Fuentes, D18. The mood was of course more subdued then at past Basels on Wednesday, but not by too much! Still, there was much less pranky stuff like this then in years past. “You go to school to learn not for a fashion show,” and you go to Basel I guess to shop for art that you want to live with, not to see a carnival freakshow. But to say that nothing was over the top would be a tragic misrepresentation. Let’s see…
Haye, H19. Nothing says “I have $35,000 to blow on a Basel booth rental and the rep to score one, but it ain’t no thang” like some gold and silver plated chess pieces scattered around, with only an incognito guard for staff.
This elephant’s cup says, “How ‘bout some PB and Joe? / A friendly reminder from the National Peanut Board.” Serious contender for best-of in the sculpture category.
Yes-That-Sylvester-Stalone’s horrible self-portrait from a Life cover was one of the few things with a red dot.
The “is that art or have you just not gotten a chance to tidy up yet?” category is alive and well, represented here by some actual animal poop.
Some quarters modified to contain blades. If we can’t use art to make suggestions to terrorists, then the terrorists have already won.
Beautiful but ephemeral. MadeIn’s Metal Language 1 at ShanghaiART.
Art that got shipped is always a hit. Here are some copper boxes that show fingerprints, smudges, scrapes, and FedEx tracking labels. Walead Beshty.
Anyone who made anything even vaguely Michael Jackson-related got their piece into Basel. The best of the bunch were Dave LaChapelle three (photoshopped?) images. Here, the MJ Pieta.
I loved these goldfish swimming around some impenetrable legal-looking documents. Titled “They are learning fast,” John Latham, Lisson Gallery.
These Lorna Simpson photos were more poignant than spectacles, but don’t miss them.
This piece comes with instructions. At least it has the decency to be titled “WTF.”
If you choose to include a little shelf and some magnifying glasses next to your little newspaper cutouts, be sure that they really reward a close look.
A giant wooden box that tells you to DIE over and over, into infinity. Ivan Navarro. Edition of three, so you probably still have a chance.
You get two primo Gurskys this year, and here’s one.
Probably my favorite Jenny Holzer piece of all time.
William Pope L’s “The Black Factory” at the Botanic Gardens.
Probably my favorite thing so far was this Chiho Aoshima digital drawing at Perrotin.
It turns out that the Robert Indiana “LOVE” game is way too easy to play, and this year everyone got in on it. Here’s my winner.
This whole time you could have chromed an old TV and set it to play nothing but wrestling match footage. Paul Pfeiffer.
Empty bottle of 90 proof Cuban rum, and time lapse of the artist consuming it over 24 hours. Once again proving that anyone can have a good idea, but it’s only if you execute it elegantly that victory shall be yours.
Lawrence Weiner’s “PLACED BENEATH THE SAND BENEATH THE SEA” got me. Regen Projects.
And last but sure as hell not least, Ebony Bones, easily the best performer ever at Art Loves Music (but I missed Peaches), who galvanized the crowd by getting them to move the left. Awesome (but she needs a ballad to break up the set a little). More Later!!
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