This is a long post. I’m warning you now so you can prepare yourself. Go grab a drink, take a deep breath and wander through List and Scope and Photo Basel with me.
I kept pronouncing the name wrong so people were perplexed as I asked where the fair was and they had no clue where my imaginary fair was. Luckily, Anabel Rodriguez Roque who was working with ArtBasel, told me that the fair was located in an old factory building so, I found it even though the name wasn’t sticking in my ArtBasel filled head.
When I arrived, I was told to not carry any of my heavy bags over my shoulders so I would not hit anything. I thought about checking my bags in but the line was too long and lugging bags like groceries was not fun.
I asked a few people what I should see and then I saw what they said I should see but the bottom three pieces are the only ones I photographed. Why did I only photograph three artists art booths/artists?
- I was carrying all the material from ArtBasel in one hand and carrying my purse in the other so I had no free hand to take photographs. Also, it was 1600 and my brain seemed to only register artwork that yelled at me which included videos, installation pieces and sculptures. Quiet artwork was not working for me at 1600.
I liked the piece above. It is by Yuri Pattison and uses human pheromones. The vapor mist contains the pheromone Melatonin which makes you sleepy and this is counteracted by the daylight spectrum light. The video on the right side of the piece and the little diagram show information about a hallway at MIT where the sunlight flows through twice a year. MIT did Quite a bit of Research on Melatonin as a sleep aid. The artist included the MIT sun ritual into the art piece because many sleep cures are steeped in a combination of technology and spirituality and it is fascinating that an institution of science would incorporate a pagan like ritual. A box is included with the piece that filters the videoto replicate the sunset. If you go to Yuri Pattison’s website, you can see more images of his art piece and the video of the MIT hallway.
The artist had a few smaller pieces on the floor called Dust Scraper Fan Installation.
I wandered past this room and then wandered back to check out this sculpture. His eyes are eggs, he is carrying a lamb bread as a gun and he is made of switches. The whole sculpture was appealing to me so I took a closer look and asked the galleriest about the creature called Easter Warrior. The artist is from the Czech Republic and focuses on using traditional crafts and translating folk traditions and Christian symbolism into contemporary art language. The switches are what boys in the Czech Republic use at easter to hit the girls to get their easter eggs. I asked if she would use the switches to make different sculptures but the galleriest said no. The artist has made two of these creatures but because the reed creation is so time consuming, she may not make more. I feel lucky that I got to see this piece but I also found Anna Hulacova’s other sculptures interesting.
Below is a sculpture by the same artist using a photograph of a place from her past.
Yes, you past the entrance. Go back so I went back and found the side entrance that led to the registration desk and the elevators which were not working. Trudging up four flights of stairs (4th floor American. 3rd floor European.) I was met by a very empty space which I think was because of the hidden entrance, the bad weather and the not working very well elevator but I could have just been there during a lull on a Saturday afternoon.
Joerg Heitsch – A Munich Gallery! I needed to show this even though I did not talk with anyone at the gallery. I did take a photo of the sculptures by Moto Waganari below because I loved the shadows they created. The rest of the work was work I’ve seen in the city and you can see by going down to his gallery.
I saw these art pieces and was intrigued with how this photographer was grappling with the whole, “digital photography, what the heck can I do to it to make you love it as much as I do. ” Kim Demuth has taken his photographs and printed them on cardboard and folded them into shallow bowls. These were selling so well that the Nicole Bardohl had to use a red dot on a nail because she had gone through her stock and did not have any more. Good work Nicole Bardohl!
In the piece below, Kim Demuth used a piece of frosted glass to give his digital photograph a dream as if you just woke up from a wonderful dream and wished you could get back into it cause you are still groggy and have hit the snooze button.
Nicole and I chatted about Kim’s work and then I handed her my card and then she said, “Emmy! I’m Simona’s gallerist.”
Oh no. Where were the staples? I looked around and saw no staples and then Nicole pointed to all the light pieces. Those belong to Simona. AHHHH. I remember seeing those float by me on Facebook but I forgot to put it in my memory bank. Now the images are on the Munich Artists website for all of you who still have staples in your memory database.
Simona had several light pieces at the fair and the one below sold to a NY collector.(Without the hands, those are my hands in the piece.)
Ink. Lots of ink and lots of passion went into this piece. The piece vibrated off the wall and drew me into this booth where I met the most fabulous galleriest. I told the galleriest,Kim Jørgensen, how much I loved this piece and then he showed me another piece that sold even before they put it on the wall. “We are going to have a great fair because a spider came down out of the ceiling.” What? I looked at his assistant, she nodded. Spiders are good luck in Denmark. I tried to find an English explanation for this but all I found was the Christmas Spider so maybe the Christmas spider has become an all year long gift to the Danish. Either way, both of Ole Aakjaer’s art pieces sold at Scope and the gallery is super excited about this 50 something year old artist who just started exhibiting a little over a year ago.
I saw this piece and then turned around and asked the man sitting acrossed from it if he could tell me more about it. He shook his head, “That isn’t my piece it belongs to the other gallery.”
Ah. I walk around the wall and find the gallerist who explains to me that the artistis Natalia Revilla and the work is charcoal on canvas. He was very insistent that it won’t smudge. Manuela Illera was creating charcoal artwork when she first arrived to Munich from Colombia but switched to acrylic and other mediums because Germans just don’t get the charcoal thing. Seeing this Peruvian artist focusing on the amazon as her main theme and using charcoal, I’m wondering if this is a South American art thing (I met one other South American artist at Super + who also used Charcoal.) There must be a European collector out there who loves charcoal… somewhere…. where are you charcoal loving collector?
Natalia Revilla’s piece was well done but needed a bit more space on the wall. Imagine that little guy on the right isn’t there. Can you see this piece on a gray wall with dim lighting maybe a bedroom or a contemplation room?
Because I asked the galleriest who was sitting near the the charcoal about the charcoal, I went back to him and asked him to explain one art piece from his booth to me which happened to be the whole wall of the booth which was an installation of small art pieces framed by small pieces of timber. The artist, Christophe Goettel, is a German who has lived in Basel for about twenty years.
The installation wall art piece was a mixture of different artworks but the piece below is the one I liked the most because it had a video and I love video art. If you would like to see more of Christophe Goettel’s installation pieces, you can visit the gallery website.
I enjoyed talking to the owners of the gallery. The man spoke to the woman in Spanish so I told her she could talk to me in Spanish and I would talk to her in German. She asked why I knew Spanish and I told her my mother was Colombian and then she smiled and said, “I’m Colombian too!” Such a small Colombian world we live in.
Is that paint? Did he saturate a carpet with black paint? I walked up closer to the art piece and saw that it was woven to look like it was saturated with black paint. Coolness abounds in Basel!
I talked with the gallery owner and she explained that the artist, Faig Ahmed, digitally creates the designs for his artwork and then goes to the traditional weavers and has them create the final pieces . The artisans are used to their patterns so this process is a bit unnerving for them and so the creation of the piece has to be carefully monitored by the artist.
I went through his catalogue and loved them all. Sometimes he paints on the rug to help add an optical illusion but most of the art work is done in the digital stage and then woven into the piece. Here is a video of Faig Ahmed talking about his work.
I liked this piece by Marck. In this sculpture, the video smoker blew smoke and then smoke came pouring out of the side of the piece. The Licht Feld gallery had to pieces by Marck where the artist played with the idea of communicating space between the video and the viewer.
Photo Basel – Art Photography Fair
This is a fine art photography art fair and so, all the work inside was photography and, there were 28 galleries. I decided to share two specific artists with you because I found there were impressive but you can get an idea of what was there
Galerie Binôme – Artist Lisa Sartorio – Digital artwork based on Photography
This is not a photographer for purists. Lisa Sartoria takes images of guns and creates landscapes from the images. She is taking the gun down to a geometric shape eradicating any symbolism from the device. The Galerie Binôme was nice enough to send me some images of the work but if you look above at the photo I took, you can see why these works caught my attention.
Lisa Sartoria’s artwork looks like landscape photos or nature photos but something in your head says “No,that is not right,” so you get closer until you figure out that you are looking at thousands and thousands of guns.
The art photographer isn’t interested in focusing on the gun but the shape. This is similar to what Ines Seidel created for The talk installation. For Ines, she saw words as words empty of meaning except what we add to them. For Lisa, guns are empty of meaning except for the meaning we put to the object and she uses the object to create something peaceful and flowing as in the images below.
Raffaella De Chirico Arte Contemporanea Artist Alejandro Cartagena – The Car Poolers
Now, the second artist at this fair that caught my attention was Alejandro Cartagena. Alejandro Cartagena’s work reminded me of Frank Heath’s work shown at the Art Basel Statements. Both artists chose one location to capture an image in a documentary style. Of course the two artists are capturing different subject matters and have different ideologies but the feeling when you see the scenes repeated over and over again is similar and voyeuristic in feeling.