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I had initially decided to ignore Art Basel Miami. I was so thoroughly disgusted by the use of art, even banal art, to decorate a vapid spectacle of greed that I didn’t even want to make fun of it. I figured that I was the only member of even my most extended social network to be aware of it anyway.

I’m passing along this article from Chris Vroom because it raises a lot of the points that I’m too lazy to bring up. Suffice to say that whatever it was that occurred in Miami this past weekend doesn’t have much meaning to me in any practical sense. I no longer find myself wondering why normal people regard artists, and the people who circle around them, as a bunch of flaky, self-indulgent children with way too much money. I wish it weren’t so, but it doesn’t baffle me anymore.

There are no words.........

I have a few thoughts of my own on this subject as well:

Not only do the people at Art Basel Miami not represent the working artists I know, they wouldn’t even recognize us. I can’t imagine P. Diddy hanging out with those friends of mine who work tirelessly on small theater projects that may never find a proper stage.  Or Owen Wilson dancing around the beer tent while Stallone shows his paintings at the booth next to mine at the summer art fair in Ludington. There will be no half-million dollar beach parties at any art fair I’m likely to attend in the future.

Support for the arts in America comes almost entirely from the private sector. An overwhelming majority of that goes to those artists and institutions branded “winners” by the art elite. Meanwhile, wonderfully creative people go unnoticed all over the country, beautiful work unseen. I know that it’s a free country and all, but I still find something wrong with this.

I’m sure there’s a lot of really good work at Art  Basel Miami. Art would be far better served if they showed it without turning it into a pathetic circus.

No artist I know has the luxury of filling a VW Microbus with bananas.  That’s six months worth of food. They’d be eating them instead.

Beyond these insights, there isn’t much more to say……

EDIT: Just when I thought I had it all covered, New York Magazine’s Jerry Saltz unleashes this gem. The last line just about says it all.


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