In previous years I’ve booked my flights & hotel weeks in advance of Art Basel and whats now called Miami Art Week.
However without Gary Pini, who I normally share a room with & who’d decided he wasn’t going, I couldn't decide if I wanted go or not.
Gary suggested I wait till the last minute & see if flights & hotels come down in price. They did!
So Tues I booked for Wed 8.00am, for just 2 nights. Borrowing another leaf out of Gary’s life-plan-book, I build a tight list & schedule of fairs & events I wanted to see.
Night one I met up with & hung out with David Hershkovits & Brian Antoni, all of us were feeling the absence of Gary.
We all agreed that him not coming was the official notice that "the whole thing is over”.
As with last year one of the strongest exhibitions was the mega-show staged by Jeffrey Deitch & Larry Gagosian, this year curated by Diana Widmaier-Picasso, called “Desire”.
The show is a sexy thrill-ride between iconic works that I’ve only ever read about in books, or seen on screens, combined with a ton of great pieces, some by artists I’ve never heard of. They range in "heat" from simply pretty to straight-up porn.
Allen Jones. Having missed the giant retrospective of Jones in London & New York, super happy to see these in person.
Standing in front of The Brooke Shields photo that helped propel Richard Prince into the world of controversy, Brian introduced me to an old friend of his, Sandra, who told us the incredible story of her time in 1983 when she & a partner ran a gallery in the Lower East Side & showed two unknown, & un-sellable artists, Richard Prince & Jeff Koons. The very same Brooke Shields work below, (which in 2014 sold for close to $4,000,000) sat in the gallery window back then for months with no interest.
Hajime Sorayama. As a teen, I grew up horny & inspired by his Sexy Robots.
From there we grabbed some food & while waiting on our order, David & I jumped across the street to check out Primary Projects (PRIMARY) beautiful new space.
I really dug Kelly Breez’s B&W pieces. A little reminiscent of classic Raymond Pettibon, or even R. Crumb but with a much younger stance.
From dinner to the Rubell Collection family party, where I found two new names, at least to me, who’s works struck a chord.
Anee Imhof. These were a massive ten foot tall!
Cy Gavin. The figure in the second one is bigger than most people’s rooms!
The next day I braced myself for the miles & miles of galleries that make up the maze of Art Basel itself.
This year I tried to visit the few on my hit list before the art-burn-out-stare set in.
First on my list was Ratio3, who were showing a survey of one of my all time favorite painters, the late Margaret Kilgallen.
Then these new KAWS works caught my eye.
I’m the only one of my fellow old skool KAWS heads/collectors that likes these. Can't explain exactly why, but I do.
Just as I was beginning to fade, my buddy Ronny asked if I was a fan of Sadie Benning. The name meant nothing to me & I said I don’t know her. We walked over to the gallery that had this yellow one & I fell in love.
My final day I was hoping to hit both NADA & Untitled fairs but I ran late, due to having fun hanging-out with the Harpers Books crew in their suite. NADA was underwhelming to me so I went to have lunch with Paul Weston & his friends, & then I didn’t have time for Untitled, so mad dash to the airport. Guess there's always next year.