BREAKING: James Rondeau Director News Ripples Across Art-Internet

January 28, 2016 · Print This Article

rondeau

An unprecedented flood of images of new Art Institute of Chicago president and Eloise W. Martin director, James Rondeau, have hit the internet this morning as the news of his appointment spreads from outlets in Chicago all the way to New York City. The images feature Rondeau standing pensively in front of various works of contemporary art in AIC’s Collection. The most popular (and our favorite) is of the new director (who will take officially office Feb. 16th) in front of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Sky Above Clouds IV, but choose your own favorite from the roundup of links below:

This news comes on the heels of artist Alberto Aguilar’s take over of the institutions Instagram page, which was arguably very awesome.

 

Edition #44

December 18, 2015 · Print This Article

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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.).

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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!).

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

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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.

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

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Lee Heinemann’s bathroom install presented by Platform Gallery.

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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.

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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

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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!


EDITION #43

May 26, 2015 · Print This Article

Fashion World Unrelated to Real One

Walking into the tented entrance of SAIC’s THE WALK felt stepping off the rainy downtown street into another dimension. Maybe we picked the wrong art world to focus on? This was unlike anY “opening” we’d been to before. There were like 6 different types of hors d’oeuvres, multiple bars with at least not the cheapest wine option, and, shockingly, people both above AND below 26.5 years of age.

We saw a woman wearing a beak on her face like it was no big deal, and all levels of over done. In this overdressed scene, the opening performance by Claudia Hart felt lackluster, especially at the beginning when the dancer closest to me was off her mark, ruining the projection illusion. We were into the concept: put voguing dancers in wild cutout outfits that serve as projection screens, but it somehow fell flat.

“The Dolls” by Claudia Hart.

Fortunately the eleganza returned for the student presentations. Sophomore presentations, while restricted to a single piece with white and gold coloring, certainly ranked amongst the most exciting offerings of the evening. While we are impressed with pretty much anyone who can thread a needle, we have to say that Kellia Yao, Michel ‘Le Forrest, Yalin Zhao and Dave Klibanoff (who’s face garment seemed to totally disregard the palate) made us the most excited for 2017’s show.

Looks by Michel ‘Le Forrest and Dave Klibanoff.

Looks by Kellia Yao and Yalin Zhao.

If you were looking for a capsule collection, THE WALK is certainly not the place. The Swarovski crystal accents were about the most casual part of the show (and that’s to say, not casual at all). The juniors were just as over the top and Mady Berry’s gigantic cactus knitwear complete with fur draping and a flower on top pretty much stole the show. Franky Tran’s train with two male attendants was a cherry on top. From our seat in the back of the tent it was hard to see the details of the designs, but we knew when the audience was pleased by polite applause and literal oo’s and ahh’s coming from the front rows.

Mady Berry’s gigantic cactus knitwear.

Finally, it was time for the main event. No, not the post-show snacks (though we’ll get to that), the senior presentations. Really there were just two collections that really gave us life. Kaleigh Moynihan’s collection, Davinia Francois, was hands down my favorite. From the first note of “Tip toe through the tulips,” you could tell it was going to be something else. And it was. Aside from showing a strong vision, Moynihan was the only student to use her own models, breaking the “walking stick” template and using real people of various shapes and sizes, including one model who was completely swallowed by a garment that appeared to have wheels or be robotic. The gender bending of the garments was effortless, unlike her colleague Carly Callis, whose blonde wigs seemed forced and awkward. Most importantly, as artist/model Amina Ross and the other likely artists on stage ‘tiptoed,’ they genuinely appeared to be having fun. The boob pockets, the “I don’t know” cape, the floral pasties, I could go on.

Kaleigh Moynihan’s creations on the runway.

Fransisco Gonzalez’s mickey-inspired runway looks.

The only other senior to really make me swoon was Fransisco Gonzalez. His Clairvoyance collection was equal parts space sportswear and Mickey Mouse. The fact that I’m from Florida might have something to do with my affinity for the mouse, but the way Gonzalez wove the characters into the not-quite ready-to-wear pieces in his collection felt like something we would totally try to pull off.

Creepy effigy and eggs.

After the last presentation, and the real Diane Pernet was presented a “Legend of Fashion” award, the entire tent moved across the street to the Harris theater for a reception where you could see a creepy Pernet’s effigy designed by local drag queen, Jojo Baby (who was looking quite dapper and carried a Pernet Barbie-sized doll). The reception was nothing if not elaborate. I gagged over Moynihan’s models and tried to work up the courage to talk to the young designer with daises in her hair, while spraying down my sushi with perfume bottles full of soy sauce (least practical vessel). I sampled the “couture eggs” (weird) and ate endless dumplings while trying to balance my dirty martini (the bartender had said, “I hope you like it straight up”).

To be fair, it was a fundraiser to support student work and scholarships at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Regardless, it was shame to have to leave the fashion world for the real one.

If you wanted a spot on recap of the best of the fashion show, you’re in the wrong place. Check out Isa’s “Best of” for the Reader.

Reading is Fundamental

Think of this as your month in review.

  • Now Here, Here Now
    Eric Asobe on being connected virtually and physically to the world of art and art in the world. With a dash of summer thrown in for good measure.
  • MarKEt/Foward and Nikki Johnson at the Pfister Hotel
    Sid Branca’s long-awaited recap on the MarKEt/Foward is an outsiders view of an insiders symposium.
  • Studies of Exhaustion
    Jacob Wick continues to interrogate what he finds phony, this time intertwined with Filipídicas, Vega Macotela’s first solo show at Galería Labor in Mexico City. Find out why Wick believes Macotela’s exhibition is a “step in the right direction.”
  • Window Shoppers
    Erin Leland has the most interesting conversations. Eavesdrop on her and curator, Andrew Blackley’s, afternoon of window shopping that merges seamlessly into Blackley’s work on Keith Haring and Felix Gonzalez-Torres.
  • Paris on the Prairie: Part I
    The Ladies Almanack has taken up residence on our blog as they prepare to begin the second phase of shooting in Chicago. Find out more about the project here and look for more updates throughout the month of June.

T around Town

It’s Spring and Chicago is awakening! The warmth is warming the ‘lil ‘ol Florida girl’s ice heart. So much happened this past month, check out what you missed below!

Marcel Opening

Marcel Alcala at his opening for The Mayor at the Hills.

Chicano Opening

Josh Rios discussing his work with Kate Bowen at the opening for Please Don’t Bury Me Alive! Part Two at Sector 2337. The exhibition, featuring drawings by Ernest Hogan, will be on view through June 14th.

Chicano Opening

Romero and Rios at their opening on Saturday, May 9th.

•HIGH CONCEPT LABORATORIES SEEKS SPONSORED ARTIST FOR FALL PROGRAM. APPLICATIONS DUE JUNE 15TH.
•FRINGE PROJECTS SEEKS QUALIFIED ARTISTS FOR TEMPORARY SITE SPECIFIC INSTALLATIONS IN MIAMI. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND HERE.
•WOMAN MADE GALLERY SEEKS ART WORK FOR WEARABLE ART EXHIBITION, ADORN. ENTRY DEADLINE JULY 15TH.

The Weatherman Report

Intro, 2015, by Alan Gutierrez currently on view at Kitchen Space.

The opening for elsetime: A Solo Exhibition by Ellen Rothenberg also on view at Sector 2337 until July 3rd.

Chicano Opening

Lorelei Stewart (sporting an adorable new do) and Andreas Fischer looked like pure spring in front of work by Michael Hunter at the Roots and Culture benefit auction on May 2nd.

Cosmosis Opening

Work by Daniel Baird on view at Cosmosis at the Hyde Park Art Center through August 23rd. (Weirdly can’t find the photo I shot of the expat artist at the Roots benefit the evening before! Mysterious indeed.)

Cosmosis Opening

Sarah and Joseph Belknap were serving true wonder at the opening for Cosmosis, including this chameleon of an installation.

Alberto Aguilar performing with Edra Soto at “Made-Up in the form of a Variety Show” at the Arts Club (yes, it was swanky) on May 13th.

Madeline Aguilar playing music from her album, Made In, at the live tapping of Made Up with Danny Volk at the Arts Club. Aguilar will be releasing Made In at the Hyde Park Free Theater this Saturday at 2PM.

Alex Bradley Cohen his the opening for the Midwest Edition of New American Paintings. You don’t have a to travel all the way to Elmhurst to see the artists work, Cohen has an exhibition with Kelly Lloyd opening at Carrie Secrist opening June 5th.

Work by Brookhard Jonquil at Ideal Perfection, on view at LVL3 until June 21st.

Emily Green and Megan Stroech at the opening for Ideal Perfection.

Work by Matt Mancini and Megan Stroech on view at LVL3.

The scene at the Humboldt Park Boat House for Lilli Carré’s Trunk Show opening. Purely pastoral. Get your own here.

The crowd outside the Suburban for their last Illinoisan opening. We heard the house goes on the market June 1!

Work by Katy Cowan in the Green Gallery South at The Suburban (we assume this is also their last show in this location).

Katy Cowan crewed up with members of American Fantasy Classics, The Hills and J.Laz.

Adorable handmade teacup sculpture by Noelle Garcia on view at Ordinary Projects. There will be a performance in the space this Sunday, May 31st at 3PM.

We’re still dying over Caleb Yono’s gorg painting/ sculpture/ light/ beauty installation at the SAIC 2015 MFA Show.

The MFA show actually had a lot of great work these year, including Nick Butcher’s installation featuring this video of the artist trying to wear a paper cut out and a chromatic vinyl record.

We can’t resist a Miamian in Chicago. Alan Gutierrez outside the Trunk Show with materials for his exhibition Intro.

A peek into the strange and wonderful world of Hope Esser, during a #wip installation at Links Hall.

Notice: the title of the exhibition will change every hour.

After my experience at Gabriel Sierra’s exhibition at Kurimanzutto last February I was really over it. My experience of the exhibition, titled ggaabbrriieell ssiieerrrraa amounted to me, my friend Brad and Jacob Wick waiting in line to see a mysterious exhibition that could only be entered two at a time. I hate queues and close to 10PM we gave up and split for a party/opening behind wrought iron gates that seemed more inviting. Discarded on a high-top table, I found a exhibition map from Kurimanzutto.

You can imagine my surprise, six months later, when I was invited for a press preview of Sierra’s exhibition. The providence was too much, I had do be the first to see it. I read the press release and thought, “the title changes every hour, how pretentious”. When I arrived at the Ren, three days before the opening, I was surprised to see a bunch of my friends installing the exhibition, which didn’t look anywhere near complete. Like, hay everywhere, weird half unfinished troughs on the ground, rocks on the floor, people painting the walls, etc. I took a short tour of what was yet to be, with explanations from my host Anna on the preconditions that Sierra was still working out (?!).

The scene at the Ren the Friday before Sierra’s opening.

I was ushered into the office where I sat before the (extremely handsome, like wtf handsome) artist himself and a plate of sugary pastries. I was certainly “in the moment.” We discussed my experience at Kurimanzutto, and Gabriel pointed out that the elongated spelling was an effort to stretch out time. We talked in circles about time, the present, experimentation, his interest in seasonal change, the institution, architecture, Miami (a recurring topic for me). Kind of about the show. He tried to explain the instructions, he apologized for his English (though that wasn’t the issue). This was not what I had expected. I started to feel anxiety about not understanding.

I was interested in the conditions that the Sierra set up for the Ren staff: switching the press releases every hour, guiding spectators through the exhibition after the artist has gone. They seemed very involved in the realization of the work. After about an hour, our discussion turned to Anna and the purchase of water bottles for one of the embedded tasks. He wanted something clear and simple looking. Immediately, I brought up an image of Topo Chico (my favorite sparkling water from Monterrey) on my phone and said “this is what you need.” Anna said she’d work it out.

At the opening late that weekend, the space was transformed. The troughs became a sort of obstacle course, and Sierra’s “Assembly Instructions” brought everything together. The instructions and their “Ikea-like” drawings made the austere obstacle course sweet. I saw couples walking up and down the flat pedestals and I saw that Gabriel took my recommendation about the Topo! Much to my chagrin, it turns out he’s not blowing smoke (I suppose I trust the Ren to spot a phony). It really was about the experience of art work and each other.

Topo Chicago task in action!

Nothing better.

I just missed the talk but saw Gabriel after. His greeting was warm and he thanked me for the suggestion. Enthusiasts clustered around him, though he was extremely modest and seemed less interested in making dinner plans than experiencing the exhibition again post-talk. I have to say he won me over.

I still don’t get the rotating titles (ok, I do, but I still don’t really want to), but one of them is “Few Will Leave Their Place to Come Here for Some Minutes.” The exhibition is up at the Renaissance Society through June 28th. Enjoy the Topo!

ACRE Moves to New Chicago Space!

BIG F’IN DEAL ALERT!: Our better half, ACRE, is moving to a new space! We’ll spare you the details (because hopefully they’re flooding your Facebook feed as you’re reading this) but please check out the Kickstarter campaign and watch the video below!


Speaking of Links, unless you live under a rock you probably know that Live to Tape Festival happened last week. Of course the video curation was point, but we were equally impressed with the live performances. We particularly loved this performance, Space Pursues Them by Andrew Mausert-Mooney, Kera Mackenzie and Nate Whelden. We’re not quite sure why Mausert-Mooney needed to spray water on Whelden but we were to into it to care.

Vaudeo Motion performing at Live to Tape last Thursday evening during “Ecstatic Static.”

Live to Tape also brought us the opportunity to see Marisa Williamson’s immaculately executed talk show, Hemings and Hawings, where the artist (as Sally Hemings) interviewed Monica, Whoopi, Oprah and Marilyn. Thanks L2T! Are we doing this again next year? 😉

Since we have fashion on the brain we’d be loathe not to point out Marie Casimir’s amazing Madonna jacket she sported throughout Live to Tape. She kept trying to tell us that it wasn’t about the Material Girl, but we’re not hearing it!

Header image features a detail image of The Chicago 77, a 77-line poem comprised of found text and objects from each of Chicago’s 77 community areas currently on view at the Poetry Foundation until May 29th!

Got any T? email me!
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Seriously! We want to hear from you now more than ever as we transition into managing the Bad at Sports blog!


EDITION #42

March 31, 2015 · Print This Article

Clothes Don’t Make the Artist

In the words of a great man, “ATTN FASHION CLUB”. This seasons’ looks are something to get worked up about. Here’s a rundown of some favorites:

A vote for Chuy is a vote for classy button wear.

Chuy buttons are totes trending. This rainbow version is particularly stylin’, but will Chuy stay en vogue post April 7th?

Hickson bathing suit

Hickson’s suit design.

Clay and Wylie

[Fashion] Designer Clay Hickson with his intern, Wylie.

Friend of WTT? and riso printers alike, Clay Hickson, is exploding the apparel game. Nothing is making me more excited for Summer than these hottie bathing suits by Clay Hickson for Leilanni swimwear. On the more affordable end, Editorial Magazine also recently released a t-shirt and sweater designed by Hickson. If you’re like me and can’t get enough Clay, the Tan & Loose proprietor is opening the third edition of Tan Lines on April 17th at Solid State.

Goyanes and Castillo pose

Goyanes and Castillo’s personality photo.

Boys from Miami (and their strange apparel choices) just make my heart melt. Domingo Castillo and Rob Goyanes are a modern day Don and Pancho, Sacco and Vanzetti, Ru and Michelle. Fashion is all about attitude, man. Scope the cuties and their adventures Goyanes’ piece for the Miami Rail.

dfbrl8r gallery

Dressing the Future in My Humility by Joshua McGarvey at dfbrl8r.

As die-hard anti-pajamas-in-public advocates, we hate to admit that sweatpants are having their day in the sun. We couldn’t deny it anymore after attending Joshua McGarvey’s opening at dfbrl8r on the evening of March 14th. McGarvey greeted each person who entered the space with a child sized pair of blue sweatpants, while the rest of the gallery space was strewn with piles of pants and the vestiges of their making. Wake us up when this sweatpant nightmare is over.

Reading is Fundamental

Think of this as your month in review.

  • Why Do I Give a Shit about Art
    Can’t get this thought piece from resident writer, Jacob Wick, out of our collective hive mind. Please send any and all answers to badatsports@gmail.com. CC Wick.
  • Five Steps to Performative Lectures at Defibrillator
    Sid Branca brings us deep into her brain during the closing performances for Thomas Friel and Dao Nguyen. We can’t wait to see what Branca brings back from her trip to Milwaukee to cover MarKEt/FORWARD.
  • Echo: Jackie Saccoccio at C v. D
    Kevin Blake’s poetic and effervescent review of Saccoccio’s opening muses echos themselves and on the paintings as dialogue between the artist, the viewer and the artists again.
  • Double Duty in Atlanta:
    Eric Asobe asks “If someone slips on a banana peel in a forest and no one sees it, does anyone laugh?” in his review of Pratfal Tramps at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Meanwhile, Meredith Kooi got “Lifted” in her interview with community organizers Clint Fluker, Nasim Mahboubi Fluker, Miriam Denard.
  • Mobility in In the Absence of a Body and Cuban Virtualities
    In her first post for the blog, Vanessa Gravenor asks “Is liberation a blessing, or a curse?”. Turns out when you’re talking about Cuban artists the answer isn’t very simple.

Header image features work by our newest most favorite artist, Mika Horibuchi, in her exhibition View with a Room with work by Dan Rizzo-Orr at Heaven Gallery. Killer exhibition. On view through May 3rd.

Got any T? email me!
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Seriously! We want to hear from you now more than ever as we transition into managing the Bad at Sports blog!


The Weatherman Report

Pond Weeds #34, 2014, unique color photograph, frame, 38 x 30 inches, Ed. 1 of 1 + 1AP by Jessica Labatte. On view at Western Exhibitions until April 25th.

Local Art Org Experiencing Seriously Major News Week

How will Chicago deal? After 15 years in Chicago, with 12 at the helm of Chicago’s beloved Threewalls, Chi’s favorite bespectacled Canadian (sore-ry Duncan), Shannon Stratton has finally caught the NYC bug. As that Yankee outlet reported last week, Stratton will join the Museum of Art and Design as their Chief Curator in June. On the bright side, her departure is probably the most simultaneous exposure Chicago’s had in major art news outlets like ever.

Of course, it’s not Stratton’s style to just up and leave in the middle of the night one night stand style. Her outgoing initiatives at Threewalls are some of the organization’s most ambitious to date. In particular, a fundraiser for the fourth edition of PHONEBOOK (a biennial-ish directory of independent and noncommercial art spaces, programming, and projects throughout the United States) just launched this week. New this year is a stretch goal to create the Phonebook App, which I really REALLY hope gets funded (in other words, give it $ up y’all!). To us, the app seems like the natural expression of the PHONEBOOK project, and would enable users to find and add alternative art venues in real time and space via their smart phone. But, y’know, don’t take my word for it, Stratton and now-Interim Director, Abby Statinsky, make a much more compelling case in their promo video:

As if that wasn’t enough to hold you over, Stratton also recently announced her final mega-event with Threewalls, NEON DREAMS, on May 29th. Everyone within earshot of this blog is already very aware of Threewalls ability to throw a bangin party, but we can’t help but mention the triumphant return of Patti Spliff (aka the most gorgeous Sailor Moon-esque queen we’ve ever seen). We challenge you to plan a more exciting going away party than this one.

Stratton’s last curatorial effort at Threewalls, Fraser Taylor’s Orchid/Dirge, opens this Friday evening from 6-9PM.

T around Town

Taking on the editorship of Bad at Sports has been interesting (to say the least) it’s also led us to neglect this little ole column, but like suburbanites on St. Paddy’s Day, WTT? is back! Between Kanye, Chuy and Shannon, shit has just been too OOC lately. We couldn’t help ourselves.

That’s not to say there hasn’t been work to talk about in the meantime. A few moments stick out: EJ Hills’ Form Fit lecture at Gallery 400 in January, Meghan Moe Beitiks’s exhibition on the Fermilab at Water Street Studios, and Third Object’s Mossy Cloak at Roots & Culture. With the beginning of Spring flirtations and the 500th episode of the B@S podcast in the can (miss you already, Rich), we’re looking forward to catching up and walking outside with less than 6 layers on! Here are some of our more recent spring awakenings:

Smart Museum Opening

Visitors at the opening of the Smart Museum’s Objects and Voices around Antony Gormley’s Infinite Cube (2014)

Kayla Guthrie performs songs from her album Blue inside the Contemporary Art Daily offices on March 16th.

If you haven’t seen this little gem of an exhibition, go see Gordon Matta-Clark’s Circus at Rhona Hoffman, before the show closes April 18th. The images are from Matta-Clark’s last sculptural building cutting before his untimely death in 1978. Oh yeah, and it just happens to be the old MCA building on Ontario, NBD (wait, YBD).

Really enjoyed Alfredo Salazar-Caro’s Border Crossing Simulator Beta in the recently closed EXODUS exhibition at the Arts Incubator in Hyde Park.

If loving camouflage is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. If you missed Mossy Cloak curated by up-and-coming collective Third Object, well shame on you. You can make it up at the opening of the collabo’s newest exhibition, Were the Eye Not Sunlike, this Friday night (4/3) at Fernway Gallery. The exhibition continues online at ACREtv.org, so there’s really no excuse this time.

Kind of really feeling these dyed worked by Cody Tumblin (best name or what?) on view now at Devening Projects. His and Angharad Davies (also very worthwhile, but difficult to photograph) work is also on view through April 18th.

Was really excited to get a glimpse into what Alberto Aguilar is cooking up with Laura Shaeffer at her new art space in the former O’Gara and Wilson book store in Hyde Park. We shared a lovely afternoon over lunch talking about the possibilities and history of the space. And heard Regin Igloria is already hosting book binding classes in the space.

USA Fellows Gather at the W Hotel in Chicago

Stars Align for Artists Assembly

Have you ever thought about how much cooler art panels would be if you were sitting elbow to elbow with acclaimed artists like Ann Hamilton and Wangechi Mutu? Sounds like some sort of weird art historian dream, but that pretty much sums up our experience last Tuesday at the Artists Assembly, hosted by United States Artists at the W Hotel on Lakeshore. The Assembly had everything we needed for a day of arts engagement. The space was impeccable, coffee was readily available, and USA’s gorgeous program schedule featured a very useful facebook (the analog kind). We were impressed to see our good friend Todd King’s name listed as its designer.

Mark Bradford fields a question during the morning’s “Creative Conversation”.

Tuesday morning started off with an introduction from USA Director, Carolina García Jayaram, and a conversation on Artists and Developers as Community Stabilizers, featuring USA Fellow and Trustee Mark Bradford who spoke on his newly opened Art + Practice Foundation in LA. As you might expect, Bradford was charming and droll, and along with Mitch Cope of Power House Productions, an interesting counterpoint to USA Board Chair, Steve Oliver, a San Francisco Developer.

The rest of the day was filled with panels interspersed with PechaKucha presentations by USA’s extremely diverse group of fellows. I fell in love with the work of Deanna Dikeman, a photographer and ballroom dancer, who showed gripping images of her Midwestern family. Other memorable presentations included 2014 USA Rockefeller Dance Fellow, d. Sabela Grimes’ rousing afro-futurist one man show, and home team heroes, Matthew Goulish and Lin Hixson, presentation of a usually unusual telling of the collaborative work of Every house has a door.

Ann Hamilton and Candida Alvarez at the Artists Assembly closing event.

Weirdly (or maybe no so weirdly) our favorite moments of the conference took place in between presentations in hallways, bathrooms and the like. Elevator conversations with Visual Arts Fellows Willie Birch and Ann Hamilton (who also serves on USA’s Board) were major highlights. We had a splendid time discussing Kansas City with Deanna Dikeman (of ballroom fame) and Esther Park (of Youngarts in Miami) over lunch. Meeting Darryl Montana (aka Big Chief Yellow Pocahontas) of New Orleans at the end of the days program was beyond major. The Chief gave us a short primer on the history of the Black Indians, and his family’s involvement going back six (!) generations. His latest costume, a white triple crowned ensemble that would put any drag queen to shame, was nothing sort of immaculate.

USA CEO Carolina García Jayaram and Kristen Kaza of No Small Plans looking way too fab at the AA closing event.

Due to prior obligations, we unfortunately had to miss the tours of the Poetry and Rebuild Foundations and the closing party (which social media tells us featured MANY disco balls), but we’re already planning our outfits for next years’ Artists Assembly in Miami!


Edition #41 – Art Basel Miami Beach: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

December 10, 2014 · Print This Article

Local’s Only

When I moved back to Miami from New College in Sarasota in 2009, a new gallery opened on NW 7th Ave called OHWOW (Our House West of Wynwood). During that year’s edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, OHWOW mounted an exhibition called “It Ain’t Fair” which included a work by Aaron Young entitled “Locals Only.”

Local’s Only, image via ArtSlant.

Nearby on 41st Street, Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz debuted their 3 story, 30,000 sq foot private museum space including an Ana Mendieta vault that had it’s own separate lock and was only open for viewing when Mrs. de la Cruz was in the building.

That same year the now shuttered Bar on 14th street opened as a facsimile of NYC’s Max Fish. I’m pretty sure that 2009 was also the year that Pharrell William’s debuted the chair he designed in partnership with Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin. I always thought the chair looked pretty coital. Looking back, maybe it was an omen of the celebrity clusterfuck to follow in the coming years as the rich slowly shed their post-crash modesty. At least William’s makes his home in Miami (Poor guy can’t leave, no one wants to buy his Brickell penthouse!).

Noting that 2009 was the first edition of the fair in the aftermath of the US economic depression, Karen Rosenberg described ABMB as a “delicate organism… [that] requires sunlight, optimism and an abundant supply of collectors with open wallets,” in her review for the New York Times.

Despite the tepid state of the economy, she noted that the fair and its sales weren’t affected too, too much. Aside from this, the most notable thing about the review is the fact that it is primarily ABOUT THE ART. She discusses Kehinde Wiley’s large scale painting of Michael Jackson and Tom Scicluna and Nicolas Lobo’s pirate radio station at NADA, which had just moved to Miami Beach’s Deauville Hotel from the Ice Palace on North Miami Ave.

Fast forward to 2014, and there is so much competing for your attention that the art itself gets lost and even Eva and Adele look routine.

Me, nearish to Eva & Adele in 2009 outside the convention center. I think my friend Cesar Mantilla made me take this.

Since 2009, the increasingly extensive coverage granted to the Miami art extravaganza in the Times is primarily confined to parties, celebrity, prices and failure. In light of the rampant societal problems plaguing our country, this year a troubled anxiety hung around the fair and it’s corresponding events. Trayvon Martin, Reefa, Mike Brown and Eric Garner were in everyone’s eyes, on their minds and protruding from their lips. While the general merriment and partying persevered, it certainly had an effect on the vibe. Or at least my experience of it (Linda Yablonsky seemed unfazed).

Kristin “says something smart.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, the ever eloquent Liz Tracy.

I actually read this sentence in a NYT Magazine recap of the week: “The most quintessentially South Floridian event must have been the island housewarming of the prominent Russian collector Maria Baibakova, who chartered VanDutch boats to speed guests though the twilight to the Spanish mansion formerly inhabited by Cher.”

I almost couldn’t think of anything less “quintessentially South Floridian” than a Russian collector’s housewarming party (gag me with a spoon). Also, isn’t it “Von Dutch”? Or maybe I just haven’t ascended quite yet. After this I probably never will. What do New Yorkers know about Miami anyway? Don’t worry y’all, I care about art and I’ll give it to you straight.

Stopped in a Churchill’s one night to confirm to myself that some things never change.

Personally, my nomination for “most South Floridian” would be for #ihaitibasel, or the Thursday night Kelela/ Future Brown performance at the Perez Art Museum Miami (formerly the Miami Art Museum, but at least the word Miami is still IN the name).

Knowing my hometown a little too well, I would also have to nominate the opening of a new “institution,” the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, as the most Miami thing possible. More on that elsewhere in this edition of the T.

#ihaitibasel was a week long event at various spaces [loosely] in the Little Haiti neighborhood that featured local and visiting artists alike. The front page of the #ihaitibasel website invites you to explore various venues on the mainland of Miami, as most ABMB visitors flock to the island of Miami Beach and never leave. For most Miami artists, the mainland is where the year round action is. It’s also where the majority of people live and work.

An online map pointed out venues like Swampspace, run by the delightful Oliver Sanchez, and Gucci Vitton, the artist run gallery on 82nd street that has received much deserved attention for their exhibition by Ida Eritsland, Geir Haraldseth and Agatha Wara (formerly of Bas Fisher Invitational) in collaboration with Bjørnar Pedersen.

Oceans of Notions at Swampspace.

The large thin reified internet banners hanging in Monday night’s Luxury Face opening commented on contemporary culture and trends through digitally collaged images and non sequitur text about babies and consumerism. I caught up with friends and spotted someone in a “Bad at Sports” t-shirt. Monday night and we were already in full swing.

Spotted!

Luxury Face at Gucci Vitton.

Monday night also saw the semi-local opening at Emerson Dorsch Gallery, featuring Miami artists Hugo Montoya and Brandon Opalka, as well as the NY gallery Regina Rex’s “Cemeterium,” a sprawling sculpture/ performance garden in the Dorsch’s back yard.

Work by Hugo Montoya at Dorsch.

The title of the exhibition, “BACK ON EARTH, a tragicomedy in two parts,” fits the rambunctious Montoya to a T. At the opening, Montoya toured me through his show, relating his epic journey to retrieve the negative for a large print of the artist as an adolescent in headgear from his mom’s house. Then he turned off the lights in the gallery to bask in his backlight metallic fountains on mirrored plinths.

Hugo Montoya on view in the de la Cruz Collection kitchen.

Light’s out on Montoya’s sculpture fountains.

Despite the fact that I still can’t help but call it the Miami Art Museum, I thought the Thursday night PAMM first anniversary party was pretty boss, and I didn’t even find DIS Magazine THAT obnoxious. Miami should be the focus of these types of events and I was pleased to see my city and its major new museum in such flattering light (I did think the water jetpacks were a little much, though).

Mark Handforth’s light installation with work by Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza.

Leyden Rodriguez, Frances Trombly, Gean Moreno and Glexis Novoa at PAMM Thursday night.

T around Town

Adler Guerrier inside of his exhibition at PAMM on Thursday night’s anniversary party and opening.

Work in Guerrier’s exhibition, Formulating a Plot. The signs say things like “don’e be bored, alarmed or afraid Blck Power is equitable.”

Amanda Sanfillipo in the Locust Project’s booth at NADA.

Work by Daniel Arsham in the Locust Project space on North Miami Ave.

The gorgeous Anita outside before performing at the Zone’s Art Fair on 82nd Street.

All I want for Christmas is this beautiful diptych by NY based artist, Carson Fisk Vittori (right). These and other works were on view in the Carrie Secrist booth at Untitled.

A enormous sun print by Chris Duncan at the entrance to Untitled. Duncan’s work was on view with Halsey Mckay Gallery.

Best ever instagram of the Art World: Sibylle Friche caught this precious moment in front of a painting by Tim Bergstrom, also in the Hasley McKay booth.

Local favorites, Dracula, performs at Emerson Dorsch gallery on Friday, Dec. 5th.

Ran into an old friend, Jordan Thompson, screen printing at Marc Jacobs’ new story with his business The Fine Print Shoppe.

Marc gets it.

The Weatherman Report

Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome, originally designed in 1965, in the Miami Design District.

Everyone was there and looking real cute. I ran into Nicholas Frank outside under the H&VM fern trellises and toured the museum’s exhibitions with him. I nearly freaked out at a man who was touching my favorite Thomas Hirschhorn gold CNN piece, but otherwise enjoyed seeing the work on display and checking out all the new collection gifts PAMM has received in the past year (many of which I recognized from my work with the Craig Robins Collection in the Design District). The GPS exhibition was impressive, though not over hung (like everything else everywhere— looking at you Bass Museum, Peter Marino).

Nicholas Frank takes in a monumental work by Gary Simmons at the PAMM.

Could you not? Also, how is it that if I sniff a work of art I’m toast, but this guy can just manhandle the art!?

I LOVED the Leonor Antunes room in the front entrance (check my B@S interview with the artist about her PAMM opening at MACO last February). Beatriz Milhazes’ paintings aren’t my thing, but big selfie draw so I guess that’s OK. The upstairs room featuring Mark Handforth’s Western Sun light installation and work by various other Miami artists, including Loriel Beltran and Glexis Novoa was the bees knees. Unlike my friend and fellow asocial mediator, I wasn’t super into the Let’s Make the Water Black animatronic room thingy.

Leonor Antunes in the front room of PAMM.

Laz Rodriguez and Dana Goldstein outside of PAMM on Thursday night.

The Queen, Kelela, performing in the rain outside of PAMM.

Right outside PAMM in front of Biscayne Bay, Kelela’s performance was entrancing to say the least, and she was totally a trooper. As the audience ran for cover in the face of a tiny Miami drizzle she just kept singing, working the fog machine rain combo like a genie in a flowy blue dress. I spotted Dev Hynes of Blood Orange in the crowd along with Miami artists Dylan Romer, Lazaro Rodriguez and Dana Goldstein. Just before I had to leave to see Clams Casino and FKA Twigs with my friends at Young Arts, we were kicked out for taking off our wristbands too soon. ¯\_(?)_/¯

FKA Twigs was chill. You can read Rob’s review of the performance, and I am 100% in agreement with his take. Also, maybe a good time to note that WTF!? Gigi’s in Midtown was owning Basel events on the mainland.

Gallery Diet’s Emmett Moore booth at Design Miami. From the Design Miami blog, photo by James Harris. (I left my phone in the car so I’m missing images of Coral Morphologic, too.).

Other highlights included the opening of Design Miami, and specifically the presence of two booths in the back corner of the fair (near the bathrooms): the Gallery Diet solo booth by Emmett Moore, and Coral Morphologic’s booth complete with a sea anemone Oculus Rift and ceiling projection. Moore, a native of Miami, continues to impress with his artistic design work. His quirky, modular pieces had everyone in Miami talking and beaming with pride. I would take the whole booth (including that sweet printed packing blanket). Days after the opening we heard that other galleries (including Chicago’s own Volume Gallery) were clamoring for meetings with the young designer.

Coral Moropho’s Jared McKay posts about meeting Andre 3000 in their Design Miami booth.

Work by Pepe Mar in the David Castillo pop-up exhibition.

Far and away the best exhibition I encountered last week was Guaynabichean Odyssey by José Lerma, curated by Kristin Korolowicz at David Castillo’s new permanent space on Lincoln Road. Unfortunately, Castillo’s strange and unfortunately flat “pop-up” on the ground level distracted from Lerma’s show, as many people I spoke to had visited the raw and defunct club space chocked full art, but missed the new space on the 4th floor.

Upstairs, Korolowicz took me on a wonderful tour of the exhibition, discussing Lerma’s interest in Ponce de Leon and the Fountain of Youth. The triangulation of Lerma being from Puerto Rico and mounting the exhibition in Miami was just too perfect. There was also a large scale shower curtain depicting a baroque recreation of the Fountain. All of the figures had characteristic Lerma double eyes, I couldn’t help but sympathize.

Lerma’s coup de grâce was presented in the back of the exhibition space where the artist had created a mind bending hyper colorful light installation with paintings (a visual timeline starting with Ponce de Leon and ending close to present day, as the paintings became increasingly smaller). It was really amazing, but hard to explain without seeing— check out the video of the installation above. Just before leaving I ran into Miami celebs Otto Von Schirach and Monica Lopez De Victoria of the TM Sisters (who had a very cool palm tree installation in the weird club). As always, they looked ready for their close up so I made them take a photo in front of Lerma’s work.

Monica and Otto. Now in technicolor. PS- At the opening Monica told me her to-die-for vintage dress was by Miami fashion designer Sheila Natasha, who’s in the collection of the Met!

Agustina Woodgate’s radio broadcast from Spinello’s AUTO BODY exhibition on the beach was also among my favorite offerings. While I unfortunately missed the performances (I really really wanted to see Kembra, Naama and Cheryl, but I could only take so much beach commotion and traffic), it was delightful to listen to Woodgate’s deep voice and adorable diction as I braved what felt like every single inch of Florida highway from Ives Dairy Road to the Rickenbacker Causeway.

Live Radio Espacio Estacion taping at AUTO BODY.

Some pretty cool exit ramp art + plants on I-95.

Agustina invited a cadre of female movers and shakers that included personal faves, Lauren “Lolo” Reskin of Sweat Records (voted by me as obviously the best record store in Miami) and musician/ stylist Sarah Attias. On the way to visit my cousins in Davie, I got really into trying to understand the engrossing conversation between Woodgate and Karla Damian, from Miami Dade Transport about public transit in Miami en español.

Saturday night, after stopping in to see AUTO BODY, I headed down to Vizcaya for the worst named exhibition at pretty much the best place in the city. If you don’t know what Vizcaya is, educate yourself. It’s totally worth visiting outside of Art Basel, and it’s what elementary school field trips are made of. I just love it there. Even better, the outdoor sculpture exhibition was a showcase of Miami’s best and brightest including Felecia Carlisle, Adler Guerrier, Brookhart Jonquil, Jillian Mayer, Emmett Moore, Christina Peterson and Magnus Sigurdarson (with Domingo Castillo).

Float in the Vizcaya pool by MFA students from the Florida International University’s College of Architecture + The Arts

I ran into the entire Newberry family, and was delighted to make the acquaintance of the Moore family as well. I had a lovely chat with Misael Soto waiting in line for a glass of wine where we discussed his killer performance series, this is happening, at Dorsch and his own work as an artist. I was surprised to happen upon Siebren Versteeg in the hedge maze, where he mentioned how enchanted he was by visiting the baroque Italian-style gardens and mansion last year that he made a point to return for 2014’s opening.

Late Sunday night, outside of the 71st street warehouse, as I watched a squarish blonde girl with her tits out scream at a crowd of what I was told were “a bunch of Bushwick hipsters who hadn’t been hugged enough by their parents,” the goings on of the last week swirled in my head. I wish I had time to ruminate more, maybe write many pieces instead of this near stream of consciousness. I couldn’t stop thinking about Young’s “Local’s Only” and how annoyed I was with the whole affair, the back and forth, the distractions.

The dance troupe who performed with Zebra Katz performing outside of the warehouse on 71st Street.

There was so much going on I started to feel bad for not feeling bad about missing many of the cool things and people I was in close proximity to. (Sidenote: I am pleased, though, that I missed the instagram panel in favor of Dan Duray’s snarky coverage.) Thankfully, I ran into Ibett and Juan from the de la Cruz Collection and their candid company put me at ease.

OP-ED: WTF is going on with the ICA?

Before we get started a short recap: Bonnie Clearwater failed to secure the money to expand the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), left for Fort Lauderdale, a 26 year old curator named Alex Gartenfeld became the interim director, the board wanted to merge with the Bass Museum on South Beach, but, after a bitter battle against the city of North Miami ultimately ended up splitting off, creating a new museum in the posh Design District, taking collection objects and digital assets with them.

For a longer, more in-depth recap check the Art News piece. At what cost indeed.

Ok, now that we’re all up to speed: About that newly minted ICA. I was impressed with their, and seemingly everyone else’s, ability to gloss over the brutal and ugly debacle between the ICA and MOCA during the effervescence of last week. I’ve been watching the story develop from afar since Rosa de la Cruz first spilled the beans in an interview in the Miami New Times.

Now that I’ve had the chance to discuss its opening with Miamians and see the space for myself, I have a few questions and things to put down in digital ink. I grew up attending MOCA and formative parts of my art education took place in the museum. To this day, I think that Ruba Katrib’s stint at the museum brought some of the best and most thoughtful solo surveys I’ve ever seen (Ceal Floyer, Ryan Trecartin, Claire Fontaine & Katrib is now at the Sculpture Center to boot).

The behind the scenes stories I’ve heard about the gutting of MOCA make me physically ill. It’s seriously some Vice City shit. For example, how did the ICA get away with stealing all of MOCA’s computers?! It’s totally loca. I haven’t met Alex Gartenfeld, but it seems like the entire city (minus his sleepover buddy, Irma) thinks he’s a jerk, and the fact that he declined to apply for grants which MOCA depends on seems to support that opinion. Seriously not cute.

Speaking of grants, I also can’t quite wrap my head around WHY the Knight Foundation felt it necessary or appropriate to fund the ICA, when the vanity institution clearly has the advantage of a strong and wealthy board, as well as extremely wealthy supporters. Meanwhile, they pulled a 5 million dollar grant from the MOCA for lack of confidence.

Finally, I just don’t understand why the Brahman’s couldn’t put up the money for the North Miami expansion when it ends up that now they are building a whole new museum out of pocket! That is of course, unless the board just felt that North Miami was too poor and the demographic too black to host a world class museum, or be worth the investment. It certainly wouldn’t be as brag-worthy as a shiny new space in an up and coming area of town valued at 1.4 billion dollars. And if that is the case then I guess I have to admit, it all makes sense.

I know a lot of people have been passing around this article on the internet in the wake of Basel. So here is my version of Is Art a Mere Luxury Good? by Georges Didi-Huberman, Giorgio Agamben and Pierre Alferi et al., modified to reflect my feelings about the ICA:

It seems urgent to us in this moment to demand that public institutions cease to serve the interests of individual collectors through adherence to their ‘artistic’ choices and real estate whims. We don’t have a moral lesson to give. We only want to open a long-deferred debate and say why we do not see the inauguration of the Institute for Contemporary Art Miami as any cause for celebration.

Based on the opinions of my colleagues, the future of the MOCA is grim to say the least. Especially with a shiny new ICA on the horizon in the Design District. And where is Bonnie Clearwater in all of this!?

Please help me figure it out! Are we there yet?

And another thing. The underhanded dealings of the ICA may not be surprising to most, and something about blaming “TINA” as an excuse for local artists and patrons supporting the museum. Others are staying silent on the matter, probably in order to keep their options open and not bristle the omnipotent Knight Foundation. But I am surprised that in all of the discussions of #BlackLivesMatter and Art Basel that this situation and its impact on the community of North Miami wasn’t picked up in any big way by the media (I suspect that the issue is too complicated and the major players too rich to affiliate spuriously with the murder of black men across the country).

When I read that Mykki Blanco got up on a table to say that “[Klaus] Biesenbach doesn’t care about black people unless they’re famous” at a MOMA party on the beach I, for once, wished I had been on the island. Based on rumors and conversations, it seems like Blanco is on point when it comes to the German curator and Director of MoMA PS1. I felt a kinship with the ArtForum diary writer, Sarah Nicole Prickett (in contrast to the party whining of most coverage). The moon was really that enormous.

Even the usually upbeat Theaster Gates couldn’t help but voice his own discomfort at the lack of race discourse during the art fair while sitting on a panel with Paula Crown for the artist’s TRANSPOSITION installation. The Mykki Blanco incident cast Jeffery Dietch’s mistakenly calling P. Diddy “Kanye West” at an art fair last year in a different light. Does he not care about Black people either? Maybe it’s just a rich people thing.

#ihaitibasel Creates Safe Space for Weary Miami Art Crowd

More effecting and impressive than the demonstrations that shut down I-195 (and certainly more poignant than getting arrested for the sake of publicity) was the unmistakable presence of #ihaitibasel.

Showing up late at night after art hopping across the city, I knew I’d see at least a familiar face or two. #ihaitibasel felt insulated from the foreign invasion east of the bay. It just felt real real, like General Practice, or La Cueva on a better than good night. Being in a warehouse on 71st Street, or at the Thrift Store/ Concert Hall on 59th street eased the tension and strangeness I and everyone else [with a heart] felt as complicit participators in the extreme hedonism of the week.

Jorge Rubiera, Monica Peña and Max Johnston outside on the opening night of #ihaitibasel.

The collective organization of the event was a welcome anecdote to the celebrity hosted parties on the beach, favoring content and substance over ego. The producers, Tara Long (Miami), Kathryn Chadason (NYC), Sarah MK Moody (Miami), Ariella Mostkoff, Emily Singer (NYC), Elizabeth Kenney (NYC), Deon Rubi (Miami) and Tatiana Devere (Miami) were approached by the owners of the Little Haiti Thrift Store, Mimi and Schiller Sabon-Jules, after a ‘Little Haiti Small Business Association’ meeting at the Caribbean Marketplace just six weeks before the event was scheduled to take place.

The media’s conflation of killer cops and Art Basel Miami Beach caused me to wonder if Black lives will matter through the next news cycle or not. Especially now that we have a new distraction to worry about in the CIA torture briefs. While our peers across the country demonstrated and hosted conversations about race politics in the United States, attendees at #ihaitibasel came together, shared culture (and this unmarked passion fruit “beverage” that was pretty off the chain) and tried to get along.

The front of the Kriz Rara parade. Photo by Sarah MK Moody and #ihaitibasel.

Kriz Rara performing behind the Thrift Store. Photo by Sarah MK Moody for #ihaitibasel.

One of the most affecting moments of the entire trip was the procession during #ihaitibasel’s opening night on Wednesday, December 3rd. The evening featured the release of the Strangeways zine with a performance by Richard Kennedy of Hercules and the Love Affair. I managed to buy myself a fur muff for Chicago from Mimi Sabon-Jules, who owns the store with her husband, Schiller. (The thrift store is a freaking goldmine for fur and other winter accessories that are irrelevant in Miami.)

Kennedy performing inside of the Little Haiti Thrift Store.

I actually ran into Melena Ryzik interviewing Schiller. When I inquired, Ryzik cagily responded that she wrote for the New York Times. Cool. Whatever, at least she seemed to be into it. Afterwards the Haitian music group, Kriz Rara, led a parade that traveled all the way from 59th street to the satellite space on 71st street where another local, Rainer Davies and his band performed spotless instrumental covers of Sade songs for the audience. It sounded and felt like magic.

Mimi Sabon-Jules running behind the Kriz Rara parade up NE 2nd Ave.

There were certainly lots of young hip New Yorkers (see: anyone from outside of Miami) around #ihaitibasel (most likely due to the presence of performers like Prince Rama, Zebra Katz and Mykki Blanco), but there were also a ton of local Haitian people from the area and a good sampling of Miami artists.

Zebra Katz performing to a packed crowd. Photo by Sarah MK Moody for #ihaitibasel.

Zebra Katz performing “Ima Read” at the Little Haiti Thrift Store.

#ihaitibasel gave me a great excuse to avoid the traffic and excess of the beach. It felt fresh and was something I’d want to do outside of art week (I still can’t get over that whole Miley Cyrus thing. Straight up just don’t get why people want to see her perform so badly. I saw the VMA’s and that was enough.).

Mystical Monica Uszerowicz reading tarot in the Little Haiti Thrift Store. Photo by Sarah MK Moody for #ihaitibasel.

Shout out to the powerful women who put the festivities together. I’m looking forward to seeing more from the group in the months and years to come.

Very cool sculpture work by Matt Nichols. Feeling his Brancusi vibes, though I hated how overcrowded Untitled (and all of the fairs felt). You don’t have to cover every square inch! And while I’m at it, the thing where the booths rotate the work each day is just dumb. Who goes to the same fair every day to see the work change? I’m showing up once and I want to see it all.

Really gorgeous ekat weaving by Margo Wolowiec at NADA.

Work by Tony Lewis and the ever adorable gallerist, Eric Rushman, at Shane Campbell’s booth in NADA.

Monique Meloche and gallery director, Allison Glenn, speak with artists Derrick Adams and new friend Sam on the last day of Untitled. The group is framed by Ebony Patterson sculptures in MM’s booth.

Naama Tsabar and Agustina Woodgate at the Mikesell’s annual house party.


A patron getting their photo taken in front of work by Alex Isreal at the de la Cruz Collection.
Brad Lovett and I on Konstanin Grcic’s Netscape in the Miami Design District.

Oli and Lulu Sanchez at Swampspace.

Work by Julie Bena at Joseph Tang’s booth in NADA.

The localist of the local. Kevin Arrow’s Beatles Mandala (Amor=Love) celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles landing in Miami Beach on Collins and 73rd Street. Arrow of #myhandholdingthings fame, traveled to India to complete work on the mandala earlier this year.

Crowded at Sad Bar. I mean, Sand Bar.

Ran into fellow ACRE alumn, Theo Elliot, at NADA.

Chris Cook helping Shannon Stratton show off her shoes at PAMM on Thursday night.

The dude from Xeno & Oaklander matching himself during a performance at Gramps on Friday night.

Header image is a detail of work by Glexis Novoa titled Luz Permanente (Ivan Shadr), 2013, Graphite on canvas, 6 x 12 feet, on view at the Perez Art Museum Miami.

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