UNTITLED Preview Gala: Val Kilmer, Marina Abramovic, Nip Slips, and Tons of Tech
Last year, popular art themes during Art Basel included Warhol, guns, Warhol, street art, and more Warhol. But if the UNTITLED art fair is an indicator of this year's offerings, 2013 will be the year of new technology. (And also B-list celebrities. Hello, Val Kilmer!)
Seth Browarnik, World Redeye for Grey Goose Vodka Val Kilmer and Marina Abramovic at UNTITLED.
UNTITLED opened last night with a gala attended by people as diverse as Kilmer, Marina Abramovic, Otto von Schirach, and Sam Borkson of FriendsWithYou -- as well as 85 exhibitors from 18 different countries. Miami's own artist duo the TM Sisters staged an earthy performance piece in which performers dressed as each of the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water) en route to the ocean, fueled by the sounds of beatboxing and singing.
One performer -- a mother earth/sea turtle hybrid -- even suffered a bit of a nip slip. But hey, what's Basel without boobs?
Anyway. On to the art.
When we first walked into the large tent and passed the ticketing booths, we saw a series of sculptures. Down the hallway, a man wearing a cosmic print onesie with a large black contraption on his head - later it will be revealed to be a camera and an iPad on his chest - skipped around dancing to the music in his head and getting all up in people's faces. Later, we couldn't seem to get away from a series of works featuring shattered glass.
We'd barely had a chance to sip on our Grey Goose cocktail before we noticed a pattern: Sculptures. Technology. Mirrors. They are everywhere. They're three related themes in our modern world; each is used to create an alternate version of reality. Art imitates life, friends.
Miami's Michael Jon Gallery was showcasing three artists who are all from Los Angeles. As Alan Gutierrez, one of the owners and operators, put it: "We're trying to make connections between Miami and LA; make Miami a point where we can have other artists come in and show their talent."
Carolina del Busto
Gutierrez, along with Michael Jon Radziewicz, went on to say that they see the art community as ambassadors of the city and "Basel is such a Miami centered thing." But most of the visiting artists come from New York, Los Angeles, or the like, "so we're just showing that this is what we have to offer."
Carolina del Busto Reinventing the wheel?
Two cool pieces they were offering were a pair of stone cylinders that looked like legs protruding from the ground, and car wheels that have been painted, tarnished, and turned into art. The wheels were particularly interesting to observe, especially since they were dead center in an open area, and one of the first eye-catching pieces you'll see when you enter.
Carolina del Busto