Friday, December 4, 2009

A New Art Form?

Yesterday, I checked out Art Basel Miami, the largest annual art show in America, perhaps in the world. Galleries from around the globe exhibit artwork by their most promising and prominent artists, all of it for sale, often at astronomical prices. The artistic giants of the twentieth century are displayed cheek by jowl with emerging artists. Works by de Kooning, Picasso, Kline, Lichtenstein, Moore, and Calder were on hand at this year's show, along with offerings by avante garde artists using a vast variety of media, from video and photography to plastic and lucite, including one notable canvas consisting of bits of glued-on caviar.

Speaking of cheeks and jowls, the artistic efforts of plastic surgeons were very much in evidence at the show. Facelifts abounded. A facelift, like a cubist painting, rearranges the face. Had I been more brazen, I would have taken photos of the most dramatic examples with my iPhone. As I wandered through the labyrinth of gallery spaces, I gazed in amazement at the taut skin, wide mouths, and prominent jawlines of the doyennes of Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Miami Beach. I had fantasies of creating my own photographic exhibit—The Facelift as a New Art Form

The more I gazed, the more the women with facelifts looked alike. Perhaps they'd used the same doctor. Perhaps they'd had one facelift too many. Most were slender and fashionably dressed. I couldn't help but wonder whether they'd spent too much time in one anothers' company. Perhaps they'd forgotten how people in the real world look.

On the other hand, maybe it's me who's lost touch with reality. I arrived at the show in my customary jeans, black tee shirt, and SAS walking shoes. My hair had frizzed in the humidity and I'd forgotten to bring a comb or lipstick. Amid the chic outfits and high heels, I looked distinctly underdressed. I can only imagine how the women I've just disparaged would describe me. Definitely not as an art form.


  1. Fabulous Barbara, loved the art form idea.

    We miss you and the big E.

  2. This plastic surgery obsession we see all around is an amazement to me. I guess I can understand why movie & rock stars resort to it. After all so much depends upon the appearance of youth. But younger and younger women rush to go under the knife. Billions of dollars are being spent to tighten, de-wrinkle, lift, flatten, plump, etc.

    I agree that after a while all the faces begin to resemble one another. Give me the an elderly face softened by age with the lines to notate all the laughter, sorrow, anger and joy it has known.