I pass Vito Acconci on the way to the subway perhaps two to three times a week at random times. I know his studio is in my neighborhood, but I haven’t figured out his route or his schedule. Not that I’ve made an effort to follow him as that would feel like copying his performance.
MIAMI — With all the visual overload and glimpses between suited shoulders it’s hard to find something that resonates amongst the Lego blocks of art fair booths at the main fair of Art Basel Miami Beach. With over 260 galleries and over 2,000 artists of which I probably saw half and absorbed a twentieth, it feels like an accomplishment to come away with an artwork that truly resonates days after.
I received an email from Nasser and Co in response to the article “WTF is Primitive vs. Tribal Art” where I had sited that the gallery had used both the terms “primitive” and “tribal” on their façade and website respectively, to describe the artwork they exhibit and sell. Assured that both terms did not form part of contemporary art lexicon, I was curious as to why the gallery had decided to use these terms.
Jennifer Rubell studied food to become an artist. After receiving a BA from Harvard University in Fine Arts, she attended the Culinary Institute of America. Prior to beginning her artistic practice, she wrote about food for over a decade during which time she published Real Life Entertaining. For the past few years Rubell has created a “Breakfast Project” in the courtyard of the Rubell Family Collection in Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach that is consumed by the collection visitors. In the spirit of Hyperallergic’s food art coverage for Turkey Day, I hopped on a call with Rubell to learn about her practice, find out her Thanksgiving secrets and get a sneak preview to this years Breakfast Project.
Blue Curry does not like to intervene between the audiences experience of his artwork. His first solo exhibition in the USA opened last week at Toomer Labzda Gallery in the Lower East Side and it attracted the attention of a number of art professionals, a fashion magazine blog and curious passersby alike.
Blue Curry is a Bahamian artist living and working in London. If his name doesn’t make you smile the materials in his artwork and his sense of irony certainly will. Curry is having his first US solo exhibition at the LES’s Toomer Labzda Gallery this month.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — “Wow bizzarro!” I hear a visitor exclaim with a delighted grin as they walk out the front door of the San Angel Folk Art gallery. The venue is one of those quirky finds one relishes during an art tour in a new city. It offers a colorful breath of fresh air to a predominating white cube aesthetic, and a friendly alternative to the “take ourselves too seriously” attitude of many in the contemporary gallery world.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — The Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center has been in existence since 1986 and it began with monthly art events that have turned into a four-roomed exhibition space and a monthly contemporary art walk (CAM) that collaborates with the local McNay Museum and most other San Antonio art spaces. With the legacy of being the longest standing contemporary art center in San Antonio comes a strong connection with its local arts community. The space has helped revitalize its surrounding neighborhoods, King William and South Town, and as a result its street corners have chic bars and restaurants though they maintain the eclectic “Old West meets Spanish colonial” look-and-feel typical of San Antonio. At the advice of art collector and Blue Star board member Mike Casey I drive over to check it out.
Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculpture opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City this September with a display of 100 masterpieces borrowed from collections outside of Africa. At face value I thought the exhibition title sounded like an attempt ingratiate African art objects in to a positive and inspirational realm. This, along with the earthy brown color of the exhibition signage, felt clichéd. However I vowed to maintain an open mind as dealing with Africa as a continent loaded with colonial history, really creates a “damned if you do damned if you don’t” scenario for many curators.
Today’s protest at the Sotheby’s corporate offices on York Avenue was enlivened by dozens of people from #OccupyWallStreet who joined the Sotheby’s art handlers in their efforts to get a fair agreement with the auction giant.
MIAMI — Loriel Beltran and Alejandro Contreras both moved to Miami from Caracas, Venezuela when they were 15 years old. They met at the Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH) in Miami, brought together as two of the five students in the ESOL class learning English as a second language.
Today they are best friends and enjoy successful careers as full-time artists. They have also created a creative infrastructure for themselves renting a warehouse with a group of artist in which they live and work. Although the aesthetics of their individual artwork remain fundamentally different, they do share strong similarities in their resourceful approach to materials.
Miami — I asked three art professionals I deeply respect, who live in three culturally different cities, to share an artist or an exhibition they feel provided interesting insight in to contemporary artistic practice within “developing” parts of the world.