Art Basel is that time of the year where people pretend to give a shit about art because it’s cool for five days. Have you ever looked at a heap of garbage that wasn’t really garbage but a sculpted narrative of consumerism and thought, “this is brilliant, I get this, it explains everything.” Neither have I.
However, for those five days where it’s acceptable to pretend you’re an art critic on layover from Zurich, you suddenly give a shit. I am guilty of this as well because I succumb to hype and jerk chicken being sold on the streets of Wynwood.
What else do you succumb to?
Yes, this is going to be one of those articles where some douche bag makes jokes about the exorbitant cost of some art pieces he saw and how he doesn’t “get” what’s on canvas. Also, too many skinny jeans. The only place you’ll find more skinny jeans is in a Chinese sweatshop, and even that might be a stretch.
I’m aware of how simple it is to look at a $7,000 painting and think, “dude, I can do that.” The correct response to that is, “then why didn’t you?” And the proper rebuttal is, “because I didn’t know I could sell that shit for $7,000, but now that I do I’m going to Michael’s tomorrow morning to get myself a canvas, glitter, and some fucking water colors, motherfucker!” You might think the glitter is amateurish and/or passe, but considering I saw a some art that looked like a 1996 screensaver I’d say using glitter would somehow be considered ironic and acceptable. Claim it’s a viewport into a child’s soul and call it a day.
If you’re an artist you’re probably having a mental shit fit right now as I belittle your work. You’re probably also behind on your rent, because you’re poor and the student loans to the Art Institute are killing you, but let’s cover the first point. No, I’m not saying what you do is meaningless, I think art is very important. However, sometimes I see things that emit such a fetid reek of pretentiousness it makes me wonder if the artist is just trying to see what bullshit they can get away with and coerce some white guy with a positive net worth into buying. Sort of like what the Japanese did with sushi.
There was this exhibit I saw which had a bunch of trees. In addition there was a small group of musicians playing various genres of Caribbean music, and I appreciated that. Anyway, the tree thing, they were made from books cut up into pieces. I thought, “oh, I think I get it, it’s the Tree of Knowledge from the Book of Genesis.” Someone else said, “no I think it’s showing how our consumerism is making us kill trees to make books.” I commented, “so the reverse is to make trees out of books as a ‘fuck you’ to publishers?” Fuck that shit. I wish the artist would just come out and tell me I’m wrong and it means such-and-such. The interpretation scheme is a cop out because you can find meaning in absolutely anything, which is probably why a white canvas with a blue smudge sells for $19,000.
Can you make one more joke about the cost of art?
A tip if you’re out there trying to impress the ladies, just comment on how every piece of art is about consumerism. It’s always consumerism. And speaking of the ladies, art shit seems like a great place to hit on women. Personally, I’m always in the market for an artsy-fartsy gal with neurosis and a really pretty face so I figure I should make my way to Art Walk more often since I won’t find them in the mall on account of the whole anti-consuming thing.
As for the event itself, all in all was a good time. There is a lot of art and music that requires little thought behind it, because it just looks/sounds cool and that’s good enough for most of us. I did Wynwood Saturday and the beach Sunday. Any time something big is happening in Miami that doesn’t hamper my morning commute I’m all for it.