Matt Lipps, Kadar Brock, and Karl Wirsum: Fantasy Shopping at NADA in Miami

Hey, we’ve got an unlimited fictional bank account and some blank walls to fill in our brand-new Tribeca penthouse. Thanks to Artsy, we can now browse most of the offerings for the NADA fair in Miami early, ensuring that once the preview hours begin, we’ll know exactly where to head for the best deals. Let’s get shopping…

Chris Bradley (Thomas Campbell Gallery): I love Bradley’s ‘totems’ – strands of trinkets hanging from the wall – and this young sculptor’s illusionistic handling of materials (he once crafted a potato chip out of metal).

Despina Stokou and Karl Wirsum (Derek Eller Gallery): Stokou is a Berlin-based artist whose mixed-media paintings cram an overload of language onto the picture plane; Wirsum is part of the Hairy Who cadre. Presenting both artists together, this gallery’s NADA booth guarantees to be a cross-generational serving of irreverent awesomeness.

Matt Lipps (Jessica Silverman Gallery): I’ve always loved Lipps’s photos, which are constructed by staging little collaged vignettes in the studio. This latest body of work takes his own aesthetic and throws in a bit of Carol Bove’s things-arrayed-on-a-shelf style. (And hey, if you’re building a collection according to a very specific theme, why not pick up David Korty’s Blue Shelf #15 over at Night Gallery’s booth?


Kadar Brock (The Hole): Painting-as-sculpture-as-mixed-media-explosion…This Brock piece looks like a city street in the aftermath of a war, followed by a celebratory post-war parade, with lots of confetti. Process-based abstraction gets a slightly longer lease on life.

Robert Moskowitz (Kerry Schuss): I had no idea who Moskowitz was until I started prowling through this NADA preview. (Thanks, Artsy!) According to his Wikipedia profile, I’m not alone in not knowing who he is. I’d like to make up for that oversight by asking someone to buy me this totally weird, totally perfect painting.

Richard Kern (Feature, Inc.): I’m not sure if I’d be able to deal with this on my own wall, but the double-vision nude portrait of Angela Pham – the most self-obsessed of all the self-obsessed Gallery Girls – is something to behold, however queasily.

Jamian Juliano-Villani: I’ve previously written about this young painter’s tangential affinity with Mike Kelley. She’s got several works in this gallery’s booth in the fair’s ‘Projects’ section, and they’re all “affordable,” by the punch-drunk standards of the art world.

Main image: Jamian Juliano-Villani

Art Basel Miami: Powering through NADA with Bravo’s Bill Powers

You may know him as the smile-cracking judge on Bravo’s Work of Art, but Bill Powers doesn’t merely do the show for shits and gigs. “My mission has always been to bring more people into the art world. I want to make everyone an elitist,” he explained, while touring the NADA show, one of Art Basel’s satellite fairs. Powers has set up shop at this visual carnival, which boasts an alternative assembly of galleries dealing with emerging contemporary art to showcase Exhibition A, his members-only website that sells exclusive editions of artwork by top contemporary artists.

“Though we did a pop-up shop with Colette this fall, Exhibition A has an online presence, so it is nice to let people see the prints in person,” Powers explained as he shook hands with just about everyone, while spreading the word he already sold out of Nate Lowman’s print. It’s no surprise that Powers seems like the most popular kid on campus. The former BlackBook editor morphed into an artsy tour de force of sorts, thanks largely to his Half Gallery, whose artist roster includes Leo Fitzpatrick, Duncan Hannah, and most recently, Terry Richardson.

Powers’ often snarky yet on-point judging style in Work of Art only adds to his appeal, but don’t be fooled: Even though he runs in the ‘holier then thou’ circles (Powers was one of few invited to Lowman’s installation at Alex Rodriguez’s McMansion last night), the gallerist still manages to project that populist, anti-establishment vibe he claims attracted him to NADA in the first place.

“People see some kind of an artificial barrier in the art world. But look at me. I have no formal training in the contemporary art world. I just became interested, I started going to galleries, and I started reading up on art. Anyone can do that.”

The 11 Most Original Artworks at NADA, Basel’s Most Original Art Fair

Entering the Miami Convention Center during Art Basel is overwhelming, not only because of the number of artworks on display—although that alone is enough to make one’s head spin—but also because of the dollar signs attached to each piece. There must be billions of dollars worth of paint and pencil in the airplane-hangar–size venue. Meanwhile, over at NADA (the New Art Dealers Alliance), nestled up Collins Avenue in the Deauville hotel (an art deco piece of art in its own right), younger gallerists and more experimental artists helped contribute to Basel’s most mind-blowing wonderland of sculpture, collage, drawing, video, and painting. Here is a sampling of this year’s standout artists.

image Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s The duchess de detourn, 2010. The fashion designer, also known as JC/DC, combined classic oil painting portraiture with the Louis Vuitton logo (in addition to the Botox, Nike, and L’Oreal emblems found on other works). La B.A.N.K. in Paris represents him.

image One of three prints from Christopher Russell’s Untitled Triptych, 2009. In this work, Russell manipulated a found photograph, which he enlarged and then scratched into, creating the silhouette on a man who’s been hanged in the forest. It’s at once so pretty and disturbing that it called to mind Kara Walker’s black silhouettes of the antebellum South. Luis de Jesus in Los Angeles represents him.

image Mario Wagner’s Isn’t this where we came in?, 2010. I don’t know much about Wagner, but his use of color and shape in the collages he creates—not to mention the ski masks in which he clothes his male figures—give the works an ominous, Roswell vibe. Pool Gallery in Berlin represents him.

image Debo EilersTwitterrific, 2010. There are three things I hated this year at Basel: the preponderance of urinals meant as ironic nods to Marcel Duchamps, the Warhol derivatives, and the pieces that didn’t just use new technology, but acknowledged its use. Despite that last rule, I love the work of Eilers, who incorporated into this mixed media Twitter homage Plexiglas, acrylic rod, vinyl, scrim vinyl print, acrylic spray paint, and cardboard. On Stellar Rays in New York represents him.

image I’m really mad at myself because I can’t recall who made this piece or what it’s called, but I found it in the booth for Take Ninagawa, a gallery in Tokyo. It’s obviously not a labor-intensive pencil drawing, but there’s something really simple and clever about it.

image Abigail ReynoldsUniversal Now: Piccadilly Circus, 1951/1973, 2008. The London-based artist cuts and folds disparate images to create collages that are puzzling and fresh. Ambach & Rice in Seattle represents her.

image Car Salesman from Luke Butler’s Enterprise series, 2010. The San Francisco-based painter approaches power and vulnerability using alpha TV characters (Captain Kirk or Starsky & Hutch, seen here), whom he renders in rich, vivid color. Silverman Gallery in San Francisco represents him.

image Genesis Breyer P-Orridge‘s Feeding the Fishes, 2010. An English musician and artist, P-Orridge gained notoriety when, in the ’90s, he underwent a series of gender reconstruction surgeries to look like his second wife, Lady Jane, who passed away in 2007. Invisible-Exports in New York represents P-Orridge.

image Bill AdamsUntitled, 2010. Using a ballpoint pen, watercolor, and colored pencil, Adams fantastical, surreal pieces are charming in a rough-around-the-edges way. KS Art in New York represents him.

image Leslie ShowsNitrogen Cycle/10 Reds, 2010. This large-scale collage was the first piece to really catch my eye at NADA, probably because it mimicked the apocalyptic high everyone at Basel felt after only a few days of partying at the festival. Jack Hanley in San Francisco represents her.

image Suzy Lake’s Co-Ed Magazine #5, 1973/1998. It’s a backhanded compliment, I suppose, to call someone the new Cindy Sherman, but in this case it’s meant in the most positive way. There’s something really jarring about her collage work here, in which she’s combined different stock from different eras to create an image that looks kind of seamless. Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto represents her.