Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lotto Pool - Brian Feldman

I traveled to Miami Beach to see Brian Feldman's first performance there. Brian sat in the lobby of the Carlton Hotel in South Beach 1433 Collins Avenue. There he sat at a small table decorated with Lotto playslips. The goal of this performance was to pool $1 from as many people as possible and then purchase the number of tickets corresponding to the number of people who entered the pool. The hotel owner had reservations about allowing Brian to stage his performance here. He was concerned that it might seem like Brian was selling tickets right in the lobby. Brian had to keep a low profile to keep from being booted out.
This same evening, there was a Pool Art Fair being held in the hotel in conjunction with Art Basel Miami Beach. Art Basel Miami Beachis a huge art fair with gallery owners from around the world displaying their wares. Much of the best art work in the world is flown into Miami for this event and it it almost impossible to see it all. Terry and I both gave Brian a dollar and had to sign a "Lotto Pool" agreement. If one of the lotto tickets purchased won then Brian would purchase a piece of art from the Pool Fair or a parallel fair of Art Basel Miami Beach and he would divide the work by cutting (if a canvas or paper) or breaking (if sculpture or mixed media) the purchased art into the number of pieces corresponding to the number of individuals in the lotto pool.

Part of me wanted to win and another part didn't want to win. I didn't want to be a part of destroying a great work of art and yet it might be fun to see some bad art cut up. A friend told me a parable about two women who went before a king both claiming to be a baby's mother. When the king could not get to the bottom of the issue with just questions, he decided to cut the child in half and give each woman half. One woman pleaded and said she would relinquish her claim if he spared the child's life. The king then knew she must be the true mother. With that in mind, I let out a sigh of relief when Brian sent me an e-mail informing me that none of the lotto tickets purchased had won. At least I got a decent sketch.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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