ABMB syndrome hits West Coast

New York, NY – From the Los Angeles Times (via artsjournal.com) comes this week’s ludicrous Putting the ‘art’ in party, which I skimmed twice looking for elements of the super-vibrant LA arts scene. The closest I got was this pablum:

At Marvimon House, a cavernous former car showroom turned chic event space located in the shadow of Chavez Ravine, guests entering “Baby’s All Grown Up” were confronted first by a paparazzi-style photographer snapping pictures of everyone who entered the event, then by a boom-mounted digital video camera inside that swooped through the crowd in an effort to record the action — but also to “challenge the conventional definition of an art exhibition,” according to curator/co-organizer Veronica Fernandez, a freelance curator and art advisor. “It’s a celebration of art but at the same time, it’s poking fun at the entire thing,” said Fernandez, who marked her 28th birthday that night. “It’s cynical.”

Art world grandees, a smattering of art school students and some big-ticket collectors — 150 people in all, most of whom paid $99 to attend — supped on a roundelay of gourmet hors d’oeuvres created from recipes by famous artists (post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne’s seared albacore crudo with citrus marinated jicama salad was one of the highlights, as was the fifth course: meatloaf sandwich à la Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell). Music came courtesy of the alt-country band Pillbilly Nights and DJ Eddie Ruscha (whose namesake father, Ed, is a certified pop art superstar).

I’m wondering if anyone from LA has a picture of the meatloaf a la Motherwell?

Seriously, though, this sounds like everything I least liked about the way Art Basel Miami Beach has changed, with artworld people acting like celebrities but actually allowing themselves to become bit players on their own turf.

Note to Veronica Fernandez: Happy birthday. But at 28, you should know that calling something “cynical” doesn’t make it any less soulless. Next time, use “ironic.” Unless you want to be honest, in which case you’re stuck with “cynical.”

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