Thursday, December 13, 2007

FAIR FACTOR: Report from Miami

Hey, Chris--

I'm back from Miami and writing like mad. What kind of gene defect would compel me to not only shoot over 1000 pics but then sit down and organize them into folders, edit them, Photoshop the edits, and then upload them by the dozen?
I've started posting on my own site, and I'm teasing our readers with a few leads here. I probably won't post any more here, but I will be posting more or less daily through the end of the month. I'm not reporting on anywhere near the 24 (!) fairs that were there--I mean, really, an art fair on a yacht?--but I do have pics from 14. Posting one a day will take me a good two weeks, which will bring me to the end of the year--and perhaps a New Year's resolution to scale way back next year.
I can tell you that the scene is tremendous fun. And you can't beat the weather. You'll see more art there than you'll see in a year of traveling the world. I don't have a count of the countries represented, but someone said 30, which seems about right.

Looking at Lisson: Anish Kapoor's reticulated mirror, above, installed in the London gallery's spacious corner booth with me photographing it, below

(I'm assuming it's Kapoor's. It's amazing the information that's not available at these fairs.)

The links so far:

. Prologue: The Mood and the Particulars

. Twin Peeks (at the Convention Center)

. Basel Miami

. The Containers

FAIR FACTOR: Report from Miami

This is going to be a multi-multi-part report, one post per venue plus the prologue. I'm posting sequentially and adjusting the dates so that this first post remains at the top. There will be a narrative to this--I hope--and it's going to take me through the end of the month to write and post. If you want timely reportage, or business news, Google "Miami Art Fairs." Links to the posts to date are in yellow, at top. . . . .

By all accounts the mood going into Miami was wary. Dealers in general were fearful that the bubble was about to burst, and the smaller dealers were concerned that the greater number of satellite fairs this year would dilute their sales. Apparently the big guns had no problems; Gagogian sold $10 million worth of art, according to Bloomberg News. Among the smaller galleries in the satellite fairs, the mood lifted as sales began to rack up. Many smaller galleries sold out, and most at least broke even. The mood going out was simply weary. In an elevator conversation at my hotel, I listened in as an elegantly dressed Brazilian dealer explained the art of the sale to an interested shorts-clad tourist: "Before the fair, we send out J–pegs of the work we’re taking so our collectors know what we’ll have. Some have already made their choices before they get here." And you wondered how those red dots appeared in the first five minutes of opening. Click here for the rest. . . . .

FAIR FACTOR: Basel/Miami
The most shocking thing about BaselMiami this year is that it wasn’t shocking. Oh, sure, there was the chocolate Santa carrying a giant chocolate butt plug, but the installation of neatly stacked figures on metal shelving, organized by size and placed against the matching Santa wallpaper was so clean and unrelentingly cheery that it could have been Macy’s Cellar. And that appliance? Its proportions made it look more like a lava lamp than a sex toy. The Santa was conceived by artist Paul McCarthy and presented by the Maccarone Gallery, which apparently has turned some of its West Village space into a chocolate factory. Click here for the rest. . .