Amy Sedaris sells ‘high’ art
Fans of kitsch swarmed a pop-up gallery on the Lower East Side on Wednesday night for the chance to take home some “super” motel art. In a promotional stunt for the recent redesign of its guest rooms and common areas, the budget motel chain Super 8 hired the comedienne Amy Sedaris to give away art that formerly decorated its hotels around the US. As part of her welcome speech, Sedaris thanked the company for its promised donation to the New York-based non-profit Center for Arts Education and assured collectors that the works were free of bedbugs and sperm. Later, she signed certificates of authenticity for paintings with titles such as Monet Knock-Knock Off. Who’s There? and It’s More About the Frame than the Flower. “I got really high and named them all,” she told us before the event started. Her own art collection leans towards naive art—her brother David recently bought her three works by Gregory Jacobsen—although she also owns two pieces by Tony Matelli.
Heather Phillipson’s Frieze Projects piece, 100% Other Fibres. Photo: Casey Fatchett
It’s a ruff life for some
A dealer who shall remain nameless, but whose stand is near Heather Phillipson’s Frieze Projects piece, 100% Other Fibres, is none too pleased about the constant din coming from the sculptural installation, in which robotic dogs wag their tails with a tick-tock sound that pulsates all day long. “I can’t stand the racket; it’s giving me tinnitus,” the gallerist harrumphed. Fair-goers who want to know more about the mutt-based piece can refer to its pithy caption. “For this project, Phillipson imagines the structure of the fair tent as a chopped-up human spinal cord besieged by mutated dogs and screens,” it says. Besieged is right.
Soylent at Société Gallery (A14). Photo: Casey Fatchett
Bobby flays Soylent
The celebrity chef Bobby Flay is not too keen on Sean Raspet’s project on Société’s stand at Frieze New York, where the Berlin-based gallery is dishing out a beverage called Soylent—a calorie-rich meal supplement—in a futuristic, cafeteria-style setting. “I’m all about sitting down and eating, actually taking the time,” Flay said, while perusing the fair. Had he given any thought to what he would do if he were asked to cater Frieze? “Here on Randalls Island?” he said. “I’d do a lobster shack situation, for sure. Lobster, clams, that kind of stuff.” Our mouths are watering already.
Sally Mann in conversation with Charlie Rose. © 2016 Chloe Apple Seldman
‘A gray-haired gumboil like me?’
The 92nd Street Y has a reputation for hosting intellectual talks marked by frankness, but the uptown venue is rarely more intellectual or frank than it was on Wednesday evening, when the photographer Sally Mann took to the stage with the talk-show host Charlie Rose. The two friends started off strongly after Mann produced two martini glasses and a cocktail shaker. Airport security guards had confiscated her “ancestral mallet”, she explained, as she broke up ice with a new metal one. “A gray-haired gumboil like me? What am I gonna do, bonk somebody on the head with a round mallet?” She had also brought a bottle of Grey Goose vodka for Rose. (“I’m a southerner who doesn’t drink bourbon,” he admitted. “I’m from, like, southern Russia.”) From there, they discussed Mann’s past as a writer and poet and how she began to take pictures as a teenager. “Photography is an impoverishing act. It steals from your memory,” Mann theorised. “People always say a picture is worth a thousand words,” Rose rejoined, enigmatically. “But I say a word is worth a thousand pictures.” Later, they brought Mann’s grown-up daughter, Virginia, on to the stage to discuss her role as one of the subjects of her mother’s work. When they took questions from the audience, Mann struggled to explain why she preferred analogue to digital photography, so Virginia, laughing, jumped in with an answer: “Control.”
Jeanne Donovan Fisher and Carrie Mae Weems. Photo: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com © BFA
Carrie Mae Weems’s gift to President Obama unveiled at Tate Americas dinner
The fourth triennial artists dinner, held in aid of the Tate Americas Foundation earlier this week at New York’s IAC Building, drew a flood of artists keen to support the British powerhouse institution ahead of the launch of Tate Modern’s extension next month. Theaster Gates, Julie Mehretu and Bruce Nauman chilled out over champagne and canapés, while Carrie Mae Weems talked about honouring Barack Obama with a gift box containing some of her videos, photographs, notes and poetry. The New York-based artist intends to give the elegant memento to the President as part of her Grace and Democracy performance project, which launches at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston next month. The lively auction for the 385 dinner guests raised a hefty $1.5m for the Tate Americas Foundation, which will be used to acquire North and South American art for the museum.
B-ball at Nada. Photo: Dan Duray
All Star teams
The New Art Dealers’ Alliance is marking its second edition at Basketball City on Manhattan’s Lower East Side with a healthy dose of basketball-theme programming. Know Wave, the cool-kid radio station run by Moran Bondaroff gallery (formerly OHWOW), offers pick-up games to all interested parties and will also host an all-day tournament on Saturday, with an official bracket and teams of artists and dealers in the Know Wave orbit. Teams include the Doom Dab, Bauhaus and The Shits. Sounds competitive.
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