Art, Bananas and a lot more..

In the last two months my travels took me to Herzliya and Miami.

There is no connection between the two cities; one is in Israel and the other in the U.S. But maybe Art is what connects us all, not  defined by borders or boundaries.

I saw lots of art and actually there was one artist; Alison Zuckerman, who popped up in both places. The Herzliya Museum is a gem of a place which can be found fifteen minutes from Tel Aviv. Aya Lurie who runs the museum manages to put up shows that highlight incredible artists and tell a story. In the current exhibit it’s about portraits. She called it “portrait time” and indeed each of the artists in the show manage to tell their personal story. Each of the stories invites us to enter the artist’s mind, hence finite time.

When one walks into the museum there is a wall painting in black charcoal. It is like walking into a cave and reading a story through pictures. It is a work by Maria Saleh Mahameed. She draws her life in the past year where she has hovered between life and death. Helping a child who needed a blood transfusion and healing herself from an accident. The artist in the next gallery is Natalia Zourabova who tells the story of her daughter, born to a house of Russian immigrants. The images describe her adaptation to her new country. We continue our tour and enter a room full of colors. It is the work of an American artist, Alison Zuckerman who takes classic images and adapts them to the new times. She is creating a re-mix of contemporary art with pop culture. We continue the exploration and come to a dark room. A video is projecting images of a boy visiting different art institutions. It started when he fell asleep looking at art at the Israel Museum. This work stands as a memorial to Ari (the artist Iris’s son) who died in a road accident at the age of 17, a year before the show. It is a true representation of the title: “Portrait Time.”

Images stay in our mind and we use them to tell a story and to remind us of those we love.

Tel Aviv is full of galleries, but you can find interesting art just by walking around. Graffiti is all over especially in the Florentine area. Those artists tell their story and convey their ideas for all to see

There is a lot more art to see in Israel, but it was time to come back home and fly South to Art Basel Miami. I have not been to the fair for a few years and I was looking forward to seeing what would I find? I decided to spend two days and see the main fair and maybe some of the smaller fairs and hopefully check out Design Miami. As we landed before the main fair opened, we checked what’s new in the world of design. Some interesting swing chairs in the shape of a ball piked my interest although I am not sure how comfortable they are. Lots of pottery and modern furniture. We took a walk on the beach and got to see the fair Untitled. It was a bit disappointing… not much new, lots of colorful paintings and again pottery. At night we visited the main fair’s special session, The Meridians where they highlighted different artists.

The main fair opened on Wednesday.  It was nice to see some familiar works by artists I like and discover some new ones. Again, lots of pottery. It seems that pottery is the new medium. I will let the images below do the “talking”.

Mera and Don Rubell has been collecting art since the early 80’s. see

It is a “must” to visit their collection as they focus each year on a different theme and artist, but this year, recognizing that their museum was too small to show their enormous treasures, they opened their new space. They showed around 150 works out of the thousands works they collect. They picked one or two pieces of the same artist and tried to work in a chronological order. It was a real celebration. Among their collection they had two Kusama rooms…. no need to wait on long lines to enter, and Keith Herring, Murakami, Jeff Koons and lots more.

Back to New York I took a friend to see the re-opened MOMA. It’s big and you will need a whole day and maybe more to real enjoy the rooms. The curators did a fantastic job showing the art and the influence the artist of a particular piece had on a younger artist. There is a lot to say so I plan to  devote another blog on that experience.

This final image says it all. Art makes me think. Looking at art is like trying to figure out what was the artist thinking, what was he or she trying to tell us? When I read a book I create an image in my mind, it is like drawing a picture. Cattelain- the “comedian” made us laugh with his banana duct tape to the wall.  see

There is an Instagram account that makes fun of his work, he definitely makes us think and even be creative, who knows…. maybe that is what the artist intended. At the end of the day when we go to sleep all that we remember are the good times we had today.

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As this blog will be published during Hanukah, here is a menorah “in the style of” Maurizio Cattelan’s “banana art”.

Hanukah Banana

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