Art Basel gossip: Martin Creed is dressed to impress, Basel Social Club takes the wafer and diners are left red faced


Martin Creed airs his feelings about, er, air

The Turner Prize winner Martin Creed is turning heads around Basel in his eye-catching garb comprising a blazer dotted with darts, a floppy hat plus a stripy skirt. “I’m here to see my work, Work No. 3733, Air,” he says, pointing to his flag piece flapping in the wind on the Parcours art trail. “It’s a no-brainer. Air is in great difficulty in the current climate; we need more air,” he adds cryptically. And what kind of response is his clothing getting as he jaunts about on the streets and trains of Basel? “People want to take photos; some of them laugh,” he says with a smile.

Bruno Lorenzo’s Yves Wüthrich had the cool kids of Basel Social Club eating out of his hand The Art Newspaper

The (ice) cream of society

The young and the beautiful were out at Basel’s new art hotspot—the uber-trendy Basel Social Club—earlier this week. Crowds flocked to the zeitgeisty venue housed in a former mayonnaise factory, which was brimming with works by emerging artists and eye-popping video installations. Anyone with a sweet tooth could also tuck into a bowl of ice cream supplied by local business Bruno Lorenzo.

“Let me get you an apron”: Mastercard’s meltdown led to some awkward moments for Basel’s diners Yan Krukau,

It’s all about the money

A problem processing Mastercard payments hit the art world hard this week, with glitterati around town sent into a spin when their cards were rejected at top eateries across the city. The apparent outage across Europe was stressful for collectors and curators who had quaffed and scoffed top nosh but faced shame on paying at the till. “I’m mortified,” said a nameless art luminary who couldn’t cough up at a high-profile restaurant. Red faces all round.

Thomas Price at Art Basel, fresh from seeing his sculpture, Moments Contained, unveiled in Rotterdam The Art Newspaper

Basel, Rotterdam, Basel

The artist Thomas Price, who was spotted perusing works in Unlimited at Art Basel this week, arrives at the fair fresh from launching a sculpture outside Rotterdam Central Station. The work, Moments Contained, shows a woman standing with her hands in her pockets. “The response to the piece was fantastic,” he tells us. The striking work made waves at Art Basel last year when it was displayed in Unlimited. So, what happened next? The piece ended up being acquired by the non-profit Droom en Daad Foundation, which then donated the work to the city of Rotterdam. What goes around comes around in the Basel universe.

Parker gets the airport blues

Art-world luminaries hoping to get to Art Basel earlier this week had their hopes (and journeys) thwarted by chaos at airports. The artist Cornelia Parker told of her woes on Instagram, saying: “Day from hell. Missed my 1.50 flight to Basel due to Gatwick train station closed due to power outage… now in airport hotel overnight stay hell, drowning my sorrows!” Parker followed this with more calamitous incidents, adding that she was “finally leaving my airport hotel hell. Cling film to stop rabid British Airways stranded passengers drinking bar dry.” The accompanying image reflected Parker’s nightmare excursion, showing a drinks dispenser bundled up and strictly off limits. After all that, we’re happy to say we spotted Parker at the opening of Unlimited. Cornelia, we hope you’ve recovered from your odyssey!


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