Miami Art Fairs: Fear and Sacrilege in South Beach

There is nothing that the art world loves more than four days of non-stop money spending and networking. The Miami art fairs are quick to come and go, but this week DailyServing will track some of the highs and lows of this year’s spectacle. DailyServing writers John Pyper, Benjamin Bellas and Rebekah Drysdale weigh in on the more noteworthy works exhibited this year.

We kick off this week’s coverage with John Pyper’s Fear and Sacrilege in South Beach.

Edgard de Souza Untitled (Mesa Ninho). All photographs courtesy of John Pyper

Sometimes I feel bad for right wing politicians. So much smut in this world and so little time to rail against it. They have to spend their time fighting for tax breaks for the type of people who can afford to buy the offensive art from the secular temple of economic gluttony that is the December art fairs in Miami. The heathen fairs all have their own heretical personalities and yet its easy to glaze over and think that they all look the same. White walls, no ceilings, tired smiles on gallery employees dressed in nice suits wishing they could sit down and eat something.

The mental state that visitors bring to these fairs matters quite a bit. I entered the week thinking about the controversy surrounding the removal of “A Fire in My Belly” by David Wojnarowicz from Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery, and it colored my view of what I saw exhibited at the fairs.

Which of these works are offensive enough to be the next banned work? Are there any that the Portrait Gallery should replace Wojnarowicz’s video with? Here is a short list of available candidates that the Catholic League can pick on next:

Edgard de Souza’s untitled sculpture of two tables in physical relations. Is this the hope that Obama voters fell for? Anthropomorphised tables having at it?

Andres Serrano–  Baby Black Jesus. Seems inoffensive and even pretty, but who the hell knows anymore.

Jenny Holzer– These Enhanced Techniques. In the age of Wikileaks, we have to worry about lefty art types leaking classified information?

Wim Delvoye-- Double Helix Crucifix Alternating Current

Wim Delvoye– Double Helix Crucifix Alternating Current or Cement Truck (maquette 1:6) One offends the Christians and one offends good blue collar workers.

Allora & Calzadilla– Petrified Petrol Pump. Gasoline is the life-force of capitalism. Fighting against it is anti-American.

Kris Martin‘s untitled sculpture of a catholic saint holding a burnt cathedral in his hands. This throw away work would probably be fine if a protestant saw it, but the Catholic League would have a kitten.

Li Zhanyang-- The Goat Fucking the Dog

Li Zhanyang– The Goat Fucking the Dog. I’m not sure why the goat and dog are having sex, but they have to be some form of coded meaning against baseball, apple pie, and/or mom.

Mounir Fatmi’s entire existence and body of work. This time he was showing a group of prayer rug collages and skateboards covered with prayer rugs. It’s like cartoons selling cigarettes. It’s a gateway drug to Jihad.

Malia Jensen– Salty. A video of cows licking breast sculptures made of salt? Repugnant liberal media.

Malia Jensen-- Salty

John Waters– Rear Projection. This sick homosexual ruins everything.

Sandow Birk– American Qur’an. I’m sure that the American Qur’an will be an official book for students now that Obama is in the White House.

Al Farrow‘s sculptures of synagogues and mosques made of bullets and guns. This seems to fit the messianic war that the right wing is waiting for in the Middle East.

Michael Scoggins‘ gigantic notebook paper attacks against Christianity. Christianity and Islam are not the same thing and this guy is just starting religious conflict for no reason.

Michael Scoggins

Steve Mumford– Empire. Again, the era of wikileaks.

Spunk & the Orange Kittens‘ installation of a couch and photographs of people have sex on it. Disgusting. Who would buy a couch that has documentation of people having sex on it?

Paul Chan– The Body of Oh Girl (truetype font). It starts with “fuck me Jesus so hard there, yes more keep going…” Is someone calling out to Jesus, or is Jesus doing the fucking? It’s hard to tell, and luckily this wasn’t for sale.