Ellen and I are have been treated by our good dutch friends Michael and Ulrike to a few days at Art Basel. We have never been and did not know what to expect.
Ellen and I have enjoyed and collected a bit of contemporary art for over 20 years.
The best way I can describe it to others is that we are angel investors in artists. We are looking for an artist we love and because of our budget, undiscovered for the most part, that create pieces we hope to live with for a long time. Ellen and I have never sold a piece.
Art Basel is extremely unique in the curation. It is also global in that galleries from Korea to New York exhibit and young artists from Egypt to Turkey and LA are equally well known.
The main building has two floors of art. The main floor is for discovered artists. If you are a buyer here, you do not really need to ask the price.
The second floor has less discovered artists and the trusted curators chosen build their booths to showcase the art and talent and will spend as much time with you as you need to learn about the artists and their pieces. Asking the price is part of the discussion.
Needless to say, a day walking the two floors was inspiring. If only I had a few million dollars for an afternoon of collecting…
The only contemporary art that does not appeal to me is political in nature. Yet, my fave piece of the day was from an old political greek message, digitally displayed, that I read as more as a start-up ‘tweet’ slogan. I could have easily pictured this piece of art in any Angel Investing firm office:
In the spirit of Art Basel, I also put together a few standard reply messages to people that pester me in my streams or cold email their enterprise solutions that will make my life easier!
As for the most interesting person at the show, a show where people watching was as much fun as the art discovery, meet this man:
Tomorrow we are off to Tuscany.
Also published on Medium.