Basel Diaries: Sarah Arison


I think that my Basel week can best be summed up by the fabulous Reinier Bosch coffee table I was coveting at Design Miami- “WHAAM!”.  I feel like I was hit by a bullet train filled with champagne.  Exhaustion and sore feet aside (7 days of Brian Atwood and Louboutin will take a toll on even the most seasoned high-heel lover), it was an incredible week filled with spectacular art, wonderful people and delightful parties. Without a doubt, the highlight of my week was my intimate lunch with Marina Abramovic.  Prior to the debut of her stunning film by director Matthu Placek at the National YoungArts Foundation campus, “A Portrait of Marina Abramovic”, I was privileged enough to sit next to her for an hour and a half and just… chat.  When I heard I would be having lunch with her, I was beyond intimidated and had fears that I would have nothing to say to this brilliant artist, but it was like having lunch with a long-time girl friend.  We discussed about her love of shoes (the higher the better), and she shared with me the incredible amount of preparation it takes for her to do a project- she literally changes the way her body functions over the course of a year.  She told me that I should start counting grains of rice as a form of meditation, (I have yet to get past 17 before getting distracted), and filled me in on the Marina Abramovic Institute which she is currently building in Hudson, NY.  Visitors must don white lab coats and commit to spending 6 cell-phone free hours there in order to receive the full experience.  Without a doubt it will become a top destination for art lovers around the world.


Much of my time during Basel was taken up by the show that I co-curated for the Architectural Digest Oasis Lounge at the James Royal Palm.  With a theme coming from actor/filmmaker Adrian Grenier and film producer Peter Glazter’s cultural media platform which seeks to breathe sustainable ideas into culture through art, photography, film and design, we had 16 pieces up for 4 days.  Each piece underscored human’s relationship to nature and the effects of climate change and examined earth’s growing vulnerabilities and the sustainability of its resources in the new millennium.  I worked with Adrian and Peter as well as with the co-founder of my website (an online platform for emerging artists and emerging collectors), Kipton Cronkite, to source established artists such as Shepard Fairey, Mr. Brainwash and Greg Haberny, as well as emerging artists such as Meagan Donegan and Jade Doskow.  The show was as huge success and we sold nearly every piece- with all proceeds going to Adrian and Peter’s not-for-proft Mobile Kitchen Classroom.