Spotlight: Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist who rode high in the eighties New York Art Scene. His career in art began on the streets as a graffiti artist. Under the pseudonym SAMO he’d leave political-poetical messages impregnated on city walls… ‘Plush safe he think’… ‘SAMO as an alternative to the bourgeois.’ In less than a decade, he was an international art star. His paintings often described as childlike, dealt with human anatomy, dense imagery and text, and his African-American heritage. You might find that Jean-Michel is more commonly talked of in the context of celebrity than artistically; his friendships/relationships with Warhol and Madonna continue to be critiqued in the vortex of pop culture phenomena.

With his crowning of trademark dreadlocks, Basquiat was a regular downtown fixture. His genius trapped in a burgeoning art movement set on ‘crazed’ did nothing to help slow down the excesses he became victim of. At the age of twenty-seven he was dead of a drug overdose in his Great Jones loft…the radiant child had left his canvassed works behind screaming at the world, their many faces torturing and riveting are not unlike his legacy.

“He disrupted the politics of the art world and insisted that if he had to play their games, he would make the rules. His images entered the dreams and museums of the exploiters, and the world would never be the same.” – Keith Haring

Enjoy these great links to more information on the life of Basquiat

  • For a closer look at Basquiat works currently in circulation and editorial imprints from those still inspired by the Radiant Child, try Artsy’s resource.
  • Use this link to read ‘The Radiant Child’, Rene Ricard’s 1981 Artforum article that launched Basquiat onto the art world.
  • Got Netflix? Basquiat, the movie directed by Julian Schnabel is on demand.
  • Or rent, Basquiat: The Radiant Child, this Tamra Davis movie boasts never seen footage.
  • At Basquiat’s memorial, Fab 5 Freddy “interpolated” the poem ‘Genius Child’ by Langston Hughes. You can read it here.
  • For a page turning read on Jean-Michel & the 1980s art world, try ‘Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art‘.

MoMa Björk Retrospective Induces Mini Heart Palps

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The first time I heard Björk, I was sitting in the backseat of a friend’s little Toyota.  The car was chugging up a steep road in Stroudsburg, PA, and I thought the voice coming out of the speakers was surely some majestical wispy woodland nymph that only my mountain region friends knew about.

Hearing her voice was like being on colorful glittered flakes of psychedelic drugs I have never done; maybe the heart palps just belong to me (sincerely doubt it).

So excuse me while I scream into my hands, regain composure and then tell you that MoMA is mounting a full-scale retrospective dedicated to the work of the multi-faceted Icelandic Queen, Bjork.  The exhibition, simply titled, Björk will focus on 20 years of the artist’s projects including her seven full-length albums —”to chronicle her career through sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, costumes (aka. the swan dress), and performance.  The installation will present a narrative, both biographical and imaginatively fictitious, cowritten by Björk and the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón. Björk’s collaborations with video directors, photographers, fashion designers, and artists.”  The exhibition will culminate with a newly commissioned, immersive music and film experience conceived and realized with director Andrew Thomas Huang and 3-D design leader Autodesk.

I’m hoping one of the exhibit highlights will be getting to play with her experimental app, Biophilia on a larger platform. Biophilia is the first app to enter MoMA’s collection, and one of the best apps to ever suck up 725MB of my iPhone storage. MoMA’s acquisition of Biophilia (2011), showcases the museum’s leadership in forward-thinking digital cataloging.  The app was a gift of Björk and her record label, One Little Indian.

The hybrid software app was developed by Björk in collaboration with M/M Paris, and Scott Snibbe.  Within the app, users can navigate a three-dimensional constellation made up of 10 separate apps, one for each song from the Biophilia album.  Each app allows for four options – a look at the composition of the song, play the score (can you say Bjork karaoke), colorful song animation created by Stephen Malinowski, and the fourth option shows you the lyrics of the song.

My favorite incarnation of the app can be seen in the Biophilia Educational Program, a project adopted by select Scandinavian Schools “designed to inspire children to explore their own creativity and to learn about music and science through new technologies.”

Björk will be on view at MoMA from March 8 through June 7, 2015.

Björk Website

* Photo Credit: Björk, Debut, 1993. Credit: Photography by Jean Baptiste Mondino. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian; Björk, Biophilia, 2011. Credit: By M/M (Paris) Photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian

 

Art Smart on the Sly

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Since you never know what crowd you’ll be falling into –we’ve compiled a non-threatening mix of books to get your Art Smart on. Some cover the hype of a few well-known art stars, and others take you into current art movements. There are a few biographies and “text” book like works on our list, but that’s because it makes it easier to appreciate the new when you know what influences the artist drew from. We’re not promising to turn you into art aficionados, but we can help you load your bookshelf down with a couple of gems.  The oldies but goodies you should already own.

  1. History of Art by HW Janson – The seminal art history textbook. The one to which all others pale in comparison. I used this when I took my first Art History class, and it totally changed the way I looked at art and gave me a basis with which to view art that I still call upon today.
  2. 501 Great Artists:   A Comprehensive Guide to the Giants of the Art World by Susie Hodge – Another basic text for art lovers, easy to read and very educational.  It’s a very good “primer” on who makes up the bedrock of the art world.
  3. Lust for Life by Irving Stone – Irving Stone is a wonderful writer and this account of Van Gogh’s life is quite amazing.  This book gives you an idea of what a tortured soul he was, and how hard he tried to find his place in life.
  4. The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone – This time Stone writes about Michelangelo’s life. He was so clearly a genius since youth. It takes you through his time painting for sponsors, and then his grand patrons, the Medici’s. His relationship with the Pope was a complex one as well, and Stone brings this all to the book. A must-read.
  5. Going Postal by Martha Cooper – Because stickers from the US Postal Service, UPS, DHL and FEDEX are so readily available, it became the perfect canvas for the graffiti culture. Graffiti photography Martha Cooper showcases a collection of more than 200 photographs of some of her favorite handmade postal stickers from around the world.
  6. Jean -Michel Basquiat: 1960-1988 by Leonhard Emmerling  – This is an amazing bio of Basquiat, who in less than a decade became an international art star. His genius trapped in a burgeoning art movement set on ‘crazed’ did nothing to help slow down the excesses he became eventually became a victim of.
  7. Provenance:   How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury & Aly Sujo – This is the story of John Drewe, an alleged physicist and avid art collector, who began passing off copies of famous art pieces as genuine, and then forging their provenance.  A real page-turner about a con artist and how he got away with it for so long.
  8. Hiding in the Light:  On Images and Things (Comedia) by Dick Hebdige – A wonderful back to the basics book about the meaning of Post-Modernism.
  9. The Philosophy of Andy Warhol:  A to B and Back Again by Andy Warhol – Andy writes about himself, no holds barred. A great book from the Master’s own mind.
  10. Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton – This is an incredible book about the in’s and out’s of the art world.  We get a great ride ‘behind the scenes’, a detailed look at how a painting is brought to auction, and the intricate hierarchy that exists between the collector and buyer. I didn’t think it would be interesting, but I was into it from the first page.
  11. Subway Art by Martha Cooper – Yet another must-have book from photographer Martha Cooper. This book covers the epitome of classic NYC graffiti, a veritable Bible for this subculture.
  12. Steve Powers: A Love Letter for You by Steve Powers – Graffiti Artist, Steve Powers started painting his “ESPO” alias across the walls and rooftops of Philadelphia in 1984, just as the city’s Anti-Graffiti Network was launched. Twenty-five years later, in the summer of 2009, he returned to Philly, armed with 1,200 cans of spray paint, 800 gallons of bucket paint and 20 of the finest spray painters in America, to inscribe an epic love letter on the rooftops facing the Market-Frankford line, as a public art project. Powers consulted the community in West Philly and collaborated with The Mural Arts Program and the Pew Center, and with their help, transformed this 20-block stretch of buildings into visual and architectural Valentine poems.
  13. Training Days: The Subway Artists Then and Now by HenryChalfant and Sacha Jenkins – Throw some old school B&W photos of break dancers at Coney Island (is that the Cyclone I see in the background), a table of contents designed to look like an NYC Subway stop, interviews with graffiti legends like Lady Pink, andSkeme, and I’m all ready to meet the mailman at my door on the regular until my Amazon package shows up.Seriously though, Training Days: The Subway Artists Then and Now promises authentic first–person accounts from the graffiti artists whose creative genius fueled the movement from its beginning in late 1970s and early 1980s New York.

Streets Dept Celebrates Turning 4 with a Stikman Calendar Giveaway!

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Our favorite Philadelphia street art blog is turning 4.  Everything you never knew you needed to know about the street art scene and more is housed at Streets Dept, home base for Conrad Benner’s infectious zest for all things Philly.

To celebrate his 4 year anniversary, he’s hooked up with the LEGENDARY Stikman to give away 10 limited-edition calendars via an Instagram contest.

Here’s how you can win one of your very own Stikman Calendars:

1) Follow Streets Dept on Instagram HERE.

2) Take a photo of a Stikman installation and hashtag it #StreetsDeptStikman. (His work is ALL over Philadelphia, and in countless cities around the world, for readers outside of Philly.)

Giveaway ends Sunday, January 25th at Midnight EST… That gives you a week, if you’d like to enter! All 10 winners will be notified by Instagram direct message.

Andy Warhol x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Collection (Good Luck Getting a Pair)

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The buzz is Converse is dropping an Andy Warhol All Star Collection this January.  There’s going to be a limited edition run of only 200 pairs sold within the US.

I’m excited …for now.  But I know what’s coming, most of these Converses will end up in plexiglass boxes in collector’s houses. The only stores that will actually carry a pair, will be in Manhattan, NY.  I will continue to dream of owning a pair only to be driven to Ebay where the disappointment will continue as the opening bid is a whopping $800.00 dollars or more.

All the other collaborations were just as thrilling; the Lichtenstein, Hirst.  There was even a Nate Lowman collaboration; he had Converses cut from his actual canvas reinterpretations of abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning’s “Marilyn Monroe” (1954). I understood the $2500 price tag for those – I mean, it took 10 hours to construct each pair.

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I just prefer the PR around these Converse artist collaborations to be a little more forthcoming. How about:

Converse will launch a new limited-edition series of sneakers, the Chuck Taylor All Star Andy Warhol, featuring a selection of beloved Warhol prints – Good Luck Getting a Pair.

The new Andy Warhol x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Collection kicks are for looking at and sighing; you will never actually wear a pair.

Converse…please just be like the Pop Shop and mass produce wearable art that people actually have a chance at owning.

That is all – my rant is over.

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ArteSano Project Adds some Flair in the Dominican Republic

JAZ. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

I can’t say more good things about seeing an increase of art in urban spaces. I don’t mean white-washed into a downtown space in between clinical looking skyscrapers or in the lobby of some do-gooder office building.  I want to pass something incredible on my way into the bodega; snap a picture of a mural through the thick glass of the El train window on my way to work.

This year my inbox saw a parade of press releases for festivals cropping up in India, Brazil, Canada and now I’m crushing on these pics from the ArteSano Project in the Dominican Republic.  They drove me straight to Instagram see what was popping up on the streets of DR in real-time.  It’s all amazing – use the hashtag #artesanoproject.  I was pleasantly surprised to see works from artists like, Pixel Pancho, Axel Void, and Evoca1.

The work I’ve seen so far seems to be blending well with the culture and motifs of the neighborhoods. Feeling the culture and incorporating that into the art can create a visual conversation, a vital component when you’re coming into a new place and trying to interactive within a community.  The work should find a home with them and not the other way around.

“The community was transformed during those days and over two weeks they began to see these great artists’ work and create specific pieces in different places around the town,” says Mario E. Ramirez, a Puerto Rican artist who has been documenting and capturing the festival in DR with his partners at Tost Films. He says that an event like this connects with a community yields a greater dialogue than some of the more commercial Street Art and graffiti enterprises because the artists get to interact with neighbors closely. 1

ArteSano Project brought some real flair into the Rio San Juan section of DR with 25 local and international artists – I hope you’ll check them out and support.

Axel . Faith47. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

Axel . Faith47. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

Pastel . Pixel Pancho. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

Pastel . Pixel Pancho. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

JAZ. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

JAZ. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

Entes. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

Entes. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

ade. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

ade. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

Vero Rivera. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

Vero Rivera. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

via Brooklyn Street Art/Huffington Post

1 Quote taken from Brooklyn Street Art Article, New Year, New Mural Festival

Represent: 200 Years of African American Art

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art is highlighting their collection of works made by artists of African descent with a new publication and exhibit of the same name, Represent: 200 Years of African American Art.

Represent opened to the public, January 10, 2015. The exhibition features 75+ works culled from the museum’s holdings by consulting curator Dr. Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, and Project Curatorial Assistant, John Vick.

For the majority of the public, many of the pieces in this exhibit have only been seen in photographs. The exhibition is a reflection of the history of race in the United States, it is also comprised of unique voices that separate themselves from categorization with their creative freedoms.

The hand of the artist weaves itself in and out of historical, social and personal conflict with narratives we try to understand; our engagement with these stories is a base for commonality. They make one think about the things that say true and unchanging – the importance of identity – finding a place of belonging that can hold an honest grounding within our individuality. The diversity of this approach can be seen in the presentation of works chosen.

Before you enter the exhibit gallery, notice the drawings of the exterior and interior of the Main Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, attributed to the architect Julian Abele. In 1902, Abele was the first African American to graduate from the architecture program at the University of Pennsylvania.

It’s a fitting beginning to the complexity of art that ranges in means and interpretation throughout the five groupings; Early America, Imagining Modernity, Abstract Approaches, Past Made Present, Facing the Collection.

Notable Philadelphians in the exhibit: Moses Williams, former slave and profile cutter in the household of portrait artist and first museum entrepreneur Charles Willson Peale; Henry Ossawa Tanner, whose painting The Annunciation was the first African American work to be acquired by an American Museum; Dox Thrash, a printmaker ; Sculptor, Barbara Chase-Riboud; Moe Brooke; Barkley L. Hendricks.

As you walk through the exhibit, don’t miss this unintentional conversation between – The Deposition by Bob Thompson and Present Futures by Moe Brooker. The paintings sit cattycorner to one another, sharing the same celebratory color palettes. [Thanks to DuBois Shaw for pointing that out]

Within the exhibit space, Kara Walker is the youngest artist shown. At 46, Walker is still a very relevant artist, but it’s worth pointing out that artist Jayson Musson (Gallery 124 in the permanent collection) is a younger voice that bookends the exhibition. Musson’s, Trying to find our spot off in that light, light off in the spot can be seen in the permanent collection, with a reference to it’s inclusion in the catalogue and exhibition.

Represent: 200 Years of African American Art runs until April 5, 2015. A wide variety of special events and celebratory programs are happening in conjunction with this exhibit. Learn about them here.

Our Highlights:

Horace Pippin – The End of the War: Starting Home
From afar it can seem a simple canvassed painting. But a closer inspection will reveal scenes that depict the brutality of war. Notice its framing of carved weapons, helmets, and tanks.

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Carrie Mae Weems – Untitled
Three of the twenty photographs that comprise The Kitchen Table Series are shown here (One of our Art Basel Miami highlights). Weems stages these stretched scenes into long unspoken sentences comprised of emotions and identity within relationships.
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Glenn Ligon – Untitled (I’m Turning Into a Specter before Your Very Eyes and I’m Going to Haunt You)
Stand there long enough to realize that you are re-reading a single phrase; Ligon’s repetition of this phrase begins to dissipate into a powerful message as the words begin to blur and disappears into a bigger meaning.

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Wille Cole – Reversed Evidence
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Moses Williams – Peale Family Silhouettes

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Top 5 Art Shows of 2014

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There was no polling of art aficionados, no pouring over magazines or newspaper reviews, and there’s definitely no big ballin’ art plays for likability listed below.  These shows made the list because I visited them more than once (that rarely ever happens) or my sensibilities were totally confounded by the creativity.  Shows that make that kind of impression can provide a year’s worth of conversational tidbits and a measure to which you might hold all others.  Aw, enough with that…these shows rocked my 2014.

Spring Break Art Show

It’s fun, fresh, and daring like newly graduated art school minds before they get crushed and compromised. This curator driven show, gets set up in an old schoolhouse during Armory Arts Week in New York. Yes, we know it’s technically an art fair. But the 2014 show, PublicPrivate won us over with installations that we talked up all-year-long.

Kara Walker: A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby

Kara Walker’s Installation at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn was a “homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant.” The exhibit was mind-blowing – from the overwhelmingly beautiful conceptual execution of the sugar-coated sphinx-like woman, to the very unexpected nauseating smell of burnt sugar permeating the hot factory.

A photo posted by @hahamag on

Swoon: Submerged Motherlands

Swoon’s intricate wheat-paste portraits normally grace New York buildings, but for Motherlands she went large-scale, telling landscaped stories against a backdrop of dramatically blue washed walls in the Brooklyn Museum rotunda. The star of the show was the massive sculptural tree that nearly kissed the rotunda’s 72 foot high glass domed ceiling.

David Lynch: The Unified Field

Lynch’s grime aesthetics found solace at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia (PAFA), where he studied as an advanced painting student in 1967. The exhibit explored Lynch’s hybrid collection of works, displaying a delicate balance from disturbing narratives to richly descriptive lithographs. Unified Field is his world of opposites that he wanders in and out of at will.

Interhaven: The Works of Caitlin McCormack

McCormack’s sorted things in shadowboxes lay posed and gracefully still as if they once knew air – their layers of articulated overlapping crocheted beige string bones resembled the things they never were. The show’s curio layout carried a pleasantly haunting tone, but it was the lingering of McCormack’s stored memories seen through these tangible manifestations of contained dreams and nightmares that left me feeling domed under her bell jars.

*thank you to paperclips215 & Paradigm Gallery for the use of their Instagram Photos

Lost Object Install Found in Miami

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While in Miami for the art fairs we ran into Hyland Mather (aka X-O), who left one of his unique lost objects installations in my hometown of Philly this past summer.

The cool part about meeting up with your artists friends during Basel Week (besides the obvious catching up) is getting a chance to see their work in a different environment. During this time of the year – when art is running rampant throughout Miami, the architecture firm of Shulman and Associate’s, gives the outside walls of their Design District office space over to an artist for interpretation.

Hyland was this year’s Artist-in-Residence, so to speak. He rocked this amazing lost objects install (one of my favorites to-date). Everything you see here is made of found, recycled objects, which he gathers while roaming the streets and then transforms them into these striking, geometric assemblages.

Can’t wait see more of these popping up in Philly (that’s my ‘not subtle’ hint Hyland).

You can check out more of Hyland’s work here. Instant gratification can always be had on his Instagram.

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*These awesome Lost Object Install Found in Miami pics are courtesy of the artist.

Kandinsky’s 148th Celebrated with Google Doodle & Our Kandinksy Audio Primer

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Today, Russian abstract painter, Wassily Kandinsky’s 148th birthday is being celebrated as a Google Doodle. It reminds us of our old HAHA MAG Kandinsky audio tour, when we tried to make your Russian art experience a little more interesting and a lot less aggravating. I for one, had never been very impressed with Russia’s artistic visual history. I just didn’t get it, sometimes I think I still don’t.

But I have learned, the thing about Russian art is, if you step away from it and put the aesthetic aspect aside, you are literally getting a history lesson. Someone once told me that “every change in style, taste, imagery and even brush stroke comes down to the distinct political and social changes Russia experienced. You can trace the origins and the fall of communism through Russia’s art. You can pin point the moment Stalin died, you’ll know without hesitation that Khrushchev made his secret speech denouncing Stalin precipitating the thaw, and you’ll see that Gorbachev has come to power and that any minute now the wall was coming down and Russia would be scrambling to create a new history…”

That same person created this great audio tour for non-art enthusiasts, to prove that art can be intriguing. At the time, the Guggenheim was exhibiting, The Geometry of Kandinsky and Malevich, and the tour was created for viewing specific pieces in that exhibit. Though that exhibit is long gone, the Guggenheim still holds one of the largest collections of Kandinsky’s work.

Fortunately, you don’t need to be on site to view the art, we have everything you need in this handy little audio tour package:

Click here to download your Kandinsky_Malevich Audio Tour

Your Handy Package includes: MP3s, Photos, Intro to Audio Tour, and a trusty map

HAHA’s audio tours were always intended to get you away from the crowds – to be informative in a different kind of way. If you can’t make it to an exhibit you can experience it here. If you’re turned off by the snobbish atmosphere of big museums, you’ve come to the right place… get educated and enjoy it. You won’t get the same up close and personal experience with a real art piece, but hopefully you’ll leave with a completely different perspective.

*Click here to see the original post in which the audio tour appeared.

The Best of the Rest: Miami Art Week 2014 Pic Fest

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Welcome to our Best of the Rest: Miami Art Week 2014 Pic Fest. Hopefully you’ve seen our impassioned (jk) Miami Art Basel roundup (you can always bounce back over to it by clicking on the magic ‘here‘).

This smorgasbord of pictures is culled from the fairs we really enjoyed this year, including the new Latin American fair- PINTA. I try not to take pictures wantonly at the fairs, knowing how mind-blowing it is to come home and sift through thousands of images. Even then, I round down the amount of artists I think you’d like to know about.

So if it’s here, it was amazing to look at, I had the gallery owner help me explore the background of the piece, or it simply talked to me in that way (you know what way).

Go on…check it out.

 

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Ulf Puder / MARC STRAUS Gallery @ The Miami Art Project. This was my ‘One To Grow On’ moment at the fair. Puder, a German artist whose paintings depict haunting environments filled with abandoned architecture. It’s the color choices and sneaky geometrical deconstruction and construction of shapes that draw you in.

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I will always take pictures of Kris Kuski’s insane sculptures. Can only a mad man be this intense when it comes to detail? His work is on my ‘Lord, please let me own one one day’ list. @ Miami Art Project

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Jenny Morgan: Into The Blue, Oil on Canvas @ Miami Art Project. Her subjects continue to give morose, a beautifully poetic way.

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Won Ju Lim: Kiss d4, Plexiglass, light. Haines Gallery. So many pieces that dealt with capturing natural light were at Miami Project – this diptych was one of my favorites.

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I’m a sucker for anything that looks like it walked out of well imagined book description of unusual curiosities. This piece, ‘Cabinet of Craving’ is by the conceptual artist, Mel Chin.

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God, Geoff Mcfetridge makes art look easy. Clean lines, pretty shapes, great depth perception. His works are often clever and non threatening – yikes, those sounds like reasons not to purchase. But I dare you to try and resist them. @Miami Art Project

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This is from the late Jason Rhoades – Untitled (Chandelier), 2004. Glass, wire, neon, plexiglass, fabric, and plastic. The Rubell Collection.

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Detail of the Jason Rhoades piece, Untitled (Chandelier)

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Maurizio Cattelan / La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi, 2000, The Rubell Collection.

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Alex Yanes / Amigo Totem (3 stacked 55 gallon oil drums). Joseph Gross Gallery @Miami Scope.

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You take the picture because it’s a freaking Ray Caesar. It’s perfection. @Miami Scope

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Phantom Limb / 2014 / Chris Roberts-Anteau / Fabric Applique. Stumbling across new work is thrilling. I was especially encouraged to keep checking out this work after reading Anteau’s nicely explained, hand-written artist statement. @Miami Scope

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Second year running now that I’ve been getting close up on these Chang Park paintings and just staring into the void. These oil paintings are a perfect blend of great painting technique with the skilled hand of an illustrator. The subjects could start talking in word bubbles at any second – I swear. Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts @ Miami Scope

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Chang Park / Untitled_F / Oil on Canvas

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Photographer Jim Payne found an interesting way to catalog moments through viewfinders. Really enjoyed the momentary intimacy with the subjects that lay within. @Aqua Art Fair

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So much fun to see Andrea Heimer showing at Aqua Art Fair in Miami. She’s was by far, one of the funniest/down-to-earth artists I ever interviewed. This piece is titled, ‘If you’re ok then I’m ok and we can do this until we’re very old.’ Acrylic on canvas. Good Luck Gallery

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Detail of Andrea Heimer’s, ‘If you’re ok then I’m ok and we can do this until we’re very old.’ Acrylic on canvas. Good Luck Gallery

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Javier Abdala / Van Gogh / Guerra Gallery – wood (found objects), metal, paint ,wood Carving, 96.457 x 70.866 inches @ Pinta Art Fair

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Colombian artist Omar Castaneda. Castaneda is committed to the local culture of Columbia – exposing their socio-political issues with concepts and materials related to food and animals, since according to him, that is the basis of the people, the culture and their habits. @Pinta Art Fair

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Colombian artist Omar Castaneda @Pinta Art Fair

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Colombian artist Omar Castaneda @Pinta Art Fair

We Made It Thru Art Basel Miami 2014, And We’ve got the Pictures to Prove It

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We are late with this article and we know it. It’s just possible that this list got held up because we were reading everyone else’s Basel lists. They were clever, entertaining and made us cringe when we realized we had not ‘in fact’ seen everything Basel had to offer.

Miami Art Basel Week is amazing. It’s a art plethora of more art than is humanly possible for your brain to process…eyeball overload. At some point – no matter what anyone else tells you – it just starts to turn into ‘stuff’. But boy do I love ‘stuff’. Stuff from other countries, simple stuff I think I could make in my garage (I could not. It’s just the Bob Ross effect talking), huge stuff that you walk around trying to imagine how it was even conceived, stuff that you’ve only seen in magazines until now. Stuff that was born from imagination and memory, from social and political pondering, from dreams and nightmares.

If that sounds remotely romantic in notion and dramatic in speech – then good – that’s how I feel after getting to immerse myself in what I love doing. And I love having the opportunity to bring it back to you.

“It is simply a consideration of the arts out of which aesthetic reflection arises, and the experience out of which the arts grow, which they clarify and which they enhance”.

But I digress, switch off the artsy fartsy and simply say…Yo, here’s our Art Basel Miami 2014 list.

If you’re still not overloaded, check out our roundup of the Miami Art Project, Pinta (Latin American Art Fair), The Rubell Collection, and Miami Scope. For the sake of time and sanity we’re gonna call it: The Best of the Rest.

*the pics belong to us, the quote to Irwin Edman.