As soon as I stepped into NADA this year I spotted the Jim Drain, Artist and Co-Director of theBas Fisher Invitational. Fresh off of receiving their grant from the Knight Arts Foundation we spoke about what plans they have for next year. One that was particularly notable was a Miami Weird tour bike ride of old Miami. As a way to educate people about particular artistic landmarks and their historical relevance to the city. It would be something quite interesting to participate in. I spotted a nice piece from Naomi Fisher laying against the floor in the booth, a nice piece indeed.
Over at the Miha Nicodim Gallery the oil paintings of London based artist Justin Mortimer attracted my eye. His work seems to be composed of a series of unsettling narratives and “embody potent psychological states, addressing issues of alienation, ontological solitude and the fragility of the human body.” This is clear in the work. And Nicodim expressed as much and was pleased with the response to this artist and the gallery this year.
Hailing from the United Kingdoms, The Workplace Gallery hosted a nice assortment of artists. The video installation of Darren Banks where he depicted the dichotomy of gravity from the perspective of Hollywood movies and NASA training videos. Both taken during the early to mid-eighties. It was nice to see that he made good use of two old CTR monitors and to great affect. An old projector was whiling away an image of a small generic animated character dancing in an assortment of different cultural styles. From skillful moves expressed in Celtic dancing to chaotic heavy metal headbanging and acrobatic moves of break dancing. It was intriguing to see the moves and he was doing it all in an “onik” t-shirt, which was explained to signify punk.
Onik = Punk
On the corner of the booth I heard the grunting of Marcus Coates‘ video work. He has been reviewed by Art Forum and appeared on the cover of Esquire Magazine. The film captures one Galápagos tortoise attempting to procreate with another one, both were male and was informed that there are only three left. It was fascinating to witness these tortoises mating. The piece is entitled “Intelligent Design”.
John Miserendino at the Recess in New York is interested in collaborating with artists who are not even aware of it. He was working on a piece at the fair focusing on capturing the last Sonic Youth album, The Eternal, without hearing the music or seeing any of the supporting artwork which promoted it. As a source he depended on other people’s accounts of the album thought conversations and memories. I have not heard Sonic Youth’s latest release but did find myself reminiscing with him about my high-school memory of their music.
It was pretty cool.