At Mary Boone, New York: Barbara Kruger's installation covered the outside walls of the booth
While Occupy Wall Street protesters were encamped in cities around the country, at Art Basel Miami Beach it was the One Percenters who were out in force. The well-heeled browsed and considered, negotiated and acquired.
“I love it but I don’t know where it can go,” complained a fairgoer. “Buy a warehouse,” countered her Louboutin-shod friend, with a flip of the hand. Perhaps they were being channeled by Jonathan Horowitz whose video, Art Delivers People, was running outside the booth of the
. Sadie Coles Gallery
At Sadie Coles, London: Jonathan Hortowitz, Art Delivers People, 2010, single channel video
Still, a battle was being played out visually on the walls. At the L&M Arts booth, it was all about Andy Warhol and his money. Across the aisle at Mary Boone, Barbara Kruger’s protest signs seemed to represent the 99 Percent.
L&M Arts, New York: Andy Warhol drawings
Ignasi Aballi’s digital print caught the global poignancy of the invisible 99 percent--victims, borders, beings, women, men, war, friends unseen, all the way down to the mistreatment that no one wants to witness--while Barry McGee took note of the most current visible symbol of the abuse of power, delivered via Lt. John Pike, the infamous cop with the spritzer.
At Galeria Elba Benitez, Madrid: Ignasi Aballi, Listado, Invisible, 2011, digital print on photographic paper
At Cheim & Read, New York: Barry McGee, Untitled, 2011, paint on panel in six parts, 90 x 39 inches
Interestingly, aside from Warhol there was little of the money art that was so in evidence last year. Yes, there was the requisite glitter’n’glitz—there always is—but there were a surprising number of humble materials, like cloth, clay and wood, and humble processes like handweaving and crude construction. Of course the prices weren’t so modest, but this is an art fair, after all--not a protest movement.
This year, just to shake things up a bit, I’m going to start with the trends as I saw them. Then I’ll give you the venues one by one. Tomorrow: The World Wide Web.
Update: Apropos of the One Percent, read Jerry Saltz's just-published piece in New York Magazine.