Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Art Basel Debacle

At the urging of my fabulous Aunt Dodie, I decided to go to Art Basel this year. It is the world largest modern art show with the top 3,000 dealers from all over the world coming to sell some of their most precious pieces to museums, celebrities, and the absurdly wealthy. Think of it as one-stop shopping for gazillionaires to pick up Picasso's, Miro's, and Warhol's all under one roof - some of which are never before seen by the public. Instead of having to trudge through the top galleries in Toyko, Milan, New York, and Paris - all the art collectors have to do to is just head to Basel, once a year and get it done in a period of about 48 hours. Aunt Dodie coaxed my Mother into taking me as it would be a great Mother/Daughter bonding trip (which she is always up for, of course!) complete with culture, shopping, and a lively international atmosphere that we would both enjoy. She insisted that Art Basel is to art junkies what Mecca is to Islamics - a pilgrimage that must be made once in one's lifetime...and many more times than that, if possible. I was later pulled aside, and like a drug dealer - Dodie coarsely whispered in my ear that the trip was more for me to meet the "right sort" of men than anything else. The cultured, wealthy, international, intelligent types - and to look fabulous and mostly of all, not to disappoint her.

Dodie set Mom and I up with VIP passes to everything, plus all the necessary party invitations. I looked chic, Mom had her check book out, and we literally stopped short of the entrance to the show with our mouths agape. Right out the front was a five-story high, bronze garden gnome holding a giant butt plug in his hand. Was that a sign of what was inside? Gawd....it was certainly a long way to travel to be welcomed by pornographic sculpture in the presence of my Mom.

Interestingly enough that gnome was telling.....the massive convention hall was packed with hordes of tiny gay men. After three hours of cruising the stalls, my mother had a hard time understanding my foul mood as I ate ice cream in the VIP Lounge on the balcony overlooking a circular garden. I really couldn't admit that she had been a pawn in my search for the ideal husband. I honestly think my Mom could care less if I did become the lady with the tipsy house full of cats. Wing-woman, she was not. What had Dodie been thinking? Where were those men she had previously described?

My fears were finally confirmed that this was all a big mistake when I saw Stephanie Seymour hanging out in Tony Shafrazi's stall...surrounded by none other than more women and more short, gay men. If she couldn't attract the straight men like moths to a flame - then I certainly couldn't. Game over - that much was clear.

I did end up meeting the cute son of a gallery owner (boy, how the standards had fallen within 24 hours) at the Kunthshalle - a huge restaurant with an upscale beer garden. To be honest, he was technically very good looking and had an adorable British accent- but he had Adolph Hitler's exact haircut (which I have never seen on anyone outside of Nazi documentaries) and he was a mere 21-years old. O.K., he also seemed slightly homosexual, he had a body like a reed, plus a strange ghoulish giggle, and he allowed my Mom to pay for drinks all night - but nevertheless, I was getting desperate to make this trip a success in one form or another. I was very close to bestowing the esteemed title of "holiday hook-up" upon him and then he did the unthinkable - he picked his nose. He just jammed his finger right up his tender little nostril. And then he did it again, and again, and again. He looked at us and did it. He did it while he was telling a story. He did it again after ordering another drink on my Mother's tab. He just couldn't keep his finger out of his nasal cavity to save his tender young life - and thus, his narrow window of having a make-out session with me quickly vanished right up there with whatever it was that was in his nose.

I glanced at my Mom and she was staring right at me, horrified. We had both been witnessing the same thing. Gay Baby Hitler could pick his nose for the national team. Consider me officially disgusted. And consider Art Basel a terrible place to meet men......unless you are looking for someone who plays for the other team, nose pickers, or men wanting to sell you something for $10,000,000. Count me out for Art Basel 2008 because it just won't be happening. Thank you, Switzerland!


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