Art Fair Polka

The wonderful Dave Hickey has written about his experience in last year’s Frieze art fair. Dave gave a speech that’s still being talked about. I often wondered about his oft-quoted metaphor for youthful exuberance – something about a trombone and a rich guy’s wife on the beach. He used it in his speech and in this article. I guess the mystery has been solved! Dave gives us the low down – sort of –

“Three months later, Libby and I are standing on the steps of the Shore Club on the night before Art Basel Miami—my favorite art fair because weird young artists show up and sleep on the beach where I once watched the sun come up with a Cuban girl and a dude in a rhumba shirt playing the trombone.”

Now whether this is true or not can hardly matter, the story changes just a bit each time I’ve seen it or heard it. It is a defining moment in Dave’s life, and it’s his rallying call to artists everywhere – whatever happened on that fateful morning. I like to think of the young Dave, smoking chronic, sipping rum, charming an exotic lover and listening to a surreal musical moment all on the beach of a pre-gentrified Miami in the early AM. And I kind of think he would like to think of us in the same way. That night must have been a killer – you go Dave! Even Hell has it heroes!
The article in Vanity Fair is breathless and sharp as a tack, but mostly it’s fun. We get a glimpse of the art world that money has built over the last decade or so complete with a warning at the end regarding the consequences of bubble aesthetics. Enjoy!

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