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Miami

Special Edition: Art|Basel Miami Beach #3
by ArtSlant Team




VERNISSAGE BARRAGE

by Nathaniel Sandler

Art Basel: a beautiful hodgepodge of disheveled gallery assistants and even more disheveled millionaires. For those who have never been, Art Basel Miami Beach is one of the largest annual contemporary art fairs in the world. The main event and the countless satellite fairs around the city attract the rich and the hip from all over, who are in a constant incestuous competition to feel like they’re hanging out with one another. It’s a cultured and curated circle jerk, and hilariously overwhelming to the mind, body, and liver.

The Vernissage, French for “varnishing,” is the opening night event and initial showing of galleries and their offerings for serious collectors, VIPS, and press. This sounds exclusive, but basically everyone and their sea monkey collection gets a ticket. I am ArtSlant’s man on the street for the Vernissage, so I decided to dive in to the dipshit fray, hoping to break through at least some of the varnish....

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DON'T LOOK AT THE ART LOOK AT MEEEE!

Philippa Snow reports back to Charlotte Jansen from Art Basel Miami Beach


CJ: What have you seen so far?

PS: Huge billboards for liquor. Miami loves liquor. A lot of work by Lawrence "Weinerdog" Weiner, who I should not be referring to as Lawrence "Weinerdog" Weiner. Endless palms. A Starbucks (boo, hiss) which was open twenty-four hours. God bless America.

What is the atmosphere like?

Absolute meat market - a trade show for work. A lot of money being spent; a lot of mystic tan and cocktail dresses and nose-rubbing. A lot of nose-rubbing.

What was the difference between the opening of this, and your experience of Frieze this year?

This is absolutely about money, more so than Frieze. I can't overstate that enough. It's bigger and louder and more indiscreet...

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Veronica Bruce
ArtSlant Prize 2012 1st Place Winner

I met Ms. Bruce at her studio that looks more like a construction site than an artist’s studio, in one of Chicago’s many industrial lofts. Her sculptures rose vertically from the wooden floor, dotting the space as piles of material rounded the space. Bruce’s process is founded in her training as a painter but has since expanded off the wall into the exhibition space. She retains an acute understanding of composition and color while exploring the sculptural and “architectural” possibilities available in this expanded mode of production.

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Steven Vasquez Lopez
ArtSlant Prize 2012 2nd Place Winner

Executed with laborious precision, it takes Steven Vasquez Lopez months to complete a painting. Replete with mesmerizing, detailed juxtapositions of line and color, layers of pattern and texture in his work reveal figureless landscapes, perhaps a view from poolside in Palm Beach where he spends a good portion of the year or the interior of his living room in the Bay Area. The tension between banal and chimerical in Lopez’s work reflects his history and influence migrating between cities on the Gold Coast.

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Susan Meyer
ArtSlant Prize 2012 3rd Place Winner

It’s somehow appropriate that we’re showing Susan Meyer’s work at an art fair inside a hotel. Hotel art fairs have a unique social sensibility to them: doors flung wide, friends and strangers alike moving fluidly in and out of what would normally be closed-off, separate private spaces. This lends the whole affair a feeling of intimacy, coupled with the slight sensation of breaching boundaries, which leads to conversations and interactions that you wouldn’t normally experience at traditional art fairs. Susan Meyer’s installations have a similar quality.

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Posted by ArtSlant Team on 12/13/12

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