Tetsuya Ishida was a Japanese painter, best known for his surreal portrayal of ordinary Japanese life. He committed suicide in 2005 at the age of 31. His images were often derived from the heartbreaking stresses of modern life. Untitled was completed in 2004; this piece is so haunting, the emotional distress evident in the faces of a couple, whose bed can't even be an escape. I'd love to own one, but I fear all I might do is stare at it and cry about the rat race I'm always trying to leave behind.
According to his website, Kaphar's artworks interact with the history of art by appropriating its styles and mediums. I just thought this piece was very clever at storytelling, its layering allows for a multitude of beginnings and endings to be told.
Mickalene Thomas: Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman - Kavi Gupta
Mickalene Thomas’s personal documentary about her mother, 'Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman' played on a tv set, while you got a chance to sit in this colorful throwback living room installation laced with objects that once belonged to her mother.
This is always an crowd pleaser. One that baffles many when they see it in pictures. Let me de mystify, the windswept plaster raindrops are suspended from the ceiling on wires. Sorry to disappoint you PhotoShop junkies, but this is not some compute-made illusion...it's just that amazing all on its own.
Let's talk Roxy Paine. I would have loved to have seen on of his maple wood full room installation; that's how most of us are familiar with his work being presented. I have to admit how pleasantly surprised I was to even see the work at Art Basel. I spent the rest of my time in that booth just marveling at the woodwork skill on this to-scale pressure washer. Guess I didn't need a huge install after all.
You don't need a description of this. I just enjoyed taking pictures of this year Hirst Heist.
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.
From Tim Hutton's red barn in Patterson, NY., on the throwback metro north it is an hour and twenty minutes to Grand Central. From Lyn and Sam Schwab's refined, high brow, blow your mind collection on the upper west, it is the F train straight down to my bare bones studio 6th + Spring. From LAFCO's warehouse where I nail canvas into the concrete walls and borrow house paint it is 3011 miles to Los Angeles, California.
The subway fare is $2.50 a pop and I hadn't sold in weeks so was entering through the exit, kissing MTAngels every time. My converse high tops are wrapped in gorilla tape and covered in paint. On the night train back to Hutton's rocking slightly and hearing Hendrix, I wondered why I haven't quit yet. Looking down at a hand-me-down blackberry making sure it wasn't impossible to hit the connecting train the red light blinked slow:
August 24, 2012
"Dana I believe in you as an artist."
Flea. The king of my heart that night would days later pay my way back to the City of Angeles. It was time, once again to hustle up some good and raise coin for his music school. My duty and priviledge. Silverlake Conservatory of Music (no 'the' same as no 'the' before Red Hot Chili Peppers) is the home I never had and the family I'll always fight for. Founded in 2001 by Flea and his not by blood brother Tree, SCM as we've tagged it facilitates basic music education at a low cost for the youth of Los Angeles. If a child cannot afford to study, they receive a scholarship and an instrument. Period. Walk in the door at 3920 Sunset Boulevard and you'll be cold clocked by LOVE.
The dream is big. To purchase a neighboring building on Hollywood Blvd expanding the Conservatory's breadth and locking in its' permanence. Truth be told, when its all said and done the project will run close to 10 million bucks. Sitting in the 8am sun at Cora's in Santa Monica, Flea, Anthony and I all heard Steve Bing when he said with his trademark fast certainty- "...buy the building, raise the funds later....people need to see first." He is right.
Before leaving NYC, I picked up 2 pieces from Raymond Pettibon's studio on White Street, where a basketball hoop is installed along one wall and messy, chopped up genius is everywhere. 11th hour, day of the gig Flea declared, "hey Dana... Banksy's sending work". Not long after, a stunning pixie cut UK beauty appeared with a driller rat. It would sell to UFC president Dana White for $111,000.00. Matt Monahan's wall sculpture balanced the strength of twisted iron with the fragility of gold leaf and just ached with beauty. Lara Schnitger's cobalt fabric and bleach canvas entitled 'Lick My Legs' god smacked viewers with in your face honesty- imagine getting a french kiss and a black eye at the same time. Sterling Ruby's 'Vampire' provoked, brightened and floated effortlessly- not everyone got it, not everyone will.
Shepard Fairey's Bad Brain's redo was our eastside punk wink hanging alongside Patti Smith's photograph of Flea. Patti's work regardless of medium- fluid, poetic brilliance. Ed Ruscha's oversized limited edition, 'On The Road' (courtesy of Gagosian Gallery) carried the weight of Kerouac's words and went home with Owen Wilson. Owen's old boy cattle dog Garcia made my night with his hustler nonchalance. Damien Hirst's 2 bass guitars crossed the pond and sold high, each housed in rock hard, high shine cases splattered with matching pallets. He also managed to deliver a massive spot painting to Flea's back door as a birthday gift without blowing it.
Cold War Kid's Matt Maust, printed up a work so fine that Tony Hawk beat out the competition (what else is new) with the winning bid. Sage Vaughn rained his butterflies down in steady pastels but if you look closely they will back hand you. Douglas Kirkland's John Lennon portrait sourced by powerhouse beauty Susan Wiesner stared back, Lennon's prophetic eyes full of his brave peace dare; "war is over if we want it". LA institution Gary Leonard donated not one but two photographs- one a portrait of Vin Scully holding a bobble head baring his likeness with a rainbow swooping across dodger field. Josh Klinghoffer (RHCP) loaded this and the Pettibon ballplayer into his truck just after midnight.
The 12ft x 20ft invitation art Flea commissioned sold for 25k....wonder if the buyer knew I bought the canvas tarp and blood red exterior house paint from the Tractor + Feed Supply joint in Patterson and FedEx'd it to California.
No one fell in the pool.
We raised close to $650,000.00 in a matter of hours.
Drops fill buckets and music unites.
I'm back on the C train covered in paint.
Silverlake Conservatory of Music I love you.
Damien Hirst x Converse (PRODUCT)RED Chuck Taylor All Star
Yes, sometimes Damien Hirst is full of himself. And yes, I think that stepping out in his limited-edition Chuck Taylor high-tops will do nothing to deflate that huge ego. Then again…Damien Hirst doesn’t know I exist. And ten percent of the sale of these Converse’s are slated to be donated to the The Global Fund to Fight Aids.
OriginalFake x Medicom Toy Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket
It’s the first time I’ve wanted Disney memorabilia since I was…well, nevermind the age. At least the signature Kaws’ skull head and crosses won’t make you feel like you just skipped out of the Magic Kingdom. www.kawsone.com
Pretend like you remember what it was like to own a walkman. Though I know the mock stop, forward, pause, rewind-function will have some of you remembering having to flip the tape over. Only your old skool walkman didn’t have a SD memory card. www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk
All this talk makes me think of…
Space Invaders Ice Cube Tray
The geek in me wants to invite folk over just to be able to offer them a drink. I mean, come on…they are Space Invaders. ‘nough said. www.thinkgeek.com
The Pop-Up Book of Phobias
Nothing like having what scares you the most, pop up in your face. Warning: Macabre pop-ups could induce pants wetting if you’re still making regular psychologist visits. www.amazon.com