Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. - George Bernard Shaw
Still numb from the all-day marathon of art fairs I can barely put to words the experience. We arrived in Wynwood early Sunday morning thinking the fairs opened at 10 a.m. but discovered they would open at 11 a.m. Still exhausted from the week of Art Basel events we camped out on the plush chairs in front of Artexpo until the opening hour. Ordinarily after such a week of openings, parties, and other assorted art parties we would probably have chosen to rest on Sunday but this being the last day of Art Basel Week we wanted to see as much as we could before the fairs packed up and left town. There were many massive tents set up in Wynwood all filled with an amazing collection of art from galleries from all over the word. Fairs like Art Miami, Scope, Red Dot, Overture, Artexpo, and Art Asia lined the street with lines of art lovers waiting for entrance. As 11 a.m. grew close we wandered over to the entrance of Red Dot, our first art destination. The day was really a blur of art, from incredible pieces to humorous pieces to the "what were they thinking" pieces. One of the most innovative displays was from ArtSpot/Intrepid Art Gallery who had an installation called Light Impressions with 40 ipads each showing the work of a different artist, mostly photography. The images kept changing so it was difficult to see all the work at once. The entire installation was for sale but there were also individual prints of the artists' work. Before heading to the next art fair, we stood in line for Peter Anton's Sugar & Gomorrah ride. The giant yellow tent and the young muscle boy that stood in front beckoned us to this carnival-like ride. Seated in little yellow cars we were treated to a 30 second mini-rollercoaster ride through a somewhat dark room filled with a semi-naked couple making out and food art. While this was not art you could purchase or hang on a wall, it was a fun experience.
Sexy couple making out during the Sugar & Gomorrah ride.
Our next stop was Art Miami and Context, two fairs connected by a courtyard of art and food. Art Miami featured some amazing art and I must say it was my favorite fair of our expedition. Art Miami went on forever and for the most part, the art was amazing. We kept running into to friends and our party grew as we explored the art. After a while we took an art break for lunch in the cafe (pizza and gelato) where Deejay Smeejay was spinning tunes for everyone's enjoyment.
Large Photo exhibited at Art Miami
We continued our art journey determined to see it all. Tents of art awaited us and even though we were physically and mentally exhausted we continued like the art explorers that we were. We had yet to explore Scope and wanted to see David Rohn's Walt Whitman installation. We followed the crowds through the hallways of art. One fair connected to another and soon we were in the Overture Contemporary Art Fair where there were 100 Warhols on exhibition. We made another stop in the cafe, every fair had a cafe or two, and we shared a delicious carrot cake (my friends help fuel my addiction to cake).
Cake Art (unfortunately not edible)
On our art journey we ran into many friends, artists and associates like Bibi Andrade (The Adventures of Bibi & Friends), Harvey Burstein (miamiartzine.com), Luis Iglesias, Sharif Malnik (The Forge) & Gabrielle Anwar (Burn Notice), publicist Robyn Ross, writer John Hood, writer Jonathan Rose, artist Marcelo Holzinger, David Kessler, photographer Bill Wisser, photographer Manny Hernandez, photographer Henry Perez, writer Char Libov, Rula Giosmas, Jeff Wilkinson, and Ozzy Pascual. Finally we stumbled out of the last art fair, ten minutes before closing. Our art journey was done or so I thought. My curiosity got the best of me as we passed by a gallery with beautiful photography on exhibit so made one last stop. Hus Gallery + Boxeight had on exhibit the work of photographer Peter Eaton Gurnz titled Five Leaves Left. Walking into the gallery we were hit with the aroma of trees, a clever addition as there were photographs of beautiful trees and leaves everywhere as well as beautiful nude women. We were welcomed in to meet the photographer who was in the back working. For those interested, his work remains on exhibit after Art Basel.
Photographer Peter Eaton Gurnz standing in front of his Five Leaves Left exhibition
Another Art Basel Miami Beach and Art Week has come and gone. As usual it was a week of incredible parties, wonderful performances, and crowds rushing to view some of the world's best art in a variety of settings. It may take a week to recoup but where else in the world could you have such an experience? We're so lucky have Art Basel Miami Beach come to our city and transform it into a giant mecca of art. Some people concentrated on viewing the art while others hit the parties. Others, like me, tried to do a little bit of everything. Luckily I took hundreds of photos of my favorite pieces, some will be blown up in lieu of the originals, so I have a photographic journal of Art Basel Miami Beach 2012 as well as lots of memories. I love that Miami has become a city of art.