014_Beatriz_Milhazes_detail

Robert Longo
(For half a mil this drawing could of been yours)
Art_Basel_2014_Robert_Longo
Art_Basel_2014_Robert_Longo_detail
Wayne Thiebaud
Art_Basel_2014_Wayne_Thiebaud
Urs Fisher

Small Rain
Art_Basel_2014_Urs_Fisher_detail
Art_Basel_2014_Urs_Fisher
Zilvinas Kempinas
Illuminator V
Art_Basel_2014_Zilvinas_Kempinas

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