Monday, December 03, 2018

Art Basel week in Miami: Big day minus 1

Since we've done so much so far, and installations for Context Art Miami is moving forward well, today is a lazy start, and everyone hit the beach across from the hotel (Hollywood Beach) for a few hours in the sun.

By two o'clock, we're all back at work, installing work, labeling work, etc. Artists J. Jordan Bruns, jet-lagged and bleary-eyed, but smiling, arrives from Japan and begins to hang his work. A little later, New York painter Matthew Langley also arrives and begins the process - and it is a process which Langley has developed - to hang his grid of paintings - and the second booth begins to look good!

Across the aisle, LBK begins to unpack the pedestals and her work that goes on it.

Meanwhile Audrey Wilson is up on the ladder, laboriously adding the tedious and precise task of adding the artists' names to the walls.

A bit later, the fair director walks by, and let's me know that the names need to be removed, as the fair does not allow them.

Puzzled, I remind him that I had sent an email several weeks ago, asking if it was allowed, and had an email from the fair management telling me that it was OK to put artist names on the wall. It is his turn for him to look puzzled, and I tell him that I will find the email and send it to him.

I do this, and find him again - I let him know that I am willing to take the names down, if it is such a big deal, but I need to know now - rather than later, as Audrey is still up on a ladder putting names up.

A little later, Audrey finishes putting the names up.

Just after that we get the official notice that the names have to come down.

Audrey goes back up the ladder and names begin to come down and about $200 is wasted in the process.

Years ago I learned that one shouldn't waste time fuming over things which cannot be changed or controlled, so we move on.

But this isn't the biggest set back of the day.

Later that night, the box containing two of Wilson's three pieces at the fair, which she shipped from her school (Kent State) have arrived at the hotel, and Audrey unpacks them in her room, to get them ready to be hung on Tuesday.

To everyone's dismay, the pieces have been seriously damaged during the shipping process.

Like the professional that she is, Audrey hits the road looking for replacement parts for her complex piece, which marries electricity, found objects, cast glass, neon gas and blown glass.

She returns disappointed ("the hot shop sucks", she notes), but armed with some supplies and  soon her and LBK and furiously working on repairing one of the two pieces.

The two work late into the night, and the morning of Tuesday, to rebuild one of the two damaged works - the other will have to wait for a visit to a lighting warehouse in Miami on Tuesday.

Tomorrow DMV area painter Tim Vermeulen arrives, sets up his wall, and we should be ready for the VIP opening at 4:30 PM.

Goodbye sir!

When I was a Navy Lieutenant, and President Bush was the VP for Ronaldus Magnus, I had the honor to brief him. Afterwards I was pleasantly surprised to receive a hand-written note via guard mail (does any former Navy guys in FB remember guard mail?) thanking me for the brief. 

Bush was the last US President to serve in combat... fair winds and following seas Sir!