Arts

Art Basel diary: Robert Indiana’s spooky sculpture and a rogue rat

For hes a jolly Odd Fellow: Robert Indianas Rum Run (1975/2005)
Photo: Gareth Harris

Shiver me timbers!

A piratical skeleton standing upright in a boat is spooking visitors over at Galerie Gmurzynskas stand. Robert Indianas Rum Run (1975/2005) had pride of place at the late artists beloved home and studio in Vinalhaven, and was at one point housed in the “lock-up” section of the sprawling art complex in Maine. The macabre figure is also dressed in an Odd Fellows Uniform, another link back to Indianas home, which was once the abode of the aforementioned fraternal order. Word reaches us that an Asian museum has acquired the piece, and plans to pair the in-your-face effigy with an installation by Nam June Paik. How many pieces of eight changed hands is unknown.

The chairman of Tefaf Nanne Dekking's Insta selfie with Mel Bochner's mirrored work

Bochner shits you not

The mirrored work Everybody is Full of Shit (2018) by Mel Bochner at Two Palms gallerys stand has become an Insta-favourite with the cheery Art Basel crowd this week for reasons we cannot fathom. One of those who posted a selfie with it was Nanne Dekking, the chairman of another fair company, Tefaf, with the caption “Not much to add…” and the hashtags #artbasel #fullofshit. People full of shit at an art fair? Surely not.

The collecting couple Mera and Don Rubell take a breather
Photo: Gareth Harris

Its game on for the Rubells

The prolific collecting couple Don and Mera Rubell have been darting through the aisles of Art Basel this week, no doubt adding works to the 7,200-strong collection that will fill the new Rubell Museum opening this December in Miamis Allapattah neighbourhood. The 100,000 sq. ft venue in a former industrial building is expected to make a splash during Art Basel in Miami Beach. But on the fair floor, Don was most concerned with getting a high score on the Star Mania app, a popular block crush game where players eliminate groups of bubbles of the same colour. “Theres a logic to this. I can beat most people but not my granddaughter,” confides Don (who was sporting a fetching “Grandpa Don” tote bag).

Germanys Vitra Design Museum hosted a different kind of raindance festival
© Vitra; photo: Dejan Jovanovic

Wet, wet, wet in Weil am Rhein

“Stay hydrated,” was emblazoned on the screen behind the US fashion designer Virgil Abloh as he kicked off his DJ set for the Vitra Design Museums summer party on Wednesday night in Weil am Rhein. Opening with music by Daft Punk and then taking in some Rihanna, Aerosmith, Journey and a bit of The Beatles—one visitor described the playlist as an “an eclectic wedding mix”—Abloh was just getting the crowd going when the heavens opened. But with German efficiency a stack of Vitra umbrellas was whipped out to shelter the partygoers—who did indeed stay well hydrated all night.

Art prankster Massimo Agostinelli claims he bought the deceased rat from a Basel pet shop
© David Owens

Theres a rat in me art fair

Art Basel visitors had to dodge a large rodent on the fair floor on Thursday. The artist prankster Massimo Agostinelli placed a dead rat close to the entrance, causing consternation among the well-heeled fairgoers. Agostinelli tells us that he bought the rat already deceased from a nearby pet shop and named the work Rat Blasé. “There is so much naiveté in the art world. People are not in it for the art but the money,” he says, stressing his love of wordplay. Clever-clogs readers will have noticed that Rat Blasé is, of course, an anagram of Art Basel.

The boys in blue from Squadra Violi at Art Basel's Hidden Bar
Photo: Jose da Silva

The Hidden Bar's secret is out

Where at Art Basel can you get a drink and some ravioli served by young men in sky blue football kits, sit on exercise-ball seats and watch more than 100 different art films? Look no further than the Hidden Bar, tucked up a set of stairs behind the Parkett stand on the second floor and curated by Judith Kakon, Hannah Weinberger and Alice Wilke, who aim to offer a place to “escape from the fair”, Weinberger says. Despite fears from the fair organisers that visitors might not know about the Hidden Bar, it was busy on Thursday afternoon with a chatty and vibrant young crowd, who had clearly eschewed tRead More – Source

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