Best Basel Headline Grab (2012)

Yishay Garbasz

From a drug-filled coffin at a satellite fair to a naked artist lying in the mud with a pair of hogs in a local gallery window, the tenth-anniversary edition of Art Basel featured plenty of weird art to compete with the high-priced masterpieces at the Miami Beach Convention Center. But if there was one artist this past December whose opus raised the bar on headline grabbing, it was Yishay Garbasz's cringe-inducing installation at the Seven Art Fair. The Israeli-born, Berlin-based artist typically explores issues of gender in her work. At Seven, the Bard College-educated photographer presented an arresting suite of self-portraits snapped over the course of a year documenting her gradual transformation through surgery and hormone treatment from man into woman. The powerful pictures, exploring a typically taboo subject, were visceral and compelling in their honesty. But what left tongues wagging was the artist's display of her post-op testicles floating in a jar.


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