Signature Magazine Oman and Bahrain July 2012



Contemporary Mixed media artist Joseph Klibansky on the must-see, must-experience art fairs in the world

Joseph Klibansky - One of the youngest professional artists in the contemporary international art scene, Joseph’s work has often been described as ‘art with stopping power’. His points of departure are architecture and the city, particularly the accelerated, compressed and densely populated urban environments of the 21st Century. Joseph just turned 28 (not 31 as mentioned in our previous article). Among many other feathers in his cap, he is also the youngest artist to have his artwork ‘High Flyers’ auctioned at Sotheby’s last year (he was only 26) for Euros 35,000 (US$50.000,at the time), This was at the time, an international record amount ever paid for such a young, living artist. Joseph also has the rare distinction of joining famous artists such as Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami and Damien Hirst in designing the cover for a famous music artist or band. Joseph designed the cover for Armin van Buuren’s album Universal Religion (UR).

RAW ART FAIR - Rotterdam, The Netherlands
RAW is the newest art fair in the city of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. This fair had its first edition this year in February and takes place simultaneously with the established Art Rotterdam and Object Rotterdam, which are also mustsee established fairs, which were very conceptual this year. The location was very special as the fair took place in a large bunker in the middle of the old port of Rotterdam, surrounded by steel and cranes, on the waterside. Especially worthwhile was the RAW EXPO, an exhibition on the top floor consisting of large sculptures and installations, very impressive. Young, fresh and different.

I just returned from Hong Kong where I visited the fantastic Art Hong Kong, a mustsee venue for not only Asian contemporary art. It’s quite a large fair. It took me three days to see it all as they had two halls and three sections. It was nice to see big names in the art world, cutting-edge new artists and high quality Asian contemporary art, all in one fair. I personally loved the piece Perrotin showed from KAWS.

Of course Art Dubai is also in my top five. For me as an artist it is very important to have my work seen all over the world. I am always curious how my work will be received in a completely different culture than my own. I think Art Dubai creates a high quality podium for galleries and artists to present their work to a niché audience in the GCC region. I think it is also important for collectors from the region to experience the exciting dialogue between Western and Middle Eastern art in such close proximity.

TEFAF - Maastricht, Netherlands
One of the most important art fairs in the world is the TEFAF art fair, a.k.a ‘Maastricht’. This year was its 25th jubilee and was even visited by the Dutch Queen Beatrix! This fair is the complete opposite of what the RAW art fair has to offer. This fair is superchic and offers us a glimpse of the most important masters of the world. The galleries even hold pieces in depot, just to show them at Maastricht. The wealthiest collectors in the world fly in with their private jets to visit this art fair and collect the Masters of Art. You’ll find here Picassos and Rembrandts for over US$25 million. There is no such thing as ‘sticker-shock’ at TEFAF.

ART BASEL - Basel, Switzerland
The absolute must-see No. 1 fair for contemporary art in the world. This event carries a real energy that the whole art world can feel, for me it has a kind of excitement that a child would feel around Christmas. You just know something cool is going to happen but can’t put your finger on it just yet. I always discover an amazing artwork that really blows my mind at Basel. Brad Pitt is a big art collector and a regular guest at Art Basel.