Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Preview - SeaFair's Floating Art Yacht Returns for the Fall Edition of Art Greenwich, September 20-23, 2012, Delamar Marina, Greenwich, Connecticut

SeaFair Art Greenwich Returns for a Fall 2012 Edition at Delamar Marina, Greenwich, Connecticut

September 20-23, 2012, Greenwich, CT.

By E. Joyce Glasgow,

SeaFair,,, is quite an unusual and unique way to view works by major established and up and coming artists. The host venue is a glamorous, yet unpretentious five story yacht, which takes harbor at marinas up and down the eastern U.S. seaboard. Its owners, David and Lee Ann Lester, Florida based art collectors and art dealers commissioned international yacht designer, Luiz De Basto to design the sleek, $40 million dollar vessel in 2007. It is 228 feet long, weighs  2800 tons and its interiors gleam with finely crafted brushed stainless steel, granite, marble and high tech materials of the types used in airliners.The gallery spaces on each of three display floors, are open, airy and strategically lit for ultimate display of the artwork, with flooring which uncannily resembles a lovely blond oak wood floor, yet is made out of some of those high tech airplane materials. The "mega yacht" as it is called, is an impeccable work of art in itself, having been built meticulously for its owners' desires to make it an optimal floating art gallery and with the structural ability to travel the shoreline and pull into centrally located harbors for SeaFair art shows from Florida to Connecticut. How does such a stunningly large boat  navigate into shoreline marinas? The answer is that the depth of the structure is only 6.5 feet under water. It was built to travel only in intercoastal waters and is maneuverable into shallow harbors, easily adjacent to land docks and easily accessible for visitors in convenient downtown locations.

I attended Art Greenwich, during the May 2012 show and found it really enjoyable. I was generally impressed by the grandeur of the ship itself, the hospitality of the ship's staff and the high quality and rarity of a lot of the art work available for sale in the seventeen different galleries displaying on the ship. There were works by Dubuffet, Warhol, Basquait, as well as lesser known contemporary artists in all mediums, including paintings, lithographs, etchings, photographs, hand made art book/portfolios and sculpture. I especially appreciated the spectacularly meticulous and beautiful art books being shown by Steven Albahari, the cordial and informative publisher of 21st Century Editions of South Denis, Massachusetts, and the photographs being displayed by the Aperture Gallery, of New York City, Most of the art on the yacht was engaging and eclectic and worth the visit, especially to see museum worthy pieces available for sale, albeit, not unexpectedly, at some seriously high prices, although there were also some surprisingly inexpensively priced finds.

There are some lectures, installations and performance art events throughout these weekends. In the May show, I was not particularly impressed by the performance art event I attended, where an artist clad in a lab coat and blindfold, blindly stabbed holes, with a kitchen knife, in canvases on stretchers, placed in front of him, as onlookers gazed intently. These randomly torn canvas, some eventually painted, some unpainted, were being seriously considered, by some collectors, to be the latest in avant- garde art expression, as they were rapidly being bought up for $25,000.00 each. I was shocked. There is no accounting for taste or logic in this particular case. I guess once an artist is deemed to be hot and collectible, all logic, discernment, wisdom and taste fly out the window. This amateurish performance art piece didn't measure up to the caliber of the show and artwork being presented throughout the galleries on board.

The ship has two outdoor decks on top for dining and drinking, a coffee bar, as well as a large, comfortable and informal indoor lounge, creating a friendly, easy going, social environment, making it easy to strike up a conversation with strangers sitting around you. There are lovely views of the harbor and marina from these spaces and fresh, reasonably priced food available on the menu. The yacht provides a relaxing escape for a pleasurable day appreciating art.

Nineteen U.S. and international galleries will participate in the September 2012 show and promising highlights will include an exhibition of original, rare works by Andrew Wyeth; American artists associated with the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, first opened in 1939, it became the Guggenheim Museum; photographs by Korean photographer, Taewon Jang , documenting the March 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami; contemporary jewelry design; fine furniture and other objects by Spanish designer, Paco Camus and a number of special events, including an intriguing sounding lecture by Dr. Philip Eliosoph, art history professor and senior art editor of VENU magazine entitled "The Girl with the Pearl Earring vs. the 12 Million Shark: What Gives Art Value?".

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