Art Basel Miami 2012 :
The Diary of Bill Hunt
Flirting at Pulse © WM Hunt
Elizabeth Leach @ Pulse © WM Hunt
Brian Clamp at Art Miami © WM Hunt
goofing at NADA © WM Hunt
Guarding Gursky at Gagosian @ AMB © WM Hunt
Rose Shoshana at Rose Gallery @ Pulse © WM Hunt
Yossi Milo and Arthur Takehshi Thornton @ Pulse © WM Hunt
Andreas Gursky Bangkok series @ ABM © W.M. Hunt
Mo van der Have and Wouter Deruytter at Torch @ Pulse © WM Hunt
Catherine Edelman and TIm Wride @ Pulse © WM Hunt
Jonah Samson @ NADA © WM Hunt
Paul Kopeikin and Andy Freeberg at Kopeikin @ Context © WM Hunt
WM Hunt swimming with Gursky @ ABM © WM Hunt
Karen Marks at Howard Greenberg @ ABM © WM Hunt
Paul Kopeikin at Context © WM Hunt
Yossi Milo @ Pulse © WM Hunt
Leslie Tonkanow @ ABM © WM Hunt
MJ Hunt collector in front of Idris Khan @ ABM © WM Hunt
MJ Hunt miming with Marina Abraovic "WIth Your Eyes Closed I See Happiness" series @ ABM © WM Hunt
NADA © WM Hunt
Passing by Vik Muniz at Sikkeman Jenkins @ ABM © WM Hunt
Looking at Kudzanai Chiurai at Goodman Gallery @ ABM © WM Hunt
Art Basel Miami is an enormous pink manatee. It is as ungainly as it is unlikely; imagine a flamingo colored sea cow, wallowing in the warm shallows or swept away in the tides of visitors to the Convention Center. Navigating ABM it is like swimming the nearby Biscayne Bay; it is so big, you fear sinking to the bottom of this Sea of Desire (Ed Ruscha’s branding for this year’s edition). Glub, glub, glub.
Collectors are resilient. Given good shoes or flippers and a snorkel full of $25 mojitos, they are good to go, eyes aching, and not from salt water
Some remarks about photography at this years edition.
On a very positive note, it is refreshing to find good new work by the modern masters. Andreas Gursky, for one, has an outstanding recent series “Bangkok”, light sparkling on water, sublimely and ravishingly beautiful, black shimmering with white and notes of blue. At Spruth Magars and Gagosian.
Idris Khan’s new black and white chalkboards are stunningly handsome. They are formal and otherworldly with the artist, obsessively handwriting the alphabet in chalk, erasing it and repeating the process, about time and renewal. Traffic stopping. At Sean Kelly.
Other mid-career, mainstay talents include Ed Burtynsky (pivot irrigation at Howard Greenberg), Hiroshi Sugimoto (Lightning Fields at Pace), Vik Muniz (Jasper Johns flag, in particular, at Sikkema Jenkins), Darren Almond (more water at Matthew Marks) and Robin Rhode (stealing light at Lehmann Maupin), James Welling, the Thomases - Ruff and Struth, Vera Lutter, Alex Soth, etc. - the great and usual suspects.
The Goodman Gallery from South Africa has very striking, large format work by Kudzanai Chiurai; colorful and staged, political, these stand as strong counterpoints to his video and painting and sculpture. Described as “Ultra Chrome”, which must be a trade name, the prints are startling, effectively jumpy in their contrast. The gallery also had a Mikhael Subotsky panoramic interior portrait on view.
Vintage photographic material seemed in shorter supply at the big fair.
Howard Greenberg (Bravo and Steichen) and Edywn Houk (Man Ray and Modotti)) can always be counted on. Rudi Kicken had some tasty solarized Erwin Blumenfelds which would have been completely satisfying until you noticed the surprising color nude in the group.
Bruce Silverstein consistently presents a great mix, varied and well considered, in Miami Beach with Keith Smith work (1960‘s?) unique but unknowable and idiosyncratic, across from a beautiful little Kertesz color Polaroid. All of this is interspersed with contemporary work heralded by a striking, etching-like Sinichi Maruyama on the front wall
A sidebar here is to note the anomalous Edward Weston platinum nude at Joel Soroka at Art Miami, completely odd, sexy, but not erotic.
Also the big fair had a number of Robert Mapplethorpes, mostly standbys but one peculiar fetish set of couples wrapped in sheeting. It is amazing how artist’s estates yield new material.
The twenty or so other fairs in town - Art Miami with its new Context Fair next door, Scope and Pulse, NADA and on were full of surprises and friends illustrated in the photographs accompanying this text.
One real pleasure was Andy Freeberg’s presence at Kopeikin (at Miami Project) and as a portfolio in the official ABM Magazine. Freeberg goes inside the art world; he shoots large format images of gallery front desks, installation and art fair stands. Basically it’s art about art. At one of those notorious Guido/Barbie/wait 45 minutes for the valet parking/oversubscribed private cocktail parties that people jockey to wrangle invitations, Freeberg’s prints were installed in the venue, and they looked great. Serious and funny.
Much like this year’s edition of Art Basel Miami.
Seen by W.M. Hunt