Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Art Basel MB week: Day One

I arrive at 11 am and we take down the Rosemary Feit Covey triptych that we had laboriously set up the day before and replace them with some of Covey's strong signature pieces; it's just a gut feeling.

The day passes through slowly, and we are across from the Bustelo coffee stand, which has free chilled coffee drinks and free Cuban coffee all day long. Gallerists and dealers from Scope next door keep sneaking in through the tent's side door to grab free coffee.

Somewhere in the early afternoon MFA sells another Michael Fitts painting and I get into an almost fist-fight over the Che Guevara video piece. Later that day a well-known video collector from Texas drops by and MFA owner Sheila Giolitti sells her a video, sight unseen, by Norfolk video artist John Miles Runner.

DC artist Trevor Young, who is with Civilian Projects over at Scope, drops by and we chat about the NPG David Wojnarowicz controversy back in DC, about William Sickert, and about the arbitrary choosing of 22 seconds as the max time sample for audio. Young has sold three paintings so far at Scope and is having a well-deserved super fair.

At 6PM free tequila drinks begin to be served and now the invasion from Scope is in full mass as Scope artists and dealers use Red Dot's side door to sneak in and grab a free drink.

Bad Hair Day II (Sue Richards)Later that night, the crowd thickens and Lynnvale's Lou Gagnon's elegant landscapes start to get a lot of attention from the Wednesday night crowd. At some point after that, Andrew Wodzianski cracks the ice and one of his "Android Series" (Bad Hair Day II (Sue Richards)) pieces finds a home with a Miami collector.

As the night moves, another Michael Fitts painting is sold and almost immediately I sell my Frida Kahlo homage drawing (done at the last possible minute), to one of the DMV's best known art collecting couples.

At seven the fair closes and I drive to Hialeah to pick up my daughter Vanessa at the airport and drive her to cousin Jorge's fortress house in Little Havana. When she arrives, she's hungry and Jorge feeds her sopa de chicharos.