Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 29, 2012.

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A project to give away art during the art fairs at Art Basel Miami Beach in December 2012.

FREE ART cart, Art Basel Miami Beach 2012

In 2009 I started giving away art on the street in gallery districts - in Berlin, in San Francisco, and in Oakland. My proposal is to take free art to one of the largest commercial art events in the world, Art Basel, Miami Beach.

This year I am going to Aqua Art Miami (one of the many satellite fairs in Miami) with some of my other work and through a local gallery - Autobody Fine Art from Oakland, CA.  I am also going to bring 300 free artworks with me to Miami. Like an ice cream vendor I push my cart through the streets surrounding the art fairs, giving art to anyone who cares to have some.  I document this on-going project -in video and photography.

Art Basel Miami Beach and its constellation of associated art fairs take place in Miami each December.  It is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, commercial art events in the world.  Hundreds of galleries and 40,000 art enthusiasts attended the main fair last year, gathered from around the planet  to look at, buy, and experience the world of contemporary art.

I want you to help me get to Miami, but more importantly I want you to be a partner in this project. I want the weird authority of going to this place and pushing my cart through the streets knowing that I'm being backed by your generosity and interest. Participating in this project illuminates the distortions of the art world.  It connects all of us who engage the project to the biggest art fair in the world. I might even meet some of you there.

Regardless, I am doing this project.  The reason I want your support is that it connects us. We form a community of people involved in a common purpose.  It means so much more if you are part of it.

In response to your support, each of you will receive a signed work of FREE ART.  You will also receive a photograph documenting the project as it happens. Please feel free to donate more, but the reward is the same!

For the past three years I have been giving away art at the Oakland Art Murmur, a First-Friday Art Gallery event in downtown Oakland - a wild scene of hipsters, Burning Man refugees, business people and just about everyone else.  On the first Friday of every month I set up a card table on the street, tape a sign on it that says "FREE ART" and give the art away that I made in the last month. I have made and distributed about 1,500 spray-paint paintings, paintings on canvas, sculptures and altered objects to people passing by.  Some of them have become collectors of my free art.

For Miami I created a "paleta cart" so that the free art can be mobile, which is what I am taking to Miami.

This began as a class project with students to engage the public. As students moved on, giving art away has become the center of my art practice.  More and more, I want to create and engage art communities through unofficial channels. I suppose my effort has roots in social practice art and performance. It is also about taking ownership of the structures of the art community through making, collecting, showing. As I think about it, this project is and always has been about free speech. Who is allowed to speak in the art community?

I make the art with care and some of the pieces are duds - I don't give those away.  Some though are deliberately provocative - a pile of Cigarette butts glued together and spray-painted silver (it was taken almost immediately). I had a blue cloth bag filled with expanding foam on the table for over six months until finally I glued a dollar bill onto it and it was still almost impossible to give away (three people took it and then brought it back!)

A gift must be real to have meaning. So, I spend days each month making things that while fast will resonate with whoever accepts the gift.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The only real risk is that I may be limited as to where I can set up the Cart due to city restrictions about vendors. Although I am not a vendor, I may look like one. I am officially allowed to work in the street in front of the Aqua Hotel - as I am listed as a performance artist with their fair. I am working with the city to get an official permit to wander the streets, but on the last day I will take the cart to the street and take my chances - I could possibly get a ticket.

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    One article of Free ART (made by me), representative of the work given away during the project. One documentary Photograph of the project. Both signed by me. Shipping within the USA is included in the fee.

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