Tim Biskup Does Art Basel

Editors note: My buddy Tim Biskup took a little trip down to Art Basel so we thought it would be fun to share what he does while he’s down there. This is an inside look at his world and I have to say, I’m totally jealous. I’ve never been to Art Basel before so it’s pretty fun seeing it from his point of view. Thanks Tim!

First, let me say that I have a love/hate relationship with Art Basel Miami, as I do with the art world in general. The first year a went was one of the most depressing occurances of revelation that I have ever had. I made the trip with the expectation that it would be a huge party and I would have a great time and meet a bunch of cool art world people that would help me push my work into bigger and better places. That was not the case. It made me feel small and meaningless in a way that I could never have imagined. It shook me out of the comfort zone that I had established for myself and forced me to change my approach to my artwork. The parties were fun, but the overall sense that I had at nearly every event I attended was that I was not connecting with the “right” people. The people that I knew could really change my career for the better didn’t seem to want to talk to me. I made some amazing connections with some very inspiring people, but the overwhelming feeling that I had was that I was not a part of the art world. I was an outsider.

It took me years of wrangling with the meaning of my work and the connection and disconnection that I have to the infrastructure of art, but I have figured out enough that by this, my fourth trip to Miami for Basel, I had a truly great time. Maybe taking a few years off helped, but mostly it was the realization that everyone feels pretty much the same way about the art world. It is a social game that has little to do with making art. If you take it personally when a museum director forgets your name or you get snubbed by an art-dealer that seemed to like you when you got them into a fancy party last year you are just wasting your emotions. You have to take what you can from the experience. It can be inspiring and you can learn a lot from the way it messes with your mind. The parties are fun, but only if you truly let go of your expectations and enjoy yourself. The true highlights for me were the conversations that I had with my girlfriend, Nicki, Al from OHWOW Gallery, Bill from ATM Gallery, Eric White, Xavier from Friends With You, George from Tony Shifrazzi Gallery & Cat from Printed Matter in NYC. Below are some pics of art that stood out and good times that erupted here and there…


We missed Friends With You’s epic “Rainbow City” launch party because we landed late and our cab driver literally fell asleep at the wheel three times driving us from the airport to the hotel! We met up with painter Eric White, producer Mick Ebeling and Levi’s art lord Christian Parkes for Peaches at Bally’s “Love Bar” pop-up club in the design district.

After that we headed to the Le Baron pop-up club at Florida Room:


C Parkes and E White
That pretty much destroyed us until the wee hours…


We met up with Friends With You at their office/gallery space for a fitting with Levi’s and Native Shoes (Thanks!).

Then we went to check out “Rainbow City”… Amazing!

Later that night Eric & I deejayed & screened our video project at “Bar”, OhWOW Gallery’s hot-spot.

After a failed attempt to hit up Ryan McGinnesss’ strip club bash we settled for a few rounds at a kareoke dive around the corner. That pretty much went on all night with the help of London Police, Bill from ATM Gallery and a host of guest-stars that dropped in to whitness the legendary vocal prowess of Mr. Eric White. (PS – I stopped taking pictures at some point because everything was blurry…)


Finally ready to look at some art fair action, we headed to the big fair. Nabbed VIP passes, thanks to pals at Cartier and took in the madness… David Shrigley always kills me and makes me relax about art BS.

The Goat Fucking The Dog by Li Zhanyang

Papi Shampoo by Jeff Sonhouse

Jean Dubuffet

Robt. Williams

Always nice to see these two:

Back to The Standard for dinner and Vanessa Beecroft’s pool full of naked ladies:

We never made it away from the Standard as the lobby turned into an impromptu party. Ran into Kaws, Cheryl Dunn, Jose Parla and Scott Campbell among others.


Started out with Design Miami…

Ted Noten

Then to Scope…

Morgan Herrin

Olek’s “Knitting is for Pus****” featured live models knitted into body suits (look closely).

This Mat Brown drawing is amazing. Maybe a bit too inspired by Geoff Darrow?

Close-up of a painting by Zach Needler

Jung-Yeon Min

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the design district. Best food in Miami. We came back twice while in town!

We topped-off the day with a trip back to Bar for the Stone’s Throw party…

Shepard Fairey cooled-out after a very busy Basel!

Monday was spent lounging about, drawing, eating, chatting with friends and at one point flipping through paintings by Friends With You.

Thanks Miami!

December 10, 2010