Americans love their mythos almost as much as they love their country. But with the appalling lack of civility during this year’s election, a few monsters of our past are returning to wreak havoc.
I approached the massive GO Brooklyn open studios event, which was organized by the Brooklyn Museum, with some hesitation. I was unsure about the sinking feeling I had that the Brooklyn Museum may be trying to co-opt the borough’s massive visual arts scene in order to give it a much needed PR boost. Why did Brooklyn’s premiere fine arts museum need to consolidate this DIY tradition into open studio sprawl? Adding to my trepidation was the notion of checking-in and voting that made the whole affair seem more competitive and trendy.
It was only a couple of minutes before midnight, when one of the last of the 13 artists arrived at Camel Art Space in East Williamsburg for the show 48 HRS. It was Rebecca Goyette, encumbered with a large bag, sawing machine and a folding table. “I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she said, laughing as the door of the black cab slammed behind her.
How many of the estimated 46,000 artists, dealers, collectors, and lookyloos that checked in at Art Basel Miami Beach actually made the 35-minute car trip from the stunning South Beach to industrial Wynwood for the Seven Art Fair is still unclear.
Seven was to Basel what Independent New York was to the Armory Show. An art fair (ok fine, temporary exhibition forum), yes, but set up as a museum-like display rather than sales booths, more concerned with theme and content than commodity object. Curatorial considerations made intelligent relationships between artists from different galleries, instead of an “art world greatest hits.” Because of the elimination of sales booths, the pressure was off. Here, dealers seemed to be interested in discussing ideas.