Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Portable, Storable Collection

Bill and Hillary cookie cutters from the Clinton Library, Little Rock, AR. photos courtesy the author.

As my search for the perfect floaty pen continues I believe I have run across a new small collectible: cookie cutters.

Above are two from the Clinton Library's store in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.

I love that they have a sense of humor about eating either Clinton's head!

Saints cookie cutter, New Orleans.

The down side of this art form is that you better check the work--this cookie cutter from the French Quarter was sub-standard work.

These may be the new small collection that I try, I look forward to understanding what they mean about us.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On the Road Again

Hot mulled wine with pomegranate, cinnamon and star anise.

Kevin and I head out on our holiday road trip, but first, tonight, staff party at my house.

I made a new hot mulled wine recipe last night--I love digging the pomegranate seeds out, it feels very true to the season but I don't care for the streaks of red juice that I found everywhere!

Maple leaf cookies.

Happy holidays everyone, I'll write from the road!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Clue: Art World Version

Part of "Solve the Art Forgery" area at The Magic House, St. Louis.

I've been feeling pretty guilty about not going through all the images I took in Miami two weeks ago (the warm weather seems long long ago and far far away), but the image above, taken during a recent tour of The Magic House, brought me back to my senses.

The Magic House is a great, rambling children's museum run by Beth Fitzgerald and her team. I laughed out loud at a lot of the inventive elements of the Museum, particularly the art whoddunit that included a secret sliding bookshelf and a tube to slide between floors.

The panel above lays out the various suspects in a forgery case, with a CSI-type set of clues leading the kids down the path (evidently the Nanny was looking guilty to that day's kids). The signboard made me wonder: what are the "types" in the art world that are guilty, or innocent? Below are some of the types I found in Miami:

The dealer: This work by Mounir Fatmi was at Lombard-Freid Projects. I've worked with Lea and Jane over the past decade because of our common interests. I loved Fatmi's combination of Muslim prayer rugs with hip hop culture.

The jokester: Gimhongsok's bronze trash bag dog is part Jeff Koons, part mourning of the way we treat other species as throw-aways. As a Korean I assume the artist eats dog--it's on many menus there--so garbage is in the eye of the beholder.

The pioneer: Sam Durant has created numerous bodies of works that dig into influential, if deliberately neglected, episodes in American culture, such as the Black Panthers' resistance to racism in America and the colonization of this continent by white settlers. These three fallen soldiers are funny and somehow deservedly buffeted historical figures.

The entertainer: Judy Wethein's lovely video of a Colombian group singing the American national anthem with their own localized additions was charming, and sad, a little clowning bathos to sober up the frenzy of the fair.

The criminal: Need I say more?

These were but a few of the types I met at the fair.

The ones I like the best are the agitators, the artists who press us to answer questions about why we're here, what we've done and why we're not guilty.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Beach Bums All

Dennis Hopper Self-Portrait with Rock and Cactus, 2010

I arrived in Miami yesterday afternoon for ArtBasel Miami. I've run into to many colleague and friends, saw some good, some mediocre work, things I will pursue down the road.

This work, however, stopped me in my tracks. I didn't get a sense of self-reflection, frankly, this felt like a Llyn Foulkes work depicting him as between a rock and a hard place, which Hopper hardly was. He passed away recently but I suspect his work will go up in value now.

Ah, the market.

We went to a great party at the Bass Museum of Art last night, the opening launch of their three year Caribbean initiative with Puma.Creative. Fantastic. A few years ago the Bass was a sleepy forgotten outlet; now, with the beautiful front entrance park that bounds Collins Avenue, I know the director and pal Silvia Cubina is going to make this place rock.

More soon.