Whitewaller Basel 2017 launches this week in Switzerland, with special Guest Editor, Simon de Pury.
Basel has a particular significance for me because my love for art stems from the fact that I was born and raised in Basel. I have attended every Art Basel from the first to the last. My first exposure to art was the Kunstmuseum in Basel, which remains one of my favorite museums in the world.
We now live in a world where there are art fairs nearly every week. But even with all these fairs, Art Basel remains the core fair and its quality level has remained consistently high. It’s that concentration of quality that makes Art Basel an absolute must.
I think LISTE is as well, because it’s there you’ll see the artists that eventually graduate into Art Basel. And I love Design Miami/ Basel. The design fair’s location is very spacious, so it allows you to experience design in the best possible conditions. The combination of all of that, plus what’s on view at the Fondation Beyeler, the Kunstmuseum, the Kunsthalle, or the Schaulager, allows for so much to be experienced within a short time span.
This year, I’ll conduct the auction for the UNAIDS Gala on Monday night, to benefit the United Nations fight against AIDS, sponsored by Cartier. Last year Duran Duran performed, and this year it’s going to be another fabulous musical act. I’m looking forward to that and hoping to raise a lot of money for UNAIDS.
Outside of the fairs and museums, I absolutely love the restaurant of the Kunsthalle—the atmosphere is electric and it has very good food. The Hotel Les Trois Rois, where so many artists have stayed, is another place everybody comes by, making for a great atmosphere.
And then I love looking at the Rhine. As one woman told me, when you are at the sea and want to get rid of your worries, you speak to the sea but the waters always bring your worries back. Whereas if you speak to the Rhine, it goes away and doesn’t return. So there is something very therapeutic in looking at the Rhine.
—Simon de Pury
Auctioneer, Art Dealer, and Curator