Dubai based The Third Line Gallery offered four large works by Iran's new superstar artist Farhad Moshiri. He does kid's toy images in a pop art style: His works are made of acrylic glitter powder colors and glaze which he pushes through cake icing dispensers. Then he glues these 'color bisquits' on the canvas. They were priced US $ 180,000 each.
As many buyers lost substantial amounts of money by buying hip art in recent boom years, there is an increasing amount of uncertainty about what 'good' - or at least 'valuable' art actually is. In these times of uncertainty many art dealers have been presenting fewer photos, less school of Leipzig, less pornography and less neon than the years before. Instead, there were more blue-chip-artists and some more contemplative painting.
The Swiss artist Christoph Büchel makes his own fun(?) about this: He took off his sweaty socks and put them on the gallery floor of Hauser & Wirth for sale at a price of € 20,000. At the day of the opening, the work was left unsold.
Experiments were mostly limited to the newcomer gallery space of the fair 'Frame': I saw the spectacular sculpture 'Black Tie' by Californian artist Mike Bouchet. It is a massive 4.5 km long steel chain with anchor that is intended to moor a floating suburban home in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Venice Biennale artist thus manifests his dream of starting a floating suburb in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
As on Art Basel 2009, there were a number of Venice Biennale artists: The Spanish art dealer Helga de Alvear offered the sculpture 'L' homme qui ne marche pas' by the Scandinavian artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset for € 55,000. Their installation 'The Collectors' at the Biennale's Scandinavian pavillion was quite spectacular.
Helga de Alvear bought for her own collection the piece 'A day like this made of nothing and nothing else' by Ugo Rondinone. Pesenhuber gallery had originally a price tag of € 270,000 on the artificial tree made of cast aluminum and white enamel. The piece will be shown in Ms. de Alvear’s own museum in the Spanish town of Cáceres, which is due to open next summer. I think also in this case there was room for some negotiation.