Humor

Dictator Heads, Earwax, and Butt Trumpets: The Seven Weirdest Things at Basel This Year

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1. The Butt Trumpet

If you were looking for a single work encapsulating the crass commercialism of Miami Art Week one need look no further than a modest mixed media sculpture by Chinese artist, Feng Lu, at Berlin's Galerie Michael Schultz booth at Art Miami.

Lu's modest piece depicted a nude contortionist with his head bent back between his legs while blowing a trumpet from under his puckered sphincter. It pretty much summed up all the visual noise assaulting viewers last weekend.

2. Franco's Head

At the Art Miami booth of New York's Unix Gallery, viewers queued up to snap selfies in front of Eugenio Merino's life-like bust of Generallisimo Francisco Franco wearing dark sunglasses. The dead Spanish dictator's bald head appeared in an empty Coca Cola fridge to sinisterly evoke his countrymen's enduring fears he will return from the dead to continue tormenting the masses.

3. Live Earwax Mining

Next door at Art Miami's sister fair, Context, Basel's Licht Feld Gallery delivered a more intimate aural assault on visitors with Japanese-American self-portrait artist, Ayakamay, performing a traditional Mimikaki cleansing on passersby willing to lie on the floor while she patiently dug earwax out of their noggins with using strange hooked instruments.

The artist, who sported a Raggedy Ann mop atop her red-freckled face and an eye-popping kimono, is known for her unexpected interactive performances that engage strangers and provoke their physical senses.

4. Hostage sex toys

Meanwhile, inside LA's Fabien Castanier Gallery booth at Context, Mark Jenkins drew hordes of visitors snapping pictures of his ski mask-covered men wielding assault rifles or holding Blowup sex dolls hostage with handguns.

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Carlos Suarez De Jesus