Monday, May 14, 2012
“I think they’re stunning”, a woman pushing her own wheelchair. “The most different thing I’ve seen.” (an artist who lives in Israel, who suggests as a venue for Lotus, TZFAT, the Center of Kaballah art in Tel Aviv). “Just beautiful”. “How fun!” A dad on stroller duty pushes an empty baby carriage in front of him. Later they return: Tom and Crystal and baby Zuri. “It’s great to see something new.” This the man who created the art collection for GE Headquarters in Fairfield, Conn. years ago. “Dreamy, soft. “Brilliant” “So fresh”. “They make me smile.” “An honestly artistic Christo .. instead of just drapes!” “I’m blown away.” “Like kites .. it gives me a sense of freedom.” “Who would have ever thought? Unbelievable!” “Love the turquoise!” Eight thousand people came through the doors at the fair. And at the end of the day, exhibitors and artists piled into a bus for a cocktail party. We danced. We met Sergio, a larger than life Miami artist well respected and exhibited, a man with open arms and a mission: the first Miami Biennial to open in November, 2011. He talks of ‘monster’ artists and ‘monster’ curators, and has opened the doors to Jorge Gutierrez, director of Miami Dade College art museums, who is curating the show. Sergio would like to see Gord Halloran curate Canadian artists to participate. With one gesture, brought us into his family of artists. Okay we’d each had a cocktail, everyone danced, the bus ride home was perhaps a bit boisterous but we felt embraced. So the next day, I stole a break and found myself at the bar talking to Danilo Gonzalez, admitting I’d fantasy bonded with Miami, the international city. He warned me, “Don’t move here based on party time – make sure it works for you.” We’ll be back in November. Today we met directors of museums, directors of Public Art at museums, parents, with children in tow, encouraging the artist in each little heart. Today Gord installed three paintings in the homes of local collectors. The man who developed and patented "continuous extrusion" method of making poly styrene, David Willette, now from Naples, FL, commented on the medium of LOTUS, polyethylene foam “very durable, floats, doesn’t absorb water”. Then, at dinner I spotted someone from the distant past - 25 years ago, Chicago when Open Outcry trading was at its heyday. John Bolero and his family, close friends of Rob Moore, (who commissioned the largest group portrait of traders in action during their trading day, in the early eighties at The Chicago Board of Trade). Gord created the paintings, and drawings which are now visual, historical documents of a day gone by. (www.fatsalmon.ca) Glad to see us, we loved the happy coincidence.