Started in 1970, Art Basel is the result of a handful of passionate and determined Basel gallerists who had an ambitious vision. Over 40 years later, Art Basel is one of the world’s most respected art shows, showcasing both long-established and burgeoning art talents alongside one another. Three annual shows bring it together, with its namesake in Switzerland, one held in Miami, and the Asian debut in Hong Kong – which took place for the first time this year. It’s a clever move, with several of the Western world’s most prominent commercial galleries having recently set up shop over there. We trawled the web and compiled highlights of some of the best artworks on show for your viewing pleasure.
Aztec Pattern by Osang Gwon
Represented by Arario Gallery in Seoul, South Korean artist Osang Gwon creates remarkable life-size photo-collage sculptures. As an artist he is heavily inspired by fashion and lifestyle magazines, believing that fashion photography reflects the current times in a creative and imaginative way. The above artwork was a reinterpretation of the multicultural mix of fashion designer WOOYOUNGMI’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection.
Jacksie by Gilbert and George
This mixed media contemporary painting titled Jacksie is by British duo Gilbert and George. Arguably the most committed partnership in the art world, the two have spent the last 40 years inseparable, limiting their lives and work to the realms of East London where their dedicated routine has seen them spending each meal together eating at the same local cafes and restaurants.
Pixcell Deer #32 by Kohei Nawa
The term ‘Pixcell’ is derived from ‘pixel’ and ‘cell.’ The most basic of building blocks of both the digital and the organic. Japanese artist Kohei Nawa has been working with his unique artificial glass medium, called Pixcell beads, since 2000, using them to address the discrepancies between exterior and interior. Here, hundreds of crystal clear beads coat a once living, now taxidermied, deer.
Jake & Dinos Chapman ‘The Sum of All Evil’
Not that I want to discredit the inclusion of this piece in this feature, but it would seem that no photograph could do this exhibition justice. British brothers the Chapmans created a series of single dioramas monumental in scope and minute in detail. As the title suggests, The Sum of All Evil is a summation of all the worst possible evils – violence runs wild in a scene that is both atemporal and trans-historical with references to contemporary culture.
Self Portrait with Flowers by Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami surely needs no introduction. This particular body of his was presented at Art Basel Hong Kong by Galerie Perrotin, and it includes the above acrylic on canvas self-portrait in his iconic style, overlaid on a background of painted skulls.
Kris Kuksi Churchtanks
American artist Kris Kuksi has said that through his work he hopes to expose his audience to the awareness of the fallacies of man. His Churchtanks mixed media series present a controversial re-imagining of cathedrals as heavily armored tanks – a blatant comment on morality and organized religion.
Laurent Grasso Visibility Is A Trap
Laurent Grasso is highly regarded as one of the leading artists of his generation. His work featured in Art Basel Hong Kong was a structure in fluorescent white bulbous font which spells the sentence Visibility Is A Trap. It is a direct reference to the French philosopher Michel Foucault’s theory of Panopticism, from his seminal text Discipline and Punish.
Jenny Holzer After Dark It’s A Relief To See A Girl…
Jenny Holzer is an American conceptual artist who is known mostly for her large-scale public displays that include billboard advertisements. The above work is a hand-painted enamel on metal sign, presented by Spruth Magers Berlin Gallery, and it pretty much speaks for itself…
Aiko Miyanaga Waiting For Awakening Clock
Aiko Mayanaga is a Japanese artist who is interested in the process of capturing or stopping time through her representation of everyday objects. The artwork above is titled Waiting For Awakening Clock and is constructed from naphthalene, which is the material used in mothballs and a material she uses frequently in her work.
Ichwan Noor Beetle Sphere
Indonesian native Ichwan Noor unsurprisingly drew a lot of attention with his striking artwork at Hong Kong’s Art Basel. Taking five Volkswagen Beetles and compressing them into spheres led to an impressive result, which brings together and simultaneously juxtaposes nature and its opposition: technology.