The Weirdest Stuff We Saw at Art Basel 2016 (NSFW)

How do we love thee, Duck Rembrandt? Let us count the ways.EXPAND
How do we love thee, Duck Rembrandt? Let us count the ways.
Photo by Jerry Iannelli

There comes a point during every Art Basel season when you find yourself staring at something patently ridiculous — be it a painting of Fran Drescher making out with Dwight D. Eisenhower, or a sculpture of Felix the Cat reading a copy of Eat, Pray, Love — without cracking a smile even once. You simply stand there, lost in the swirl of self-seriousness that is Basel, making some sort of asinine comment about how the painting of Ike and the Nanny is really a comment about the growth of capitalism between generations.

Art is great, but it's also preposterous.

If Miami Art Week has a downside, it's the fact that for seven days, every single event — art fair, music performance, fashion show, bar crawl — is Serious, with a capital S. The city dresses in its finest gowns and sport coats and doesn't so much as crack a joke for a full calendar week. But there's a hell of a lot of silliness and absurdity that goes on during Art Basel Miami Beach every year. For example: Someone covered a Jesus sculpture in avocados outside the Bass in Miami Beach this year. It certainly had a point, but if you're unable to see how wonderfully silly the sculpture was, you need to lighten up.

So with Basel 2016 formally behind us, it's officially time to take the piss out of the whole affair and point out the straight-up silly things we witnessed this week. So whip out your tuxedo T-shirts, everybody — it's time to hand out some awards.

Many of these pieces are not safe for work.

1. The "Best Use of Bodily Fluids" Award: This looping video of a woman squirting milk from her breasts.

If this doesn't fill you with absolute glee, please remove yourself from society, enroll at a Zen monastery, and take a lifelong vow of silence.

2. The "Urban Outfitters Memorial Unnecessary Pop-Culture Reference" Award: A tie between this painting of Hulk Hogan, which corners the market on buyers who are cool with fawning portraits of roided-out pro wrestlers who use the N-word liberally and sued a media organization into the ground,

and this spray paint and/or finger paint and/or magic marker piece of the Pink Panther trying to hypnotize himself to quit cigarettes:

The Weirdest Stuff We Saw at Art Basel 2016 (NSFW)EXPAND
Photo by Jerry Iannelli

3. The "I Know I Agreed to Come Check Out Your Art Collection, but This Tinder Date Is Officially Over" Award: This diorama of a mass shooting:

The Weirdest Stuff We Saw at Art Basel 2016 (NSFW)EXPAND
Photo by Laine Doss

4. The "Thing That's So 2016 It's Already Passé" Award: Abstract Pokémon.

Remember Pokémon Go? That was awesome, right?

The Weirdest Stuff We Saw at Art Basel 2016 (NSFW)EXPAND
Photo by Jerry Iannelli
The Weirdest Stuff We Saw at Art Basel 2016 (NSFW)EXPAND
Photo by Jerry Iannelli

5. The "Obligatory Use of Mickey Mouse Ears as a Metaphor for American Corporate Greed" Award: Here's a fat, naked guy in mouse ears. And oh my God I'm yawning, I'm yawning so much, am I falling asleep, no wait I'm actually dead now. This was so on-the-nose it crushed my nose into my brain and now I'm dead. Are you happy?

(Bonus: You win points whenever you un-ironically reenact a Portlandia skit.)

The Weirdest Stuff We Saw at Art Basel 2016 (NSFW)EXPAND
Photo by Laine Doss

6. The "I Know This Is About Sex but I'm Not Sure What You're Going for Here" Award: These two deer having passionate sex, people-style. It's a piece for the discerning buyer, who really wants to make it awkward when he or she reports that his or her $10 million collection of erotic art has been stolen.

The Weirdest Stuff We Saw at Art Basel 2016 (NSFW)EXPAND
Photo by Jerry Iannelli


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