January 6, 2010

New traction for art bloggers evident at Art Basel Miami


Hrag, Sharon, Tom, Roberta, Libby, Paddy, and Joanne at the 2009 Art Miami blogger panel discussion. Photo by Elena De La Ville.

My piece about art blogging and Art Basel Miami is in the New Haven Advocate this week. Here's an excerpt:

"Every year in early December, the art world heads to Miami for Art Basel Miami Beach and a full range of satellite art fairs, including Pulse, Aqua, Scope, Fountain, Art Miami, and NADA (New Art Dealers' Association), each presenting a segment of the art market. Art Basel Miami, located in Miami Beach's enormous convention center, is by a wide margin the biggest and most prestigious of the fairs. In large cubicles partitioned by white drywall, dealers hawk work by Picasso, Warhol, Lee Krasner and other legendary artists alongside the barely-dry work of today's art luminaries. Fueling the hype are press previews, parties on Collins Avenue, receptions, performances and confident musings about the present or future resurgence of the art market.

"This year, I went down to hold forth as a member of an art blogging panel, and the experience was considerably more gratifying than my first pilgrimage to Art Basel Miami two years ago, when my blog, Two Coats of Paint, was barely six months old. Five bloggers, an artist, and an art dealer huddled in the bar of the little hotel that hosted the fair, exchanging best-practice advice and talking about the art we'd seen during our respective rounds of the fairs. This meager, if pleasant, liaison at least tentatively seemed to confirm the skepticism my friends, family, and colleagues had shown when I'd started my blog. They rolled their eyes, envisioning a tedious chronicle of my daily life, chit-chat about squirrels at the feeder or, worse, pathetic self-promotion for my own paintings...

"This past year, as newspapers and magazines have folded and art critics have been laid off across the country, art bloggers (and artists who blog) have picked up the slack and gained even greater power and respectability. With a shrinking number of outlets for publicity and art reviews, galleries, museums, curators and artists are courting the best art blogs. The panel in Miami included Hrag Vartanian (Hyperallergic), Libby Rosof and Roberta Fallon (The Artblog), Paddy Johnson (Art Fag City), Thomas Hollingworth (Art Lurker), myself, and moderator Joanne Mattera (Joanne Mattera Art Blog). We had not insinuated ourselves into the fair; Art Miami had invited us. When I saw the event recommended in Art in America's "Guide to the 2009 Fairs," I almost fell over. We weren't huddled in the dark corner of a bar, as we had been two years earlier. Instead, we were seated on a raised platform with name plaques, bottles of water and a microphone, 20 yards from de Koonings and Warhols...."

Read the entire article here.

Related post:
Joanne Mattera's Report from Art Bloggers @ Art Miami



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