December 2, 2011

Its hard for me to express my general disappointment in the quality of work at the show this year.  I am not saying that everything was horrible as there were a few bright spots.  But, general, the sarcastic comments rolling around in my head so engulfed my brain that I thought I might pass out from over-excited synaptic firing. It was like being at the Coconut Grove Crafts Art Festival instead of a major artistic event. One sculptor, who clearly had a “giant ass” fixation, had mentioned that his sales were not good this year. I responded in my best deadpan voice; “Really, I am surprised.” He clearly did not get my humor. On the bright side, I was not able to find a stained glass mushroom lamp, which is my criteria for the bottom of the art bin.  But I did see a cellophane and tinfoil scrunchy sculpture.  Its probably hard to visualize what I am saying so here is a prop to help you.

One more thing that I though was really amazing was ArtStrong’s bags, design specifically to easily move artwork.  I know it is striking that a bag company stands out as memorable, but that is the nature of the show this year.  According to their website:

Artstrong bags are the most durable bags in the marketplace. Created with 5X the protection of normal bags, artstrong bags start with two layers of polyethylene bubbles sandwiched between one layer of fire retardant metallized polyester film and one layer of white polyethylene. Then we use shock-absorbing polyethylene foam that is filled with thousands of air cells that are resilient, anti-lint/dust/static free. The inside is lined with a superbly soft technologically innovative fabric that resists scratches and snags. Finally, our bags are sewn at the edges and reinforced with tough nylon to provide the most secure edges. We mean it when we say we’re artstrong!



Now, of course, these are a great product to have when you are trying to retrieve your $10,000 piece of artwork at Art Basel.  But I was thinking how great these are for moving day.  Everybody has gone through the hassle of trying to find picture boxes, taping them up, wrapping everything in bubble wrap or putting those little styrofoam nuggets inside (which always explode out of the box when removing pictures.  Months later you still find them behind the bed or under the couch). The art strong bags are really inexpensive, come in tons of sizes, and just work.  They were giving out free ones, so I have one and I am very impressed.  I will use it for my own photographs but I will order a bunch the next time I move.

Well, that’s all for now.  I will have some more updates on some other gems in another post.  If anyone has any thoughts, just leave them as comments on my Facebook page where this will be posted and attach any extremely good or extremely poor material.  Comic wit is appreciated for the bad stuff.