Thursday, December 01, 2011

You gotta watch this

ABMB Week Day Two

The celebs are all over town, as apparently "There's a new celebrity collecting frenzy. It's becoming a hot new symbol of status," said Alexander Gilkes, co-founder of online art marketplace Paddle8, a partner in Nada, one of the many satellite fairs that surround ABMB.

I don't know about "new" but whatever...

Anyway, read about the celebs and ABMB here.

The only sighting that was reported to me from the satellite fairs was that apparently Will Smith had dropped $63,000 on a rather patriotic piece that he acquired at Red Dot today.

I'm also hearing that the Pulse Art Fair is absolutely amazing this year. "This is the best Pulse ever," noted a well-known Miami art collector when I asked her about it.

I got to Aqua at 11AM this morning to open up the joint, and by the time I got there, a fully stocked bar was doing brisk business on the ground floor and some big limos were dropping people off busy Collins Avenue.

People trickled by all day, and I cracked the ice mid day with a sale of one of my drawings and later on, the collector who had placed the Cirenaica Moreira piece on hold, came back and bought it.

Erwin TimmersAt exactly the same time, a local glass collector acquired one of Erwin Timmer's glass pieces that he does from glass that he reclaims and recycles from buildings being torn down.

When it rains it pours.

One more sale of one of my drawings follows and then the night is over and I'm heading back to Hollywood, spending the usual 25 minutes to go from 16th Street on Collins to 20th...

Tomorrow the weekend will ramp up, traffic will get worse and more people will be there.

O Yea... I got mentioned in the Nuevo Herald yesterday - read it here.

ABMB Week: Day Two

Aqua Art FairLast night was the Aqua Art Fair opening and I'm sure several others (heh, heh), but since I'm at Aqua, at Aqua I was all day and night.

The life of a gallerist: Since Monday I have been arriving at the Aqua Hotel in the morning and leaving at night, as setting up an art fair is a lot of work. And yesterday was no exception. I was there by ten AM and pretty much finished by 5PM or so, and since the opening was at 8PM, usually one would say: "Hey Lenster, pretty good for a one-man Army setting up a gallery show."

Not so fast.

There's always a crisis, right? So this time it was the fact that the amazing Mexican photographer Dulce Pinzon's gorgeous photographs, which I am for the first time exhibiting, had been "attempted to deliver" yesterday, but according to UPS, no one was at the address... never mind that my aunt has not left the house in several years and was thus the reason why I picked her house to have Dulce ship the photos from Mexico.

But I thought, that maybe she was in the bathroom when they came... and gave UPS the benefit of the doubt.

Crisis looming; now UPS would try to deliver on the same day that the fair opens.

Dulce calls me from Mexico, alarmed that the work has not been delivered - and she's been told that a second attempt has been made and no one was at home. That I cannot believe and I call UPS and track the package; it hasn't been re-attempted yet.

I enlist the extended family and ask cousins to come over and stand watch for the UPS truck as it comes by the streets of Hialeah. My cousin Carlos lives on the same street as my aunt, and he sits outside on the porch of his beautiful house and begins to stand guard while his son Andrew patrols the streets in his skateboard.

It is now 6PM or so and suddenly the UPS truck arrives and drives by my aunt's house, and Andrew begins to chase it in his skateboard. He catches up to it at the corner of LeJeune Road and asks the driver "Que Pasa?"

A garbled explanation later, Andrew has the box of photographs in his possession and he skateboards back to his Dad's house and they all get in the car and start the short drive to Miami Beach to bring the photos to me.

Dulce PinzonShort drive, but a long time because of the fact that this is, after all, South Beach, one of the hottest places in the world, somewhat because of the really bad traffic at all hours.

At 7:45PM, Carlos drops Andrew at the Aqua Hotel and with his help, by 8PM, when the fair opens, Pinzon's groundbreaking work is finally hanging on the walls of room 218.

Is that cutting it close or what?

An hour later Carlos arrives - he has been looking for parking all along... he gets a hug and an original Campello as a "gracias" from a very grateful cousin.

Aqua begins to rock as people pour in. DMV area uberartist Akemi Maegawa drops in, and across the hotel I see Andrea Pollan and Jeff Spaulding. Then Margaret Heiner from Heiner Contemporary drops in, as does uberblogger Joanne Mattera, whose work is also here at Aqua, as well as many good collectors dribbling in from the shuttle between Pulse, ABMB and Aqua.

Live music and booze and women in seven inch heels seem to be everywhere and the first sale of the night is one of my drawings, which is (of course) at exactly the same time that someone wants to buy an Andrew Wodzianski piece which I haven't had time to look up and price, so I ring Andrew and that piece becomes the second sale of the night.

Earlier on, Cuban photographer Cirenaica Moreira's work had attracted the attention of a curator from a German museum, and Cire now has an invitation for a group show at that museum... this is why art fairs are important beyond sales. And her streak continues, as one of her pieces is then put on hold by a well-known Virginia art collector with an extensive Cuban art collection.

Finally, a Dulce Pinzon photo is put on hold by a very nice Australian lady, and by midnight, even though the place is still packed, I'm exhausted and head to my hotel in Hollywood.

The 16 miles take me almost two hours.

WTF are all these people doing on A1A at one AM in the morning on a Wednesday/Thursday?

Count Down

Count Down is a temporary, contemporary artspace located in residential downtown Bethesda. Count Down is an alternative space created to provide local artists opportunities to exhibit their work in a community setting and to help fill the void left by the closure of several commercial galleries in downtown Bethesda. Countdown is a non-commercial venture and is a private home in transition hence the concept will only exist for 4-5 months. Artists receptions will coincide with the Bethesda Art Walk, the 2nd Friday of every month 6-8pm.

Their first opening is Friday December 9th, 6-8.30pm at 4526 Cheltenham Drive, Bethesda, 20814 featuring the work of Jack McTiernan and Lisa Rosenstein.