What a whirlwind trip. I don't think anyone is physically capable of actually seeing everything there is to offer in the few days that everything is open. If anyone has, more power to them.
Day 2, we started at at the Rubell Family Art Collection. They have housed their art in a large open warehouse that is similar to a small modern museum. My guess is someone curated this collection of art for the week of Basel. The collection is open during the year too. It is quite interesting the collectors who are amassing great quantities of work are also now creating space to show their art like a museum. I would guess we will see more of that over the next ten years. I wasn't a huge fan of the Rubell collection. Really dark and sexual. Not my cup of tea but interesting nonetheless. My favorite piece was really this collection of statues that looked not quite finished.
The next collection we went to see was the Marguiles Family Collection. I really liked this collection. I was also more familiar with the artists. The collection began with a fantastic circular mirrored ball by Olafur Eliasson. I was first introduced to his work a year ago and I was drawn in immediately. The other pieces that I liked were a Vik Muniz and the hot dog stand by Will Ryman. My favorite was a bike messenger video done by Zilvinas Kempinas. He rigged four cameras to his bicycle and drove around Manhattan for an hour without stopping. You stand in the middle of a small room and the video is running simultaneously in the front and back and on both sides so you can experience exactly what he experienced. It is pretty exhilarating from the speed to the sound etc.
Our next stop was MOCA (museum of contemporary art). The current exhibit was from Bruce Nauman who takes neon tubing and creates works with words that are thought provoking. Although in the middle of the exhibit was a small room that was illuminated in light. In order to get to it you had to walk down a corridor surrounding the room to get to the door. The hallway continues to get more narrow as you walk down. It was quite interesting because in essence if you are overweight there is absolutely no way you could fit down the hall. Fascinating actually.
Next stop, lunch, thank god. We had lunch at the Delano. What a scene. That alone was worth the journey. Beautiful hotel, beautiful people, beautiful gardens, etc. Worth the stop.
We had not finished because I was truly interesting in checking out the areas that represented more emerging artists. There were about 5 or more shows but we opted for 2. NADA and Pulse. Nada is housed on the outskirts of town. Not a very nice neighborhood at night but fine during the day if you stay within the compound. There were a few robberies that we had heard about outside - handbags, etc. Just beware.
I found NADA to be a bit too bohemian for my taste. I wondered if the gallery owners were drinking some of their own kool-aid. There were 3 galleries that had some great work and the rest were representing artists that I wondered about their longevity. Very disappointing. The gallery that I really liked is located in Boston and represented a artist who did mostly animals made out of plaster paris. I was drawn to this elephant piece but it had already been red dotted (sold). I will definitely follow up with this gallery once I find their card.
After NADA we went over to PULSE which was great. Pulse seemed like more established galleries that represent emerging younger artists. I liked it a lot. I ended up buying a few pieces at this show. Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica carried a bunch of artists I liked. Also, the owner was great. I purchased a photo of seagulls by a photographer/crabber named Charlie Roberts. He has one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, so I am told, and takes photos of what he does. The other artist is Marcel Dzama who I have seen before in NYC. His work is clever and a bit off.
The other gallery was the Ambrosino Gallery in Miami. There was one particular artist that I really liked named Carol Brown who had done small pieces of individuals. No doubt that her work is going to go up in price but in the end I passed for something else he carried. A photographer named Pablo Sonia from Venezuela. The photos are from his country that I found calming. He has taken a linen which is draped over the photo and pulled. Not sure where he is going but I so loved the photos that I was more inclined to just buy these pieces. Art should be about owning what you love. So, I went with his photos.
It was really interesting and a lot to take in. Next year, more of the emerging stuff, if that is possible.