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Art Basel Part 1

December 6, 2010

I came down to Art Basel for one reason, which was to see what was going on in art. What is popular now. What people are buying.  Many people go down to actually buy art. This is an interesting concept for me because when someone goes down to a large art fair where the art is displayed so that someone will buy it, the art itself does not reflect what is actually going on in the art scene.  This thought is why I now believe that it is not Art Basel that should be your primary concern, but the satellite fairs (such as NADA, Pulse & Scope) that show you what is going on.

With that said when I walked around Art Basel itself I saw galleries that had abandoned the satellite fairs to appeal to these large buyers. The art that was once considered avante garde or off-putting, was now being accepted.  Or at least the galleries could now afford the price to show.  But I also thought about the “Blind Art collector” (a phrase which Fran Lebowitz has coined), the man that can afford the $120 million Picasso not because of the way it looks but because he can.  This is also goes with the concept of buying art has a commodity – something to be traded or sold and not valued for the beauty or the joy that it would bring every time you look at it.

This is what I saw and enjoyed.

Damien Hirst – I do not like Damien Hirst. Things that I have heard about him rub me the wrong way. Whenever I see his butterfly pieces I am attracted to them because I love butterflies but they make me a little depressed because they all had to die.

Damien Hirst Basel 2010 Deppe Parker

Pavel Pepperstein – Russian artist that I originally saw in Venice two years ago.  Post communist commentary watercolors. Funny but also beautiful.

Pavel Pepperstein And The Balloon Flies

Fiona Rae

Fiona Rae Basel 2010 Deppe Parker

Kehinde WileyI have a new found love for him. I always felt that he was extremely talented but it must have been really hard to make the paintings he makes because they are different then everything else.

Kehinde Wiley Basel 2010 Deppe Parker

The following painting was very large. It was hard to tell exactly how large. Maybe 20ft, probably bigger.

Kehinde Wiley Basel 2010 Deppe Parker

Mondongo – Interesting triptych that was made of different kinds of stickers.

Mondongo Basel 2010 Deppe_Parker

Mondongo Basel 2010 Deppe_Parker

Mondongo Basel 2010 Deppe_Parker

Mounir Fatmi – I just thought these were cool.

Mounir Fatmi skateboards Basel 2010 Deppe_Parker

Ryan McGuiness – A designer and artist like me. Helps bridge the gap between the two.

Ryan McGuinness Basel10 Deppe_Parker

Yoshitomo Nara – I’m not a huge Nara fan but I think any Japanese contemporary artist that is able to be popular in both Japan and the Western world should be appreciated.

Yoshitomo Nara Basel 2010 Deppe_Parker

Yoshitomo Nara

Nick Cave – Probably the weirdest thing we saw at Art Basel

Nick Cave Soundsuit Basel 2010 Deppe Parker

Wim Delvoye – Such beautiful, intricate construction. I also saw another piece at Pulse.

Wim Delvoye Cement TruckSchandra Singh

SCHANDRA SINGH Basel10 Deppe Parker

Robert Longo – I love Robert Longo. I think his pieces are wonderful. But there was something very odd to me about the shoes on this portrait.

Robert Longo Basel 2010 Deppe Parker

Robert Longo

More to come…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2010 2:58 am

    Great post! Especially appreciated the insightful thoughts about Art Basel Miami Beach. I think artists have a love/hate, attraction/repulsion when it comes to big art fairs like Basel. I totally agree, not the best way to assess the art scene, but fascinating anyway…

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