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This past week Art Basel celebrated its 10th year in Miami.

I brought the twins to the event knowing that the opportunity to see Picasso and de Kooning originals up close is rare — especially in Miami.

Due to this unlimited access, the girls walked into a mini gallery inside a larger gallery and interrupted a $850k sale of a Jackson Pollock piece. Our proximity to the wheeling and dealing of collectors was a thrill. The twins perused and dismissed the art, even some masterpieces, with a shrug of a shoulder or with blunt indifference.

In one hall I lingered over Henri Cartier-Bresson originals; it was exciting to see these up close. I took a picture of the twins beside an Irving Penn Picasso portrait to which Sophie nervously observed: “That guy looks creepy.” Indeed.

I was unprepared for the violence and nudity in some of the exhibits — there’s a difference between art that depicts nudity as a study of the human body, versus nudity and explicit sexual content. At one point I ushered Sophie out of a hall where enlarged photographs of male genitalia were shown, right into another hall filled with titillating sexual images.

I took my girls by their arms and nearly dragged them to the green rest area for a “break.” As we sat and discussed the art we had seen Maya asked,”Why is some art OK for us to see and why is some of it not OK?” I guess all of my subtle effort to casually redirect their attention had miserably failed.

As we made our way out of Art Basel, both girls agreed most of their own pieces are worthy of exhibition.

I’d like to think our day at Art Basel provided them an alternate view of the world — hopefully one that matches their own perspectives, filled with color and light, like a box of crayons.

 

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