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Art Basel through a poet’s eyes

By Harriet Staff

Paper Monument sent poet Jon Cotner and Claire Hamilton to Art Basel Miami Beach to take in the sun, sand, art and Lamborghinis. They put together a slideshow documenting the works they saw, the people they met and their reactions to the art (including climbing on it). There’s a lot to cover with over 10 satellite fairs orbiting the Basel mothership this year, but a few of Cotner and Hamilton’s most evocative comments are below. Had it been 2008 when there was a grand total of 23 fairs, you might have never escaped the slides.

Manuel Neri’s plasters show a broken-down plaintiveness. Yet they’re careful. Portrait Series II, by Thomas Houseago, has similar primitive appeal.

All the walking tires us, so we rest on an Astroturf slope. One woman looks asleep. Palm trees provide shelter from the Convention Center’s strong lights.

But it’s their one line interview with a pair of New York collectors that best sums up the scene:

Is this a good place for building your collection?
Marvin: “So much here you wouldn’t want to buy as an investment because it will fall apart.”

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Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.