TEFAF, I love you but you’re bringing me down
I was at TEFAF Maastricht the day before yesterday. And I could easily write a quicky blogpost saying what a totally unique exhibition it is. I would challenge you to come up with an even finer fine art show that so effortlessly combines art from different eras in one single building. You would come up empty. But you know what? I’m not going to take the easy road today.
Instead, I’m going to tell you how I walked around TEFAF aimlessly, not quite knowing where to start.I’d sit down once in a while and feel like Kermit the Frog in that LCD Soundsystem video for New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down. Still totally awe-struck and madly in love with the place – but also more overwhelmed with each passsing year. How much art can a person reasonably take in? I’d think about all the hours each and every artist spent creating each individual piece. About all the thoughts they had painting each painting, sculpting each sculpture. About all the other work they created that isn’t on display. And I would think to myself: “How the hell am I supposed to process all this artistic wealth and do it justice in one single blogpost?” Because the inevitable answer is: I can’t. It’s just too much.
TEFAF, I love you but you’re bringing me down.
And gdmnit, I’ll be back next year. For now though, let me show what I’m trying to tell you.
Now, this is your typical scene at TEFAF. Booth after booth filled to the brim with the priceless shiny objects you desperately want to buy but can’t possibly afford unlike everyone you see around you. Yes, it’s the infamous Torment of Tantalus at TEFAF – now that would have been a great title for this blogpost as well.
Sweet Carolein! Time to clutch your pearls for this lovely work by Carolein Smit at the booth of Galerie Haas Zürich. I don’t know about you but I always have the feeling that I should know all the artists on display. I mean, I just did a Google search for Carolein Smit and realized she had an exhibition right here in Rotterdam’s Kunsthal in 2010 AND I DIDN’T. EVEN. KNOW. THAT. How come I’m always missing stuff like this? AAARGH!! Could I catch up next time I’m in London? After all, Carolein Smit has a show at the V&A this year!
Well, well, well, wouldn’t you know it? Another work by Carolein Smit – but this time at the booth Galerie Patrice Trigano. You really, really should check out these photos of her work under construction. It’s impressive and depressing at the same time (and I mean that in a good way).
Now, this is a chair whose designer I would recognize a million miles away. It’s Hubert le Gall – who I once interviewed at his studio in Paris! As you can see, Galerie Patrice Trigano (I keep writing Trivago) had an animal theme going on – very nice!
I really should have kept all the bottle tops I’ve gone through in my 48 years on this planet. Because then I could have become the Dutch equivalent of El Anatsui – except I wouldn’t because I’d never have the patience to turn them the amazing aluminum tapestry like he does. See, that’s another thing to get depressed over at TEFAF? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ One more observation: it’s kind of unnerving to see how tons of people were posting Instagram photos of this work at the booth of Axel Vervoordt without actually looking who made it. Oh well, never mind.
Some gallerists at TEFAF aren’t too keen on nosey bloggers whipping out their camera and snapping pictures of the art they’re selling. And so, at times I had to respect their privacy and take a photo when they weren’t looking. Luckily, I was able to get a good shot of these to works by Arnaldo Pomodoro at Tornabuoni.
Let’s not forget the outlandish colors some of the gallerists at TEFAF use for their booths. Although petrol is soooo 2009, I could definitely appreciate it in at Lucio Burzio – especially with that dark blue credenza. I love it when a color combination is a bit off.
Oh, the things I would do to be able to buy GilileoChiniLei by Luigi Ontani. It features the heads of Galileo Galilei and Galileo Chini paired Janus-like on a vase with cosmological symbols. I wish I’d had the nerve to haggle it down to 50 euro’s or so, but I was too afraid Massimo de Carlo would laugh and or spit in my face. I guess I’ll have to make do with the video you see below – loving the Wes Anderson-esque soundtrack btw.