ArtPalmBeach 2014 at the Coliseum
Ferraris on the Lawn of the Breakers
Copyright Vladimir Kagan, January 29, 2014
Art Basel Miami it wasn’t - but on the plus side, it was cozier, more user friendly and devoid of offensive junk. It was a show full of derivatives and wannabes… But who cares! If you can’t afford the original, who said the copy isn’t good enough. It’s still oil on canvas, or what ever… and the artist who created it is still an artist doing his stuff… you like it… that’s great; derivative or not, you got it for a couple of thousand instead of millions.
P.S. This does not apply to my furniture! Do not buy the knock-off... it is truly inferior and will never have the value of my original nor does it cost anywhere near a million!
Greeting you at the entrance of the Coliseum - a pair of circus aerialist walking a tight-rope - a fitting welcome for an art extravaganza
ArtPalmBeach was a lively show telling us that modern is alive and thriving in Palm Beach. It was a multi-media extravaganza… in fact it felt like an adult craft show with artists experimenting in every material under the sun: neon, LED, copper, bronze, steel, rebar steel, wood, recycled objects, junk, concrete, glass, acrylic, photography, montages, newsprint and some artists even painted in oil on canvas. A large portion of the exhibit was devoted to sculpture and glass seemed to be the predominant material for serious experimentation. There were at least ten galleries exclusively devoted to glass. All the art, however, wasn’t inanimate; there was kinetic art in constant motion, trump l'oeil, and some of it walking on two feet!
A huge multi-media light installation using hundreds of found electronic components makes a impressive welcome to the fair
Last month, I visited Art Basel Miami, showing you the ridiculous and the monstrous. Today, at ArtPalmBeach there was ample kitsch to bitch about, but there also was some pleasing art… I am now stepping into deep water, as it is easier to criticize than to commit to what you like. Here are some of the items I found interesting and amusing.
I am crazy about birds and loved these graceful birds-in-flight -- glass wings on bronze stalks
Multi-colored stripes always catch my attention - note the drips at the bottom of the canvas!
I really liked this concrete and steel arm chair by Vivian Beer
You can't quite see the elegance of this coffee table because of the highly reflective surface
by Timothy Schreiber
Vivian Beer's slick chaise is a great piece of sculpture, even if it's not very comfortable
If you can;t afford an original Wendell Caste, Timothy Schreiber's rocking chaise is a nice variation
The Wexler Gallery from Philadelphia was a newcomer to the show and the only exhibit with furniture
Experimentation was rife at the show - these paintings are constructed of finely twisted news paper and other material
Secret revealed: the painter's tool is a brush! - A miniature trompe-l'oeil sculpture (over a dozen of these in full-size, lined the center island of Park Avenue last year)
My favorite piece at the show - a repousse and bent copper sheet forms the head of a horse by Italian sculptor, Rafael Barrios at Galerie Rauchfeld - Paris
The Other Art Show
The Coliseum wasn’t the only show in town! On the Breaker’s lawn, (the posh Palm Beach hotel on the ocean) there was an equally extravagant exhibit: The Cavallino Concours d’Elegance - The Art of Ferrari. There are few modern cars more beautiful than the racy red and yellow showstoppers of Ferrari… created for the man and woman who has everything and needs a toy to tootle around in. These cars are sculpture in motion - the prices don’t differ too much form the sculpture offered at the Coliseum… give a hundred thousand dollars either way… I say, a much more satisfactory investment than overpaying millions at Sotheby’s or Christies for some oil paint on canvas.