Kevin Arrow

Not to be confused with tfw Kevin Arrow blows your mind with some Obsolete Media Miami.

TFW: You’re For Real Over Art Basel

Last year we lamented the Art World Spring Break that is Art Basel, and unsurprisingly, this year the focus remained on pretty much anything else BUT the art (see this utterly riveting article “In Miami, Booth Furniture as Compelling as the Art” in the New York Times). Add to this year the eerie and uncanny feeling that we were experiencing more of the week via Instagram than IRL and you find there really is no need to make the trip. You’ve heard it all already– it rained a lot, someone was stabbed, and the US’s biggest art mall remains unfazed.

jared_facebook

Yes.

neorauschgirl

Self-portrait as this girl in a Neo Rauch painting.

PAMM_rain

Epic rainstorm kept patrons trapped inside the Perez Art Museum Miami after the evenings festivities ended.

So why write about it at all? A fair question, unfortunately without an answer other than to highlight what WTT? found compelling and noteworthy. (Oh yeah, and for the photos. Mostly for the photos.) If it makes you feel any better, we actually decided to bring the WTT? column back after a letter from Duncan and the stirring Homeroom program, “Self-Portrait in a Kanye Mirror” last Tuesday at the MCA (more on that later), so we’ll try to keep this one brief.

astro crew

Best text I received the entire week: “We are looking very birdcage, you won’t miss us.”

astro crew

Coral Morphologic naturally kept us mystified with this work at Miami’s SwampSpace.

sofia_mural

Sofia Leiby preparing the evening before her first Miami solo at Michael Jon Gallery next to the McAurthur Milk Factor in Little Haiti.

sarahnewberry

The ever fashionable Lizzie Newberry at the opening for “redew”, a beautiful exhibition of Miami woman artists presented by Maggie Knox in Little Haiti.

virgo_maggieknox

Virgo performing at the opening for “redew”, by Maggie Knox.

Highlights: The schadenfreude I experienced when the “monsoon” (in my mom’s words) literally rained on everyone’s Basel parade. Did you come here to “work”, or what? Also, The Littlest Sister Art Fair (and panels) at Spinello, Anselm Kiefer at Margulies Warehouse (a seriously WTF moment of awe), Coral Morphologic’s installation at SwampSpace, bbgrl Sofia Leiby’s exhibition at Michael Jon, the multicolored breakfast at The Sagamore Hotel (what was up with that art tho?), ceviche, and nearly everything at the Artist-Run Satellite fair in North Beach (hey, not mainland, but at least it’s north of Arthur Godfrey). Snacks.

reed_littlesister

With artists Misael Soto and Reed Van Brunschot with Van Brunschot’s installation at Spinello’s reprisal of its popular Littlest Sister Art Fair in Little Haiti.

Anselm Kiefer_margulies

One room of many giant Anselm Kiefer installations at the Margulies Collection.

Civiche

Pro Tip: Limón y Sabor.

lizefrain

Artists Liz Ferrer and Efrain Del Hierro outside of the Ocean Terrace Hotel, the location for the Artist-Run Satellite Fair.

vizcaya

David Rohn left us breathless after this gorgeously draggy performance at Fantastical Vizcaya on December 5th.

local_stupidbar

NoLa artist Local Honey inside “Stupid Bar”, part of Baltimore gallery Open Space’s space at Artist-Run fair.

Derrick Adams

Sweet piece by Derrick Adams in Rhona Hoffman’s ABMB booth.

sagamore donuts

“Where the snacks at?” The Sagamore Hotel Brunch.

carol donuts

Artist Carol Ferdinand showing tourists how Miamian’s do rain in front of a José Bedia sculpture by the Sagamore’s pool.

Also was very feeling Martine Syms thoughtful, haunting “Art on the Move” project, NITE LIFE, at Locust Projects and on buses and signs around Overtown (pairs excellently and unfortunately with the news that David Beckham is building a soccer stadium there after richer neighborhoods turned him down. “This will be the most responsible stadium development in Miami history,” said no one truthfully ever.).

rashadnewsome

The beginning of Rashad Newsome’s “King of Arms Miami” parade in front of the de la Cruz Collection in the Design District.

aprilchilders

Totally perfect giant post-it note by April Childers in the Penelope room at the Artist-Run fair.

robinkang

Tapestries by SAIC Alum Robin Kang also in the Penelope room at Artist-Run fair.

JennaRansom

Wish I could buy this Jenna Ransom drawing in The Alice’s Artist-Run hotel room.

poorgrrrl

Tara Long (aka Poorgrrl) performing at the ICA Miami party in a sad Drake t-shirt by Chicago artist David Leggett.

hernanbas_ambm

Can we talk about Hernan Bas for a second? Ok. Thanks.

martine1

Martine Syms’ bus wrap spotted by Locusts’ Amanda Sanfillipo.

Last but not least, Rashad Newsome’s weirdly under-attended and overly-awesome “King of Arms Miami” Parade in the Design District on Tuesday, Dec 1st. The FMU musicians were rad, Newsome’s lambo was out of control, and the voguing group from NY brought it despite the lackluster crowd, comprised of what seemed like more cameras than people, a pissed off looking Jeffery Deitch and our small group. The annual TM Sisters beach hang on Monday night. Oh, and one more, the performances at Vizcaya!

untitled_lvl3

Trippy install of Robert Chase Heishman photographs and Lauren Clay wallpaper at LVL3’s Untitled booth.

untitled_lvl3_2

Chicago fashion playboy, Vincent Uribe of LVL3, impeccably matching the gallery’s booth at Untitled with work by Lauren Clay.

kiwi_satellite

Keijaun Thomas and I spent some time in the beautiful curated SEDIMENT presentation in the Artist-Run fair, “Gravity Assist,” featuring none other than lost Chicago boy, David Moré!

The Weatherman Report

Several Circles, 1926, by Vassily Kandinsky because wtf is going on with the weather rn.
Allison Glenn

Allison Glenn presents her Kanye Self-Portrait at the MCA on Tuesday night.

Reflections of Self-Portrait in a Kanye Mirror

Free Tuesdays are generally bustling at the MCA, though I was still surprised to see that nearly 20 minutes before the much-anticipated Homeroom’s School Night: Self-Portrait in a Kanye Mirror was set to begin on Dec 15th, the (Wolfgang Puck?) Cafe was already filled to capacity, with overflow seats starting to fill up in the central hallway of the museum.

Billed as “a multimedia info show with artists and educators who assemble to reflect on the art and life of Kanye West through the lens of their own personal Yeezus” the evenings event featured Krista Franklin, Allison Glenn, and Lisa Yun Lee with Kevin Coval, J. Johari Palacio and Anthony Stepter. And reflect they did.

Fred Sasaki of Homeroom opened the evening with his own personal Yeezus demons, cracking self-deprecating jokes about his unending love for Kanye and his own son’s disapproval of rap music. The vibe was right as Sasaki led the crowd in taking Kanye-inspired “I am a god” selfies and in singing bars of West’s hit “Runaway”. While the roster was pretty long, the guests were stellar and each presentation was just how I like it, short and sweet. The first speaker up, Anthony Stepter, made a compelling attempt to equate his life with Kanye’s, referencing the artists fateful car accident that launched his career. Next was Allison Glenn on Kanye’s “interruptions” as they relate to her own practice as a curator and writer.

Jesse Malmed and I make our best God faces.

Jesse Malmed and I make our best “God” faces.

Following Glenn was what (almost) seemed to be a spontaneous audience performance of a mash-up of Kanye lyrics. Next, coming to the stage to the tune of West’s “Mercy”, J. Johari Palacio presented a light and amusing stream of consciousness on Kanye’s presumed internal monologue, while Lisa Yun Lee opted to use the opportunity to discuss everything from conservative conceptions of “Black Excellence” to misogyny in rap music. While Lee was riveting, she was unfortunately paired with Kevin Coval, who’s spoken word poetry alternating with Lee’s speaking felt awkward. Fortunately, Krista Franklin was there to bring it all back together, offering her own poetic read of Kanye in her piece, “Devil in a New Dress, Or Making Paper with Kanye West.” Stunning.

After the presentations a surprisingly poignant Q&A followed, with Stepter describing his own “constructed” understanding of race in response to a statement from an audience member on anti-Black sentiment. Afterward, many at the MCA adjourned to the Soho House, where J. Johari Palacio satisfied everyone’s need to listen to Kanye songs over cocktails and good conversation. A+++. We heard that audio should be available soon if you weren’t able to attend in person. Pair that with the special mix Palacio created for the evening and enjoy your own KW AP.

After the program ended, Sasaki confided that the School series has a cathartic effect over his personal obsession. While he may have let go of Kanye after last night’s event, he only reignited our own interest in the controversial figure– currently bumping Johari’s mix and thankful for Chicago. 😉

Reading is Fundamental

Because we hate Top 5 lists but love books.

  • The Papi Project by Oli Rodriguez.
    The IRL book culmination of Rodriguez’s ongoing interdisciplinary project including 3D photographic sculptures, video, photography and performance that investigates technology, gay/queer hookup culture and loss through the artist’s attempt to seek out men who had sexual relations with his own father. We *think* the book is available for purchase at David Weinberg, which recently hosted a portion of the project in the “Pearly Foam” exhibition curated by Meg Noe.
  • Shallow Wounds: Two Accounts of Art Basel 2015. In this collaborative essay WTT? kindred spirits and fellow Miami natives, Rob Goyanes and Dave Rodriguez, expound on the oft felt Basel-related ennui, more flat tires, and Stitches getting punched in the face.
  • Christian Viveros-Faune on Why Art Basel in Miami Beach Is Degrading for Art and Artists: Ben-Davis-level astuteness by Viveros-Fauné using Courbet’s The Meeting to talk about relationships between players in the art world.
  • Lori Waxman’s Best of:
    We’re super not into pointless lists (*cough*Newcity*cough*), so good news to us (and art writing in general) that Waxman’s waxing on Chicago art in 2015 is a meaty and thoughtful review of her favorite projects of 2015. We were particularly tickled to see Trunk Show’s delightful missives getting love from Lori. We’d also like to add that their twitter, written from the perspective of the 1999 green Ford Taurus him(?)self, is also pretty hilarious.

T around Town

Because we all know that reviews are boring as fuck.

alexcohen_leoburnet

Alex Bradley Cohen drawing my portrait during his residency with Alberto Aguilar for Next Art Now in the Leo Burnett building. Catch boy wonder, Cohen, at his opening for Trunk Show at Tusk this coming Saturday afternoon.

greatgoodplace_trunkshow

Speaking of TS, we hope you caught their installation of work by Scott Wolniak in Brandon Alvendia’s “The Great Good Place” exhibition at Threewalls which closed Dec. 12th.

greatgoodplace1

Chelsea Culp breakin’ all the rules at the opening for “The Great Good Place”.

CHF_ADA_1

An oldie but a goodie. Bodies at the Center, a performance by Gregg Bordowitz and Marissa Perel presented at the Chicago Humanities Fest in partnership with the ADA 25 Chicago on November 7th. These powerhouses got us thinking and it hasn’t stopped.

chelsea sculpture

We’re still hung over from the overabundance of beauty (and wine) at Inside/Within’s first curatorial presentation, “asperity economy asymmetry austerity intimacy,” at The Franklin this past Saturday, Dec. 12th. Pictured is Chelsea Culp’s “Untitled (Sporty Spice)” on loop girl.

maddiereyna

Another clutch work (get it, bananas? 😛 ) by Maddie Reyna in “asperity economy asymmetry austerity intimacy,” at The Franklin this past Saturday, Dec. 12th.

mediumcool_nocoast

The cuties of No Coast (Aay Preston-Myint & Alex Valentine) at the Medium Cool gift fair at Prairie Productions on November 21st. Affordable work by Latham Owen Zearfoss and Math Bass? Please and Thank You.

emilykate

Our everyday #WCW’s, Emily Green and Kate Bowen of ACRE holding down the bar at the opening for “Tele Nature, Post Ecologies” at ACRE Projects on November 8th.

newcapital_beachy2

November 8th also marked the return of long-dormant New Capital in Garfield Park. Reopening in a newly renovated space with work by Rebecca Beachy, “Inherencies” was a fittingly ritualistic treatment of the gallery space, utilizing burned animal bones and other natural materials to christen every inch. On view through February 2016.

newcapital_beachy2

A detail of work by Beachy embedded into the walls of New Capital.

juliuscesar2

One of the best exhibitions in our recent memory (where you at, Top 10 lists of 2015?), “Twin Rooms” curated by Ionit Behar and Pinar Üner Yilmaz at Julius Cæsar. Work by Bailey Romaine (and Assaf Evron sound piece in the back!).

juliuscesar

More work by Bailey Romaine in “Twin Rooms” curated by Ionit Behar and Pinar Üner Yilmaz at Julius Cæsar on November 15th.

redcoats_popeL

Robert Smith III and Jesse Malmed show off their red coats during a late late night shift of Pope.L’s “Cage Unrequited” at the MCA on Nov 21-22nd.

nickfrank

New work in “Post Self”, a collection of other people taking images by Nicholas Frank on view at Western Exhibitions.

nickfrankandalec

Two Milwaukeean’s walk into a gallery. Alec Regan with Nicholas Frank at the opening for “Post Self” at Western Exhibitions last Friday.

albertoaic

Alberto Aguilar (framed by Elsworth Kelly) discussing his work “Room for Intimacy” in the Education Wing of the Art Institute at a private reception for the installation last week. The gave a detailed explanation of the installation before handing the room over to museum education associates for their use.

wolfie_learningmachine

If you missed Wolfie Rawk’s excellently spooky subterranean video installation “The Island” you have one final chance, TONIGHT at Learning Machine. The closing will feature performance by Sofia Moreno and Rosé Hernandez so don’t be late.

Decidedly “Meh” Article Attracts Strong Response Online

While we appreciate the effort from Chicago magazine and Jason Foumberg, the recent article “How Chicago Artists Responded to the Laquan McDonald Video” was anemic at best. The fire-y headline left us wanting more. Most lacking was any actual response by artists to the recently released video of the police shooting. It is mostly milquetoast responses by some [highly regarded] Chicago artists. There are some proverbial “shots fired,” wherein [Chicago-ish?] artist and provocateur Pedro Velez calls to Chicago’s main man, Theaster Gates, to make a statement on the situation. Gates apparently declined to comment.

While the Chicago Mag piece tamely leaves it at that, an interesting Facebook thread on Foumberg’s wall continues the conversation with quoted artists Dawoud Bey, Kate Ingold, Robb Stone and Velez adding additional context to their short statements in the article. Regarding Velez’s opinion on Gates, Bey writes “I also disagree with Pedro’s putting Theaster on the spot…as he has in other instances in the past. Not to slight anyone else, but Theaster’s tangible contribution to the city and his own community speaks volumes for his deep engagement.” A lively conversation ensues covering everything from Joe Scanlan’s lecture at UC, to Kanye West’s honorary doctorate at SAIC in 2015.

Meanwhile, in a strange and parallel universe, Chicago Tribune did manage to get a response from Theaster Gates for an article in the paper’s Lifestyle section titled “How to be a good neighbor with Theaster Gates” (can’t make this shit up). The piece does dance around some political concerns, like when Trib’s Lisa Skolnik asks, “I’ve heard you don’t like the word “gentrification.” What term do you prefer?” to which Gates responds “…I hope that what I’m doing is ethical redevelopment…”, but loses me when the “lifestyle” questions come out. Favorite mode of transit? “Roller-skating; I have Chicago Skates classic rink skates.”

belknaps

Chicago’s very own Sarah & Joseph Belknap with 100% brand new stellar-inspired work at Brooklyn-based Common People’s presentation for Artist-Run fair. Shout out to S&J for camping in the mangroves and for the empanadas and tequila shots!

vinegar2

We were really into this fashionably haphazard installation, “Beast Boutique” by Jennifer Avery at yellow peril gallery in the Artist-Run Satellite.

wedding

Avery actually met and married James Swainbank outside of the fair. Covered here by Michael Anthony Farley for AFC.

maconreed

Speaking of AFC, we loved this dart board by Chicago artist Macon Reed in their “DYKE BAR” at the Artist-Run Satellite.

giovannibeltran

Local favs, GucciVitton branching out at DesignMiami as Giovanni Beltran with furniture by Jonathan Gonzalez in the curio section of the fair.

SAICparty

With Emily Green, Keijaun Thomas and Efrén Arcoiris at the SAIC 150th Anniversary at the Sagamore Friday Dec 4th.

greengallery_nada

J. Rip making deals for Green Gallery. Can’t get enough of that amazing lamp in their NADA Booth.

Lowlights and letdowns included Art Basel Miami Beach’s Most Anticipated Collaboration (according to NYT) between Ryan McNamara and Devonté Hynes (aka Blood Orange). I don’t think the point was to be as boring as humanly possible. I felt pretty bad for Hynes, who seemed to be the most nonplussed of all. Maybe they jinxed themselves with that Coral Castle pic. The Nari Ward show was sick tho (s/o to Diana Nawi for the great work). Never enough snacks. Visiting artists’ instagrammed obsession with the hologram lady at Miami International Airport. The Braman’s massive campaign contributions to Marco Rubio (they are, btw, the family underwriting the ICA Miami) and republicans in general. Wynwood, always. Being barraged by that image of the bleeding woman in the Nova section of ABMB (can I get a trigger warning?!). That I had to choose between taking a falafel pita from Pita Plus or a Publix sub back to Chicago on the plane with me (went for the falafel FYI).

Blood Orange Image

Did the mystical powers of Coral Castle and/or Edward Leedskalnin’s ghost jinx this hotly anticipated collaboration?

So I guess my Basel was ok? At least I finally figured out how to deliberately lower my expectations, and how to change a flat tire (thanks Misa & Domingo). Until next year.

Leyden

A serene moment with work by Leyden Rodriguez Cassanova at the Miami Center for Architecture & Design before leaving.

MIA-airport

My favorite floor. MIA’s public art installation by OG Miami goddess, Michele Oka Doner.

Trending:

Flora-filled Toilets

One of our favorite parts of our favorite Miami fair, the Artist-Run Satellite at the dilapidated Ocean Terrace Hotel on 74th street was how the artists and spaces delt with the bathrooms in each suite. These are two of our favorite examples.

plant toilet

Lee Heinemann’s bathroom install presented by Platform Gallery.

plant toilet2

Ningún Solicitar’s chaotic bathroom, part of their “Ningún Solicitar Hotel” installation.

Clear Acrylic Art Work

What can we say? We are from Miami, after all.

Nari Ward

Nari Ward, Naturalization Drawing Table (2004) on view at PAMM.

plant toilet2

Acrylic column by Jason Gringler in the recently closed exhibition New Destruction with James Bouché.

Umbrellas

The most must-have accessory of Art Basel Miami Beach 2015

umbrella1

On trend at the Sagamore Hotel brunch crepe line.

umbrella2

Outside of the Hynes/ McNamara performance at PAMM.

Shrimps!

Aside from their seriously crucial position in ceviche mixtos, Shrimp are experiencing a revival at the end of 2015.

Shrimp brooch

Delicious and desirable Shrimp Brooch by Brittany Kowalski, available at TUSK.

shrimpy

This super freaking adorable guy (did I just call a shrimp named Cthulhu adorable?) is the star of Jack Schneider’s exhibition at Pilsen gallery Born Nude and the subject of this Hyperallergic review by Kate Sierzputowski.

Jesse Malmed

Header image features a detail image of Sunday Painters, originally conceived by Chelsea Culp and Ben Foch for The Hills Esthetic Center and re-staged on the occasion of “The Great Good Place” curated by Brandon Alvendia at Threewalls.

Got any T? email me!
(or get @ me on twitter)

Hey! We’re back by somewhat popular demand (aka Duncan said so). And we learned how to make video gifs! We hope you enjoyed this super belated edition of the T. Let us know what else you want to hear about by emailing us or hit us up on the tweeter y’all!


Dana Bassett

Dana Bassett is an aspiring gossip queen from Miami, FL living in Pilsen. She writes a regular column called "What's the T?" and occasionally produces printed newspapers in collaboration with artists and friends.

Latest posts by Dana Bassett (see all)