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In a New Music Video, Lilli Carré Animates the Beauty of Transitional Moments with Gouache
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Sidney Felsen, co-founder of influential Los Angeles printmaking studio Gemini GEL, has died, aged 99
June 11, 2024

I’m just Fairfax Ken (or Cryobank Greg)

Visitors to Liste Art Fair might wonder why works by the UK artist Bex Massey, showing with Seventeen gallery, are all named after certain men (and other mysterious elements). The answer is that the paintings of objects such as oysters, ice creams and cats’ mouths—which allude to the female body in multiple imaginative ways—reflect Massey’s recent fertility journey with her partner and are named after the potential sperm donors they considered—hence the endearing monikers of Fairfax Ken, European Bank 568 and Cryobank Greg. “Massey cites society’s persistent, habitual reminder that female + female = incorrect, that existence outside of the approval and verification of the male gaze is inappropriate,” the gallery said in a statement. “Her recent fertility journey with her partner has brought this into sharp focus.” It is all about seeing such brilliantly queer work through a “reproductive lens”. (Go see.)

Talking tea towels: The Art Newspaper’s José da Silva (left) with David Shrigley

Pulp fiction, Shrigley style

The UK artist and all-round japester David Shrigley was in fine form at the new Art Basel Shop, describing how he made 1,250 copies of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four from the pulped remains of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. In a lively conversation moderated by our very own exhibitions editor, José da Silva, Shrigley revealed how he’d like to give a copy of Orwell’s text to every citizen in the UK. Copies of the book, replete with a limited-edition print, are available in the shop for SFr 1,300, prompting Shrigley to ponder on art as merchandise. “My crappy drawings look good on a tea towel,” he said, plugging his Copenhagen-based Shrig Shop. “[In an art shop] you can always find things to fit in your hand luggage; you can’t do that with a Richard Serra work.”

Not going swimmingly: high waters are keeping bathers out of the Rhine

Superyachts are so passé, darling

Swimming in the Rhine is usually all the rage during the hot, hazy days of Art Basel, its soothing waters lifting the mood of city dwellers and visitors alike. But not this year. Dealers are usually encouraged to don their bathers and dive in for an early morning collegiate dip—but high flood levels mean that it has been too treacherous to take the plunge. There is still lots of arty activity on the river as a wealth of art-world luminaries have eschewed the swanky Trois Rois hotel and bedded down instead on two luxury house boats moored on the Rhine. “It’s like an Agatha Christie novel onboard,” said an anonymous guest. “You wonder who you’ll spot next—I’ve seen the German artist Anne Imhof and the Parcours curator Stefanie Hessler. And, by the way, the toilets are lovely.” Good to know.

Undercover gallerist: Anonymous reports from behind the scenes at Basel

Today’s diary is very short, I’m sorry. I stayed up all night trying to keep up with a group of younger dealers in Basel for the first time. “Friends Bar” is not a safe space.

Anyway, it’s another wonderful day in Basel. I have been asked by The Art Newspaper team if I am depressed due to my sad diaries so far. I am, of course, as my natural dealer disposition, but I can cheer up today as I found my ghosted collectors last night and managed to convince them to spend some of their hard-earned cash on a few works from the booth. Will they want to pay for import and export? That is a story for another day.

I will naturally celebrate late into tonight, perhaps like the boys found fondling at midnight in the Richard Serra by the Kunsthalle Basel, or the Gmail adviser who fell flat on the dancefloor at L’Avventura last night… See you tomorrow.

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