Friday, December 6, 2013

ART BASEL Miami Beach 2013: The Series, Part II

For those of you at the show already, here are some events and venues not to be missed!
Several of the biggest collectors in the US reside in Miami and are part of what is called the “Miami Model”. These collectors have opened their own museums and institutions in which to show their private contemporary and modern art collections.

Rubell Family Collection (RFC)
The most notable of these models is the Rubell Family Collection (RFC), exhibited in a 45K sq. ft. building, and is one of the world’s largest privately owned contemporary art collections, with work by Basquiat, Haring, Hirst, Koons, Sherman and Warhol. Their current exhibition is

28 Chinese

December 4, 2013 - August 1, 2014
Above: Li Shurui, Inner Rainbow, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 71 x 94.5
Below: Zhu Jinshi, Baot, 2012, Xuan Paper, bamboo and cotton thread, 590in. x 137 x 165

The show is from the permanent collection and was amassed in China between 2001 and 2012, visiting one hundred artists’ studios and acquired artwork from twenty-eight artists. The collection and exhibition features paintings, photographs, sculptures and video installations. This will be the first exhibition in North America for many of these artists. The oldest artist in the exhibition was born in 1954 and the youngest was born in 1986. A fully illustrated, 262 page catalog with text by all of the artists.
The De La Cruz Collection: Recognizing the significance of their incredible collection, the pair periodically opens their home to let 3,000 Art Basel V.I.P.’s into their Key Biscayne home.
Can’t score an invite to the house? Then visit the 30K sq. ft., De la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space in the Miami Design District. The current exhibition, From the Collection: “Looking at Process”, explores works by 39 artists that focus on patterns and the laying bare of processes. Each artist explores distinct notions of production methods.
Looking at The Process at the De La Cruz Collection
Martin Margulies’ Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, is housed in a converted 45K sq. ft. warehouse in the Wynwood Arts District. The collection is one of the major collections of contemporary art in the world, the collection runs from Abstract Expressionism through Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art, to monumental sculpture and recent installation and video works—not to mention vintage and contemporary photography. The current exhibition shows features Anselm Kiefer; Works by Chema Madoz on loan from Foto Colectania, Barcelona; New Photography by Olafur Eliasson, Jan Hoelk, and Doug Rikard.

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse

Anselm Kiefer
Chema Madoz, Untitled, 1999, Gelatin silver print, modern print

A must see: The Whale Shark Series by Kristian Schmidt at MAPS Studio Backlot, 342 NW 24th Street.

Shot on location in the Philippines, Whale Shark Series highlights the phenomenal contrast between these majestic sea creatures and human beings, all the while raising awareness to the extinction of whale sharks

VIP Party by Miami artists Jim Drain and Bhakti Baxter, will create a five day "VIP Party" that will take place in cargo containers located on the waterfront area of Port Miami. Viewers Visible will become voyeurs to the most exclusive make-believe party during Art Basel.

VIP Party

Google Inc's Glass technology will team with New York resident artist David Datuna who will unveil his "Viewpoints of Billions", to create an interactive art experience.

 Our daughter models Google Glass

"Once you are fitted with Glass, your experience begins," explains Datuna. "The flag will communicate directly with its audience, prompting questions through the viewfinder of Glass. In other words, you will be having a conversation with the artwork - very cool.”

Viewpoint of Billions by artist David Datuna

"Viewpoint of Billions", is a 12ft. long multi-media work made up of 30K different parts featuring an American flag, is in the Design District at 97 NE 40 St., Miami.


 Keith Haring's Buick Special, at Piston Head
Art cars and luxury cares are another big theme this year. The exhibition, Piston Head, sponsored by Ferrari, features 14 cars transformed into art since 1970, is happening on the top floor of the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron-designed parking garage located at 111 Lincoln Road in South Beach. Car artist include Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince and Kenny Scharf.   

Jeff Koons BMW art car
Miami Botanical Garden: Jeff Koons is bringing the signed BMW ABMW M3 GT2 art car to North America for the first time. Koons collected images of race cars, related graphics, vibrant colors speed and explosions, resulting in artwork that is, "evocative of power, motion, and bursting energy".
Tesla art car by Laurence Gartel
Tesla, the invoative automaker from Silicon Valley, CA, has teamed with artist Laurence Gartel to create their own dazzling rolling piece of art.

Cindy Crawford arrives in the all-new Maserati Quattroporte GTS
 The Maserati debut party at Art Basel 2013 

The new Maserati Ghibli

Maserati hired model Cindy Crawford to drive up to the party in the all-new Maserati Quattroporte GTS at he the Art Miami VIP Preview Party. As the official car of Art Miami, VIPs and collectors will be chauffeured about between the various venues in the all-new Maserati Ghibli.
Absolut Vodka again created their famed bar, this year dubbed The Night Court art bar, designed by Ry Rocklen. The bar is located "Ocean front, between 21st and 22nd"....If you have to ask, don't go!
The Cartier Dôme, at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, boasts the most decadent, one-of-a-kind Cartier jewelry in a setting dubbed “Diamonds, Gold and Dreams,” takes place within the 4,000-square-foot, Jean Nouvel-designed Dome. Inside will be a seven-minute “floating diamond” projection that will be accompanied by a musical score.

The Miami Marine Stadium hosts "Floating Iceberg Chalet", an installation by  KOLKOZ, the art duo of Benjamin Moreau and Samuel Boutruche, who last year turned the sands of South Beach into a lunar-styled soccer field. The artists return this year with a new, equally wacky project: Erecting chalet-style home, complete with snow, on a floating platform. Sponsored by Audemars Piguet.
Floating Iceberg Chalet- Installation
Oh my gosh... could there be anymore? Oh yes, a lot more. Check in tomorrow for Part III!
Good night moon.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Art Basel Miami 2013: The Series, Part 1

Woo hoo!!!

Its that time of year again, to overdose on art! And there's no better time or place to do it than in Miami Beach which opened to the public today in this city by the sea.

Art Basel Miami Beach, in its 12th year, is an off shoot of its famous cousin in Switzerland, Art Basel. The show officially runs December 5th-8th, with private, invitation only openings last night and tonight. 50,000 attendees and over 250 galleries are expected from around the globe.

If you're considered a VIP by the powers that be, then you will have access to the private openings and collections that aren't open to the public, and to a fleet of chauffeur driven BMW's to whisk you between the three main venues. What's it take to be a considered a VIP? VIP status is awarded to individuals who are "engaged with the international art world at a high level".


Art Basel Miami Beach is divided into seven 'Sectors', which may be viewed at and click on Sectors.

There are two other venues at Art Basil Miami:

Art Miami at the Miami Pavilion ( Art Miami has expanded to include two additional contemporary art fairs: CONTEXT, in a 45,000-square-foot pavilion adjacent to Art Miami in the Wynwood Arts District; and Aqua Art Miami, at the Aqua Hotel on Collins Avenue in South Beach.

Aqua Art Miami, pictured above and below, is uber cool and appeals to a younger, hipper crowd

In addition to galleries, there are panel discussions, special exhibitions at public venues throughout the city, including the Miami Design District, and much smaller less well known galleries who circulate their own outlaw version of the art fair, nestled into hotels and motels across Miami and South Beach. The last time we were at Art Basel Miami Beach, many of the more interesting artists were situated in these outlaw venues in and around South Beach. 

Not enough you say? Read on because there is much more going on during Art Basel Miami Beach.
There is Design Miami, billed as a global forum for design, which brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce.

Then there's the multi-dimensional PULSE, which is four fairs in one, considered a more progressive venue of diverse galleries presenting a blend of "renowned and pioneering contemporary artists". Included are PULSE Projects, PULSE Play, IMPULSE, and PULSE Prize. Tired yet? There's more!

Check out NADA (New Art Dealers Association) at the Deauville Beach Resort, which promises to "explore new or underexposed art".

Another fair, Untitled, housed in a customized beachfront pavilion, places emphasis on "the quality of the viewer's experience and the contextualization of the artworks exhibited".

Below: Installation piece by Juan Vasquez

INK Miami is an art fair that focuses on contemporary works on paper by internationally renowned artists.

INK, at the Suites at Dorchester on Collins Avenue, shown below.

SCOPE, located on the sands of Miami Beach in a 70,000 sq. ft. pavilion, featuring an outdoor beach lounge and nestled amongst the iconic architecture of South Beach's Ocean Drive. Scope's emphasis is on activating emerging galleries and artists.

Above: Tom Fruin, Neon Noose, 2013. Hand bent neon tubes, electrical wire, hardware.

For the second year in a row, SCOPE will partner with VH1 with an on-site VH1 Indoor Lounge which will celebrate the crossover between art and music. Tomorrow night (Friday Dec, 6th) is the Official VH1 + SCOPE Party, featuring a performance by one of today's hottest musical artists, and mums the word on who it will be. The party is invite-only, but the public will have a chance to be a part of it all by situating themselves just outside the space.
This year, VH1 and SCOPE have picked one visual artist, Hebru Brantley (above), and one musical artist, Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean (below), to be featured in an on-air profile in which the two explore the symbiotic relationship between art, music and pop culture.

Brantley's work employs a variety of surfaces and media including wood, spray paint and tea, and draws influence from pop-culture reference points including comic-book heroes, Japanese anime and the bold aesthetics of street-art pioneers Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.
Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean – an acclaimed hip-hop/R&B producer and rapper who’s worked with Jay Z, Beyonce, DMX, Drake and more – is an avid collector of Brantley’s work.

So, had enough? Well for those of you with insatiable appetites for contemporary and modern art check out the sites below:

PAPERMAG: Features a section "artsy fartsy", and has a five part series titled, "Arty parties, Our Mega Guide to Art Basel Miami 2013", by Gary Pini.

My Art Guides: (

Social Miami: lists descriptions of the myriad art fairs on their website, They also publish a Day by Day Event Guide,

These fairs are for serious collectors, and those that are serious about art. If you've inclined to say "my kid could do that!", then you should save your money and stay home as hotel rooms are very difficult to get at this late date.  I found an article titled, "How Are You Supposed to Respond to 'My kid can do that'?". Check it out: HYPER ALLERGIC ( Read it and have a chuckle!

Check in tomorrow for more on where and what to see.

Good night moon.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Week End with Oprah


Santa Barbara has a way of grabbing headlines, and this last week has been no exception with all the press and hullabaloo in and around what the locals are calling The Oprah Yard Sale (the Kaminski Auctions billed it as “The Oprah Winfrey Collection”).

Whatever you call it, it was fun for us, and the proceeds benefit The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation College Fund. The fund is dedicated to helping all graduates from The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls – South Africa.

This isn’t the first time Oprah has sold her personal items, seems she took to heart the cover on her namesake O Magazine a few years back that heralded, “De-Clutter Your Life!” 

The first sale was dubbed “O’s Great Closet Cleanout” by the press, but with today’s technology, Oprah tweeted her own advertisement to her followers, “I’m having the biggest yard sale ever!”

With a celebrity client like Oprah, Kaminski Auctions has been jettisoned to the forefront of the American psyche, if only for a few days. Oprah toured the goods with CBS News, Entertainment Tonight, and the story was, and is still being reported in almost every major newspaper and news broadcast.


In a recent O Magazine article, Oprah says, “I am evolving [and] my taste is too”. She said that “the gilded mirrors, marble urns, the lavish carpets and sherbet palette – it was all very grand, but it wasn’t very true to myself,” Concluding, “the thing that had been missing from all the beautiful places I’d ever lived in, was me!”

Seems she’ll be giving the whole 23,000-sq. ft., $85 million Montecito mansion a facelift.
Originally decorated by the late decorator Anthony P. Browne, a onetime rock-and-roll manager turned interior designer, O has passed the baton to west coast based Rose Tarlow to restyle. Tarlow commented that the houses contents don’t “have anything to do with” the mogul. Well, we can’t wait to see what you do with the place, Rose.

"All I can tell you is that I'm evolving, my taste is, too, and someday soon this room will represent the person I've become."



On Friday night the members of the Santa Barbara Polo Club were invited to a VIP party to view the “collection” As we waited for the valet to take our car, a shiny black Cadillac Escalade cut line and sped past us, only to be waived through by the head valet.
“Oprah’s here”, I joked with my car mates.

“I didn’t know she was going to be here”, responded my wife
“Hummm…” I thought, Will be fun to see the old girl.

 Our group was met by roving waiters serving champagne and hors d'oeuvres, our friend Erin Graffy was on stage as the emcee and Oprah had already made her entrance and was besieged by guests armed with iPhones snapping pictures left and right. I couldn’t resist and whipped out my iPhone and snapped a picture, only to realize that Oprah was snapping a picture of me snapping one of her! LOL.

She made her way very slowly to the center of the tent, where we were entertained by a chorus under the direction of Santa Barbara acting and vocal coach, Janet Adderley. The program began with the children singing the theme song from Oprah’s movie, The Color Purple, and Oprah sang along, clapping her hands and dancing to the music. She and the crowd were obviously delighted.    

After the performance, Oprah loved the kids and mugged in photos with them and gave them encouragement to continue in their singing.
Oprah was then summoned to the stage by the emcee where she shared with the guests her vision for her School of Leadership in Africa, how the girls were selected, a little bit about where and how the girls lived before coming to the academy.

She shared some anecdotes about being “Mama O” to over 100 girls. She said that she’s gone from a mom figure to a “consultant”. She gives, “advice when they ask for it, which they don’t take…” any parent with teenagers could finish the sentence!

She welcomed to the stage the young lady who had been standing next to her during the performance.The girl, a graduate of the Leadership School in Africa, is now a student at Stanford. Oprah said she had gotten a call that afternoon from her and that she asked if she could, “come home for the weekend”, and a short while later, she was here.  Though Oprah didn’t mention it, I was thinking it must be nice to have a private jet. Of course I have to show you a picture of the jet since it often sits at the Santa Barbara Airport, and while I was looking for a picture on the internet I saw a story where Oprah herself said, “It’s good to have a private jet”, when she addressed Duke University graduates back in 2009.

Oprah’s ride is a $42 million custom-build Global Express XRS built by Bombardier Aerospace, (Call letters N54SL)

After we heard the announcement that “Oprah has left the grounds”, we headed over to the tents holding the Oprah Collection.

There were so many sofas and chairs by the British furniture maker George Smith it could make one wonder just how comfortable could they be?

There was a pair of huge green velvet sofas, each 158 inches long (that’s 13 feet), and a matching set of four oversized English arm chairs and ottomans that came from Oprah’s media room. The sofas ended up selling for $8000, a bargain if you were in the market for two 26 ft. of sofas!

At the beginning of Saturday’s auction, Oprah took the stage again and actually auctioned off the first few lots all the while joking and playing with the bidders, with close friend Gail King in the first row cheering her on. She denied that the colorful ceramic parrots in one of the tents were hers, chiding one bidder for paying too much, and pulling one item, a doll, off the market while it was being bid on.

She told the crowd: “We have 76-77 girls graduating and going to college every year. If anyone has ever put a child thru college, then you know why I’m selling the sofa”

One of the first lots to be sold at Saturday mornings auction was a pair of canvas banners promoting Oprah’s film, The Color Purple, which sold for $4100 and $6000 (Pre-auction estimates was $1000-$2000). After they sold, Oprah signed them for the purchasers, thereby helping ensure there future value. 

The auction was all over the place with bidders paying thousands of dollars for autographed pictures
of Oprah, often exceeding auction house estimates by ten times, while valuable antiques sometimes achieved a mere fraction of their pre-auction estimates. Of courses there were those items that were true antique with provenance that sold at, or well above the auction estimates, including a set of 6 French chairs. 

Above: A set of six 18th Century Louis XVI armchairs with hand-embroidered fabric and carved details elicited, had a pre-auction estimate of $20,000-40,000, but claimed a winning bid of $60,000.

Above: But, a beautiful 18th Century Louis XVI paint cabinet with a pre-auction estimated of $15,000-$25,000, sold for just $8,500.

One of the biggest surprises was the sale of a painting by M. Burroughs, titled Cubist Women, which was inscribed “To Miss Oprah Winfrey Herself”. This painting had pre-auction estimates of $200-$400, but sold for $13,000.

A pair of Silver Candelabra’s, estimated to sell at between $3,000-4,000 sold for $8,000, while a Pair of 19th Century French Candelabra’s with doré bronze mounts, and sold for just $3,000 with a pre-auction estimate of $7,000-9,000.

Above: An 18th Century Louis XVI bureau, stamped Boudin, ormolu mounted and inlaid with kingwood and tulipwood, was estimated at $30,000-50,000, sold for just $21,000.

Above: Brand new Jetson electric bikes (retail price new $1995), never ridden, but autographed for this auction by Oprah, sold for $5,450.

An “Enlarged photograph of Oprah Winfrey”, mounted on foam core, autographed, and estimated at $350-$450, sold for $1,200… on foam core, not even framed!

A “Portrait” (photograph) of Oprah Winfrey, (a copy of) the original photograph produced for the book, The Autobiography of Oprah Winfrey, had a pre-auction estimate of $300-$500, and sold for $1,500.

TV Guide Cover from 1987, print, depicting Oprah Winfrey, stamped Triangle Publishing 1987, autographed by Oprah Winfrey. Estimated to sell for $200- $400, sold for $3,000.
Note: Prices above do not include the Buyer's Premium (commission to the auction house paid on top of the winning bid) of 20% for those in attendance and 23% for those bidding on the internet.

At the end of a very long day, over 500 lots were auctioned, one of which I bought. I won (bought) a 19th Century English cabinet, and true to form, with a pre-auction estimate of $250-$300, I paid $700! LOL

Thank you Oprah for a great weekend!

Good night moon