Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Become a Member »

Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.

Editorial Disclaimer: Hyperallergic takes no responsibility for the acts or offense caused by Grossmalerman, who was hired to cover our party at Aqua Art Miami. Our agreement stipulated that he be allowed to publish what he pleases with nothing but simple copy edits. All insinuations or assumptions made by the author — not to mention damage caused by the images or text — are the fault of Grossmalerman and not OUR FAULT!

MIAMI BEACH — I don’t need to tell YOU this, but to go to the Hyperallergic Aqua Art Miami party is like entering a topsy-turvy world where black is white, up is down, left is right but sometimes down, too. My point is that Hyperallergic parties can be strange. Anyhoo, upon my arrival I approached the bar to find an agitated Hrag. He’d obviously been drinking for a while and was alternating between a weepy thing and more of a yelly-type thing. I handed him the fistful of pills a spirited curator from Madrid had left in my room and that seemed to settle his mood. Hrag found comfort with a small man in a hat who I believe was Bryant Botero, but I’m not absolutely sure, on account of the fact that he said he wasn’t him, but I’m pretty sure he was lying.

Flashes are a funny thing that I prefer to not use, but then I’m all like ‘Why are my pictures so blurry and dark?’ It’s especially important when you’re dealing with the kind of people who blur easily. Like this guy! It’s James Panero, the executive editor of The New Criterion, who was walking around the galleries on his knees. I’m not sure what that was about. Maybe he was hurt? I’m not sure because he couldn’t speak a word of English. His expression reveals nothing.


… The next time I saw him he was sticking his finger in Christian Gaines’s drink. Which isn’t cool. But it was like he didn’t even give a shit! So that’s kind of cool, right? I find him an inexplicably intriguing subject. What can I say?

Speaking of intriguing subjects, I walked into Robert Henry Contemporary’s booth, and I think I interrupted something … They were nice about it, though, and let me use their bathroom, which had Prosecco chilling in the sink! So I stayed there for a little while … thinking.

So I started using the flash and got the clean, in-focus, startled “look” I wanted. Initially I thought this guy was Damien Hirst, but he’s not … I think. He stood this way for quite some time, which I found unnerving.

And this guy is Cameron Gainer. Publisher of The Third Rail. I’m pretty sure I had something he wanted.

Hot ladies who I was really sure were good to go but were, in fact, not … at all. It was a letdown.

Joe Amrhein and Susan Swenson of Pierogi gallery. Two angels. I’m telling you. A couple of regular good-time Charlies.

Take your feet out of that fucking water, people! That’s disgusting. It’s Miami, for Christ’s sake! Hobo beach-bum drifters probably jizz in that water!

Look! It’s Paddy Johnson and Whitney Kimball of Art F City! Paddy kept accusing me of trying to take pictures of her tits! I SO wasn’t and resented the insinuation!

Me in the bathroom, taking a much-deserved break from the insanity. In the bathroom, you can be alone.

Score! Touchdown! Goal! Homerun! Second Base! Bob’s yer uncle! Oh my God! Where am I, and what happened to all my money??!!

Paddy Johnson’s tits!

Look! It’s Veken, Hrag, Balint Zsako, and some guy. Right about now is when everything started to turn kind of bad again.

I was totally transfixed by this guy’s eyes. Well, It was either that or his war paint. Right after I snapped this picture, I threw up all over him, his date, and myself. He punched me square in the nose for that — like I didn’t already feel bad enough! Things really started to go downhill from there.

What? Haven’t Lisa Levy, Todd Florio, and Katey Chapman ever seen a grown man slip in a puddle of his own up-chuck and fall smack dab on his ass before? Oh yeah, it’s hilarious when that happens! Levy is a fucking psychotherapist. She should know better.

Hey Claire Moore, Andrew Haarsager, and Tatiana Berg, why is everyone still laughing? Oh my God, this is my worst nightmare! Get me out of this place!!! Their cruelty is impressively inhuman!

Why will these ladies not let me near them! I’ve become a pariah! Oh the hellish misery!

Jesus fucking Christ! As if it weren’t already bad enough, Mary Garis, Sophie Hahn, Jillian Steinhauer, and Lainya Magaña took pictures of me scrambling around in my own sickness and relished in my shame after the fact. Why am I so attracted to them?

Finally! Kind elderly people. I think they were just happy to be sitting down, but at least they weren’t laughing at me and were polite enough to not bring up the dried vomit all over my suit.

… Although the old guy was kind of a curmudgeon and hated monkeys. It was “monkeys this” and “monkeys that” with this guy. When he finally saw one, he really let loose on that poor monkey, who was just trying to finish his book.

Kara Meyer and Andrew Ohanesian don’t have a very strong friendship. I’m assuming this is because she is going to be my wife one day. I’m in love with her! Love, love, love — isn’t she adorable? No! I mustn’t fall in love! Can’t fall in love. Perhaps she is my new muse! Help, I’m in love!

Look! It’s artists Eve Sussman and Simon Lee with Catherine Mahoney, who I believe was in a serious K-hole. She was completely oblivious to everything. It was a pretty impressive … and alluring.

Sophie Hahn eating the watermelon from her delicious Hyperallergic watermelon cocktail.

C’mon guys! Grow up already! Everybody throws up.

I’ll be honest with you. I think these guys were mocking me with their gentle kindness.

Oh, Kara, only you understand me! You do not wilt at the foul stench of semi-digested deli sushi all over my chest, lap, and backside area! I want to take you back to my hotel room and protect you! My princess! You shall be the Helen of my Troy!

I can’t stay mad at Stephanie Pereira and Julia Kaganskiy. Could you stay mad at these girls? I couldn’t.

Henry Chung of Robert Henry Contemporary contemplates the “best” painting at the Aqua Art Fair.

It’s Friday night in Fucking Miami, people!!

Goodbye Hrag! Goodbye Veken! It was a great party! I’m sorry about all the vomit, the pointless accusations, and the bathroom fire, which I never even told you about but you probably know about by now. You maintained your composure throughout, and I’m sure there’s someone at the hotel in charge of cleaning stuff like that up!

The Latest

Opportunities in December 2021

From commissions to residencies and fellowships for artists, curators, and teachers, a list of opportunities that artists, writers, and art workers can apply for each month.

Grossmalerman

An important presence for 30 years the painter Jonathan Grossmalerman has exhibited internationally and was included in the 1987 Whitney Biennial His controversial film “Nausea 2” recently won the...

17 replies on “Reliving the Hyperallergic Aqua Art Party Bedlam”

  1. To Grossmalerman: This is the BEST Hyper article I’ve read in a long time! Capturing the essence of the Miami experience, I lived vicariously through your narrative. You are truly gifted. Thank you!

      1. So I’ve been told. Thank you again for your rare humor…reminiscent of Hunter S T. You’re good, Mr. G.

      1. No, did you? In fact, I doubt if your man in Miami hurdled either. Otherwise we would have seen a shot of it. Where’s the proof, man! Sounds like it was a spew to be proud of. Glad Hyper was there to document it or fabricate it… whatever.

          1. Why so defensive Hrag? An “art persona” you say. WOW. I guess that gives him license to hurl or not to hurl wherever he wants. And, he got paid, too…so, he’s a professional writer, as well. Now that’s funny!

          2. You mean, “2. very anxious to challenge or avoid criticism : he was very defensive about that side of his life.”

          3. A professional one, in fact. A persona in the field you might say, but I’m guessing you didn’t know that.

        1. God Damn it JDBRD! Are suggesting that I am being dishonest??
          That one of the most shameful nights of my life is a fiction!??
          God damn you! God damn you to hell!!!!!

Comments are closed.