As you enter the 2007 Miami Basel Art Fair, you are surrounded by photographs. To your left, a huge new Gursky titled "Cocoon"...
... next to a Thomas Ruff jpeg picture.
To your right a series of uninspiring Idris Khan pictures. (Even though his previous work is what they all seem to be copying this year.)
And a Darren Almond.
The point is that photography is EVERYWHERE. But at Miami Basel it's photography through the prism of contemporary and modern blue chip art galleries - which means big prints, big prices, and a dollop of conceptual thought. It's a conundrum that those who hew to a more straightforward tradition find frustrating, but nobody has to buy it.
There wasn't much new and exciting at Miami Basel in the way of photographs, but here are the pictures that grabbed my attention for one reason or another.
Flavia Darrin did a Loretta Lux by way of John Currin.
Ernesto Ballasteros did Idris Khan. (Sorry about the bad reflection.)
Ryan McGinley continued to look good.
This was an interesting constructed piece by Adrian Paci about immigrants going nowhere.
Sam Taylor-Wood showed her latest video piece. A two minute loop on Leda and the Swan.
...another Darren Almond.
A new Wolfgang Tilmans window-sill piece.
A large untitled new Florian Maier -Aichen.
This was an amusing piece by Fabian Marti.
Shirana Shahbazi had some striking color still lifes.
Yet another Darren Almond. He got the ubiquitous prize.
Waiting for a Struth buyer.
A Vera Lutter of Times Square.
Damien Hirst has now officially become a photographer - or perhaps just signed his name to these pictures of butterflies and skulls.
A lovely grid of Vera Lutter's Venice pictures.
I noticed Malcolm Daniel of the Met eyeing this Wolfgang Tilmans.
A good large Cindy Sherman "Untitled Film Still" from 1979.
A group of my favorite William Eggleston 4x5 bar-room portraits at Cheim and Read.
A Struth "Museum" picture.
A nice group of Diane Arbus photographs at Fraenkel.
Many Richard Prince photographs, but most of them looking a bit yellowed.
Teaching the folks at In Fashion '07 a lesson, this lovely grouping at Howard Greenberg. An Irving Penn on top and a Horst below.
Also at Greenberg, another great pairing - Arnold Newman contact sheets and an Irving penn of Frederick Kiesler and Willem De Kooning...
...followed by Steichen's 1924 portrait of Joan Crawford.
Lastly, at Art Supernova - a young offshoot of Miami Basel - a group of adult Pippi Longstocking-ish constructed portraits titled "I Love My Life" by the Israeli photographer Rona Yefman
That's it for now. More on Photo Miami, AIPAD Miami, NADA, and Art Miami tomorrow.