Art Basel Crowdfunding Initiative

13.09.2014
The artwork 'Are You Really Here' (2014) by Danish artist Jeppe Hein, represented by the gallery Nicolai Wallner, is on display during the international art fair Art Basel 2014
The artwork 'Are You Really Here' (2014) by Danish artist Jeppe Hein, represented by the gallery Nicolai Wallner, is on display during the international art fair Art Basel 2014

“Art Basel Crowdfunding Initiative” trying to raise a pittance for a few lucky not-for-profits, when the parent company can easily dig into their very deep pockets with little or no pain. What’s next Prada crowdfunding a new line of Koons kashmere?

From 2013 annual report from MCH Group (owner of all Basel fairs among many others): “At CHF 472.6 million, the MCH Group achieved the highest operating income in its history in the 2013 business year. Despite higher depreciations and a higher financial outlay for the new hall complex in Basel, the group profit, at CHF 30.5 million, is above that for the cyclically stronger previous year of 2012.”

The Naked Truth About Basel: A Diary

23.06.2014
Swiss performance artist Milo Moire walks naked as part of her performance 'The Script System' on the exhibition site of the international art fair Art Basel 2014, in Basel (photo: dpa)
Swiss performance artist Milo Moire walks naked as part of her performance 'The Script System' on the exhibition site of the international art fair Art Basel 2014, in Basel (photo: dpa)

Friday, June 13 

The evening before departing London for Zurich I attend a benefit dinner honoring artist Eddie Peake at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. At the peak of Mr. Peake’s performance, an actor screams at the top of his lungs, “Don’t flip!” Perhaps he is referring to the nine paintings about to be auctioned during the benefit evening’s proceedings, but the outburst inadvertently serves as an appropriate preamble to the art circuit’s largest annual trading platform: Art Basel, the stock exchange to the auction houses’ commodity pits.   ... weiterlesen

More Basel: A Chest Thumping Good Time

14.06.2013
 Leave the art explication to the pundits: classic Aston Martin on the scene in front of the Three Kings Hotel
Leave the art explication to the pundits: classic Aston Martin on the scene in front of the Three Kings Hotel

No more disclaimers this time around, let’s just jump back into the thick of it, starting—where else?—with more dinners and parties, of course.

During the relentless march of fairs and biennials, the art world resembles a giant mixed cocktail. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it exacerbates the more questionable tendencies of certain fair-goers’ behavior. One thing is for sure, the intensity of it all can really blind people and drive them to extreme forms of action and reaction. And the art crowd is a high-strung lot to begin with. I admit to possibly forgetting that I had kids one night at about 3 a.m. at the Three Kings Hotel, where everyone congregates each night after dinners and parties.  ... weiterlesen

Art Basel Diary

11.06.2013
 The new exhibition hall by the architects Herzog and De Meuron is the new landmark of the Art Basel (photo: dpa)
The new exhibition hall by the architects Herzog and De Meuron is the new landmark of the Art Basel (photo: dpa)

Forget about you, dear reader, how will I manage not to bore myself to tears with this? Art Basel feels like round 87 in a long, drawn-out boxing match and I shudder to think that I have to put fingers to the keyboard so quickly after the last art-fair recap, so let me disclaim myself from the onset. What more could I possibly say that hasn't already been said?

Art fairs seem to mirror the plot of the film Groundhog Day, repeating (and repeating) themselves, with many of the same people buying much of the same art in generic settings indistinguishable from one to the next. Rafael Nadal was depicted on the front page of the Times in an all-encompassing scream of ecstasy and I began the week wondering if I'd encounter anything in the aisles of the fair that would inspire such raw emotion. Probably not, but there were a few notable sightings and surprises. Read about them here, in this diary of the fair (and see images here).  ... weiterlesen

Groundhog Day (Art World Edition)

09.06.2013
(photo: dpa)
(photo: dpa)

Self-centered art collectors, speculators, dealers, and curators travel to Switzerland every June. Their journey is to visit the annual Basel Art Fair festivities. One intrepid participant, who doesn't like the assignment of covering the event or the town, grudgingly has given his report on the festivities time and again. He hits the road back from Basel, but inclement weather shuts down all travel. He is forced to return to the fair and stay another night.

Our correspondent wakes up to find that he is reliving June 11th. The day plays out exactly as it did before, with no one but our art guy aware of the time loop. At first he is confused, but, when the phenomenon continues on subsequent days, he decides to take advantage of the situation with no fear of long-term consequences: he learns secrets from the gallerists and collectors, seduces consultants, steals paintings, parties recklessly, and gets thrown out of the fair. However, his attempts to get closer to the meaning of art, of which he has become obsessed, repeatedly fail.  ... weiterlesen

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"Die Kunstwelt ist wie eine Mafia, es gibt ein ungeschriebenes Gesetz des Stillschweigens", sagt Kenny Schachter. Auf seinem Monopol-Blog bringt der britische Kunsthändler Licht ins Dunkle und macht die Mechanismen des Marktes transparent. In englischer Sprache
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