I know, I know. I’ve been terrible. Not as bad as Russ, but still terrible.
I have a good excuse for my terribleness, though, and it’s this: I went down to Miami for the art fair madness this last weekend. Now, I know that scene is supposed to be glamorous and all (Campari! Lavazza! Lufthansa!) but for me, it resembled nothing so much as the seventh grade. Lots of 1) standing around hoping someone would notice me 2) diligently (if awkwardly) attempting to participate in social rituals that I only dimly understood and 3) spending way too much time spent getting from one place to another (Miami seems a bit like L.A. in that respect). And as if the adolescent-like awkwardness weren’t enough — well, let’s just say I’m pretty sure an incessant hacking cough is NOT GLAMOROUS, even if you are wearing a dress from Barney’s.
None of this is making sense to you, Russ? Well, I should probably explain what this whole scene is about. It all started back in the boom days with this fair called Art Basel. The original was actually held in Basel, Switzerland, but then they added a companion fair in Miami Beach, and that turned out to be bigger than the original fair. Are you with me so far? Then, all these other fairs cropped up around Art Basel, turning the whole town of Miami into a crazy art zoo every December. Essentially, they’re just like craft shows, or flea markets or whatever — galleries apply for a fair, and if they get accepted, they get a little booth in a maze of other booths in a big warehouse-y kind of space. Then everyone stands around and hopes that rich people will come in and buy stuff. This actually used to happen — rich people would walk up to a $5000 or $10,000 or $100,000 or $1,000,000 work of art and say, “I’ll take it,” and the gallerist would take it down and bubble wrap it. No, seriously.
So my gallery had its own little booth at one of those fairs, and I went down to work it.
The “I’ll take it” scenario doesn’t occur so much any more, and it certainly didn’t happen for me this last weekend. So, on some level, the whole event turned out to be one of one of those, hmm, what do you call them? Oh, yes —
Still, it’s probably good that I went. Actually, I got the feeling that my gallery wanted me to come down there for my own education as much as for any use I might be in helping promote the work. That’s what I’m telling myself, at least, because I really could not have been any less helpful than I was. Nervous fidgeting and pacing? Check. Transparently crestfallen face when anyone left the booth without giving my work a good look? Check. Uncontrollable, gagging, crying, red-faced coughing fits?
Check (I have a miserable cold).
I did get to go to a party that had a velvet rope line for the first time in my life, which was sort of exciting. On the other hand, it kinda sucked, because it was sponsored by Campari so there were endless free Campari drinks and you had to pay for anything else. And of course, who wants to pay for drinks when you can get them for free, even if you start to feel a little ill from all the sickly sweetness? I am pretty sure I was the only person who actually liked Campari at the party, and even I was a little grossed out after a while. Also, they didn’t have any food, which doesn’t make Lufthansa look so great, does it? I mean, do you really want all those glamorous people (plus the red-faced lady coughing her guts out in the corner) to associate your airline with feeling hungry and cranky?
The biggest bright spot of the weekend? Two women stopped me and asked if I was Loretta Lux. Were they crazy? Obviously. But I’ll take what I can get.