I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Basel - First Impressions

Something's off about Basel for me this year.

It's five things, I think: 1) It's soooo close after Thanksgiving, I feel like I just got back from vacation and have to hit the ground running; 2) No where cool is having a night opening party (i.e. Scope, Pulse, Nada); 3) It feels less free-wheeling and boozy than in past years; 4) It's still effing hot outside; and 5) I'm sick.

Tonight, we hit up Design Miami, Art Miami, and some exhibition whose name I don't remember and the only redeeming feature thereof was the fact that some of the art was made with the cremains of gang members. (Eeeeeew! Cool.)

Design Miami: Last year, when I had to pay, I thought it was a rip-off, and it sucked. It's tiny. This year, when I didn't have to pay, and there was free Veuve Clicquot, I thought it was better.

I love design, and they had... plenty of it. Lots of the display featured themes of time. There were these twirling umbrella-y things.. they were pretty cool. I'm doing a terrible job of describing Design Miami, but that's probably because it was packed, and hard to see much. Did I mention there was free Veuve Clicquot? Oh, I did? Um... there was a very handsome crowd, heavy on the beards, dark jeans, and square glasses. (Note to self: To Basel's Opening Tomorrow, Wear Your Square Glasses.) So, basically what I'm saying is: I focused more on the eye candy (Grrr!) than on the art pieces. But there was some cool stuff. However, if you have to pay, and there's going to be an uglier crowd (which there will be), I'd skip Design Miami. Still, it's nice to know that everyone else in the world is currently sporting a beard, and hockey hair. I'm in with the trendz, yo.

Art Miami: Impressions: Smaller this year. Still has the same awesome elevated VIP section that makes you feel like it's going to collapse on the people below. And also, they repeated art - there was a ton of stuff I recognized from the year before. Their pass-food spanikopitas were disgusting, it was impossible to get a beer, and there was free cotton candy.

They did not have the decency to repeat the one piece I really loved last year - a life-sized video display of Steve Buscemi wearing a bloody butcher's apron and holding a butcher's knife, swaying slightly, in front of a green background, to snappy whistley music. Maybe next year.

I didn't have much to say about Art Miami. The crowd was older... and uglier. Still, check it out... but it's probably like half the size it was last year, which is disappointing.

And then, last, and definitely least, was the no-name Gallery I went to... where the art didn't... uh... touch me, but at least I could look at some creepy human remains in a piece of art. Grody.

Tomorrow: Art Basel! And maybe Vagabond to wait until the wee hours when LadyTron goes on, but probably not.