I went to Art Basel Miami Beach for the first time last week. It was definitely fun to get an eyeful of the Warhols and Picassos that you’ll probably never see otherwise, because they’re essentially moving from one private collection to another. But, since I’m not really in the market to buy a $20M Jeff Koons, I was less interested in that big convention center hoopla (I did an “intentionally poorly taken iPhone photo” review of that exhibit over at Curator Magazine). Luckily, there are tons of other things going on during Basel, and there’s something for everybody, even in loo options, as evidenced by these:
Also during Basel week there are incredible art fairs showcasing lots of other up-and-coming artists, one-off installations like FAILE & Bast’s vintage video game arcade, memorable parties like this one, and the orgy of street art going on in the Wynwood area.
I’m guessing that Wynwood has the highest concentration of street art in the country – even more than Brooklyn – and during Basel it seemed like everybody was there tagging, pasting, and painting any available wall or building in the area, during the day and all through the night.
At the J. Riggs studio on North Miami Avenue, San Francisco artist Chad Hasegawa, who paints bears, bears and also bears, using pesticide sprayers and fat sponge rollers, roughed out this big guy on Wednesday:
And then finished it up the next day.
I found L.A. artist Christina Angelina spraypainting in, yes, her roller blades (“oh – I forgot I had them on”) finishing this portrait of one of her friends.
And this one, which is pretty fantastic (blow it up in a new window and see the hi-res for yourself).
For me, the most fun thing was being able to get in on the action. The esteemed Cash For Your Warhol asked me to collaborate on a wall, an idea that became necessary when his posters were tagged overnight (“It is the street, after all”).
I didn’t try to cover up the entire tag mess. There’s no point, really, because the whole place is going to be demolished shortly when the property gets developed.
My idea was that the astronaut would be dropping the “you are here” Google pin, and then I thought it would be funny to put the shadow on the sidewalk, and then I thought it be funnier to put the actual GPS coordinates of the site (and also I thought it would also be useful for any OCD types who need to know the longitude and latitude of wherever they happen to be standing).
Yuk yuk, right? CFYW approved, and the wall was at the entrance to the London Police party, so plenty of people got to say to themselves “what the heck are those numbers on the ground? Whatevs – might as well stand on them to get my picture taken.”
So, all good. And one more thing: