I woke up and said to my wife (her friends call her Shuffy), I said “Shuffy, since we’re walking around these fairs thinking about it as a market, a county fair, and since…” She cut me off. She said, “You want to buy something today.” We don’t have any money, of course, but that didn’t seem the point. The point is to buy something anyway.

   2007 Art Basel Miami

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So we headed back inland to the bigger art fairs. They have the feel of Art Basel without the premium pricing. You can tell the difference between the secondary fairs in the prevalence of rugs. The more rugs, the more they wish they were Art Basel. We ended up at Pulse, which has rugs but not as many as… More…

I meant to visit a string of smaller art fairs along Collins Avenue and ended up spending the afternoon lounging on a $14 million yacht outside a $14 million home on Hibiscus Island instead. These things happen in Miami. The wealth, to its credit, is more of a “Why not?” kind of wealth than is generally found further up North. We were driven to the yacht and the mansion in a Bentley, which must constitute some form of Art Fair trifecta.

   2007 Art Basel Miami

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It ended up being a useful excursion for our purposes, though, because my Aunt Lou Ann was there and she said something brilliant. I told of her of my aesthetic difficulties at the fair and I confided in her my fear of the… More…

I’ve had a difficult day. It turns out that I really don’t have the constitution for it. I don’t have the will to concentrate when I’m confronted by the endless long corridors with booth after booth, gallery after gallery. It is like looking into infinity gazing down one of those corridors at Art Basel or Scope or Pulse or Art Miami. I see God down there at the end, or the bottomless abyss of the self. I don’t want to go there. But I can’t look at the works for very long either. There’s no context for them. So I’m back into the corridor and on the move, glancing to the left and right as millions of dollars worth of pigment and wax (people seem fascinated with sculpting in wax this year) flitter in and out of my weak and diluted perception.

I grew up in Los Angeles and I don’t like the sun very much. I don’t like the ocean except when there’s a storm, and I don’t like sand — the granules are not pleasing to me. Just because something or someplace is temperate doesn’t mean it is good. I’m aware, of course, of the various sayings at Delphi. I’m aware that the classical man seeks measure and that moderation is supposed to bespeak a kind of power. But it may also bespeak a death of the spirit, or at least its slumber. A person needs to come in from the cold now and again and kick a boot against the doorframe to dislodge a chunk of dirty snow, to watch it melt slowly on the floorboards and be gone. I say that it can be good to feel the bite of each particular season. Wisdom, another Greek person said,… More…