Click the play button above to hear the radio version of this post by Norman Van Aken.
I was near a small sandwich stand in an open-air market.
It was like many you would see almost anywhere in the world. A radio was playing a vaguely familiar tune. Soft drink cans and cigarette packs lined the windows inside the stand where a lady was stuffing soft buns with meats. There was a paper napkin dispenser advertising “Coca-Cola.”
This sandwich stand happened to be in Florence, Italy.
Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" (1917) prompted lots of debate about what was considered art, although it is now generally considered an icon of 20th-Century art. Can you identify which one is the masterpiece? Hint: It's not the goth one.
Charles Soto started tattooing four years ago, after his mother died following a long illness.
“[It] was a moment in my life of desperation. I hit rock bottom," he says. "I was dead broke."
Three years later, Soto reconnected with his estranged older brother, just months before the latter died of HIV complications. His grief influenced his art with dark overtones, but also put him in the sightline of a company now displaying his work during Art Basel.
Artist Paul Vor138 had his pick of a few yellow trash bins where he worked near 26th Street in Wynwood. He didn't know where the bins had come from, but said it made cleaning up after himself much easier.
There’s no question that Art Basel brings plenty of people -- and their stuff -- to Wynwood. The question is: How do you keep the area clean?
Leticia Pollock is co-owner of Panther Coffee in Wynwood. She says Basel is her busiest week of the year, so she has to have more people on staff to help keep the place running smoothly – and looking tidy. But this year, Pollock noticed something else helping out: plastic yellow trash cans next to the street in front of her property.
History was made this week on the shore of Biscayne Bay. The Perez Art Museum Miami enters the world stage with the aim of being among those known by one name: Tate, Whitney, Guggenheim, Smithsonian. The museum gets its name from Jorge Perez, founder, chairman and CEO of real estate development company The Related Group.
Basel is back in town and the annual artistic spotlight is swiveling around Miami, highlighting nooks and crannies the city normally passes by with nonchalance. Now in its 12th year, Art Basel Miami Beach has not only grown, but changed the landscape of the city and South Florida.
It’s easy to be cynical about the general milieu. I have been snarky about the crowds and traffic before and I most likely will be again. But taking a step back and appreciating what Basel has changed can be boiled down to a few simple questions.
Outside the glittering new Perez Art Museum Miami, finishing touches were still being applied late last month to the spacious plazas and gardens surrounding the $220 million building. Next door to the art museum, a new science museum is also going up. When it's all complete, the 29-acre Museum Park will provide a focus and a gathering spot on Biscayne Bay for those who live in, work in and visit downtown Miami.
What if Mother Teresa had been a war-maker instead of a missionary? What if Gandhi employed violence instead of civil disobedience? Those are some of the questions begged by the exhibit WAR to WAR in Bayfront Park.
The exhibit features not only historical figures known for their humanitarian work, but also artists, entertainers and sports stars. All the figures stand at an imposing, larger-than-life height, and all are flaunting massive firearms.
As Art Basel Miami Beach gets underway, we’re thinking about what it means to be an artist. Though many would deny being an artist, we have all probably experienced a time when we embraced the title: childhood.
We asked our staff, “What’s the first creative thing you can remember doing?” The answers prompted lots of fun conversations about early aspirations to be the next big animator, choreographer or roller coaster designer. Try it with your friends.
And let us know on Twitter @WLRN using #whatisart.