The Washington Post follows Mera Rubell around town as she makes 36 studio visits in 36 hours and discovers an art world desperately in need of a pecking order, competition and camaraderie:
The Miami-based maker of artists’ fortunes has, with her husband, Don, put a dozen Leipzig-based painters on the international art map. Together the couple bought some of the earliest Jeff Koonses. Their collection includes works by Takashi Murakami, Keith Haring and Kara Walker. Mera Rubell, 66, has access to art stars stratospherically more successful than anyone working in Washington.
And yet, here she was. She’d bolted into Washington for an art marathon, visiting 36 artist studios in 36 hours. Straight.
It was Mera’s idea. (We must call her that. She’d insist.) She did it for the Washington Project for the Arts, the city’s beleaguered but still humming arts group. She offered to pick 12 artists whose works would be among those that would hang in “Cream” a WPA benefit auction exhibition opening at American University’s Katzen Arts Center on Jan. 30. A lottery system determined the 36 studio stops.
Collector Mera Rubell makes rounds of Washington’s isolated artists (Washington Post)