Scope Miami Beach 2018: David Bade at Annelien Kers
My first stop on the Miami art trail this year was the Scope Art Show. Booths felt cramped and the aisles were far too narrow, making it difficult to step far back enough to see the art on display. There was also too much posturing on politics, rather than thoughtful critique. Most of it —unluckily for me —included hideous Trump visages. A super-realistic portrait by the street artist Shuglo shown at the fair highlights this disturbing trend perfectly. It’s a super-realistic rendering of a news image, which records the exact moment at which Trump puckers his not-so-sweet lips to utter the word “huge.” A garish neon sign covering half his face, spells out the word in elegant cursive. A noble exception was the standout solo presentation of paintings and part-assemblage sculptures by Curaçao-origin artist, David Bade, at Amsterdam dealers Annelien Kers. His figurative paintings channel a nightmarish contortion of animals and humans twisted into a dystopian sexual fantasy. The largest of these paintings combines shocking pinks and lime greens that feel at once icky and seductive. Trump makes an appearance here too, in a sculpture —but it’s deliciously subversive. The Commander-in-Chief’s head melts into a gooey mop with a jaundiced mane for hair.
Miami Beach Pavilion, 801 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, 4-9 December, 2018