I decided to post this very belated Art Basel Miami diary for a few reasons:
1) It’s snowing in NY.
2) Pulse Contemporary Art Show opens today!
The art that I witnessed was interesting, rightfully speaking to the culture in which we currently exist—many artists choosing to exploit the brand/label obsessed society, forcing its audience to both enjoy and feel the discomfort and awkwardness revealed in the insecurities of a culture. The obsession with fame, money, and selfies that many will do absolutely anything to achieve has most certainly made its way into contemporary art, how could it not? However, seeing it on a gallery wall is a stark awakening at how unbelievably trivial it all really is, things that this society is dependent on, here on these gallery walls our obsessions and addictions are idealized (realized). From a church made of prescription pill bottles to a portrait entitled “All About Family” with a nanny’s face scratched out. Reality check.
My favorite artist of Art Basel Miami 2014: Frederico Uribe. This portrait of what appears to be Beethoven, made entirely of colored pencils, has stuck with me. Uribe finds beauty in simple objects as he sculpts and weaves them together through construction to produce pieces of whimsical grandeur. His work is a perfect example of how art blurs the line between fantasy and reality—an adventure for the senses, with an almost limitless way to be experienced and interpreted with concern to distance, proximity and perception. Viewing his art is truly wondrous and has a way of conjuring the inner child.
I love the fantasy behind it all, the romance of the human mind and the desire to translate an emotion, vision, or idea conceived in the imagination. Most of all art has a way of pushing the mind forward, as artists are thinkers and magicians, they expand the viewers perception of what is real and what is fantasy. Art is the ultimate awareness of time and space, a calendar and clock of the realities we exist in and the bending of those realities, the idea that you can make the impossible, possible. One of the best recent examples of this would be Micheal Heizer’s Levitating Rock at the LACMA, a project that was decades in the making. Check out the documentary here.
Photos by Sam