Photo Credit: Attilio Maranzano, courtesy the artist and The Bass.
Artnetnews just listed their 10 favorite works of art for 2018 — in the whole wide world. In the article, critic Sarah Cascone refers to Paola Pivi’s “World Record” hanging bed sculpture as “my favorite artwork, ever.”
That’s a big statement. Now to be fair, I often get excited and announce: “This was my favorite dinner ever!” Still, as President of the Board of Directors of The Bass, I couldn’t be happier that Ms. Cascone had such a wonderful experience at our museum. I am equally happy (maybe a bit more actually,) that Artnet chose to include Miami Beach’s contemporary art museum in such an august list. MOMA, the New Museum, and the National Gallery of Art are certainly good company for The Bass.
I know that it’s just a list, that it’s just one publication’s opinion, but still, it’s rather exciting. The Bass board has worked extensively with the museum staff to refine our mission, and to ensure that the curatorial vision aligns with the board’s desire to show accessible and engaging mid-career artists. Cascone refers to Pivi’s bed as a “sculpture-meets-audience-activated performance.” It’s no wonder there were lines to see the work. The museum’s mission is to activate our audiences. When successful, lines are the result.
We live in a world where most art museums have a hard time competing to purchase art. Contemporary art costs a lot of money, and many mega collectors have more money than most museums. But what museums have, which most collectors do not, is public space. Museums can and must provide spaces for artists to dream outside the confines of marketability. Most collectors can’t fit Paola Pivi’s bed in their home. The Bass can. We did and we are thrilled with the result.
The Artnetnews author enjoyed five minutes of “bliss” at The Bass. She felt a “sense of joy and community.” Isn’t that what culture and museums should offer viewers? It is not easy to do well, but when successful museums become entertainment. Entertainment, education, creativity — that’s what museums and The Bass specifically need to offer. There is a lot of competition out there for people’s time and money. We need to deliver a product that people want to see. We need to deliver a product that is both academically rigorous and entertaining. Thanks Artnews and Sarah for recognizing The Bass. We aim to please!