Miami becomes flypaper for the art lover following Thanksgiving, and post pandemic this great migration converged on the Dade County. The fairs are numerous and the galleries copious, with representatives from literally all over the world sharing a creative impulse which inspires millions to display beauty (and ugliness) in all its varied forms. It is overwhelming.
Yet that moment when the internet begins to populate with the Kardashian photos diminishes the Miami Art Week experience. This is not meant to disparage Ms. Kardashian or the DiCaprio harem partying throughout the city nor to question their sincere interest in the Arts; it is not their fault. But their presence reduces the contribution of all those who contribute to making Miami Art Week the excellent experience that it is. Paper Bag Kraft Paper
The labs, lounges, spotlights, sponsors, discoveries and partners surround immersive experiences making Miami Art Week a playground for devotees of those forces which generate originality in its many forms. Crowds inhale shapes, colors, sounds and vibes which keep them coming year after year. It may be our biggest week of the year every year. Let me dabble in some I perspective.
UNTITLED on Miami Beach did what it always does. It was spacious and imaginative. I like it best. SCOPE contained more work than ever. This year, it felt crammed despite its excellence. Art Miami and CONTEXT seemed to stretch for miles with wealthy customers joyously opening wallets. It rivals Basel itself for attention and in its vastness. NADA retained its cool niche at the Ice Palace. The building alone is worth the price of admission. DESIGN transported a Design District ethos for its well-heeled following. Its pretentiousness is true Miami – over the top and flamboyant. In MANA, Red Dot and Spectrum have to contend with the lower brow Wynwood clientele. They need something. In the Convention Center, Hollywood meets Times Square. All the best work from the best galleries clash with swarms of fans and school groups. Art Basel itself is a wild jungle. The hundred other related things going on all thrive in their own ways and pat themselves deservedly on their own backs. If one is not overwhelmed, it’s a sign of strength.
The most beautiful thing I saw was a rock paint and gold leaf on Japanese paper painting by Tomotoshi Hoshino at the Japan Promotion Gallery. I also deeply enjoyed work at/by Sean Horton (Presents), B.D. Graft, Double V, Nicolas Bonilla Maldonado, Sthenjwa Luthuli, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Galleria Studio G7, Max Zorn Tape Art, Jade flower Gallery, Jechi Koo, Pico Okada, Soonik Kwon, Breakfast Studio, Cummings Burg Gallery, Kendall Koppe, and Km 0.2, all of whom win my unjuried Best in Show awards.
The throngs of visitors milling about – driving, walking, Ubering everywhere – are a windfall for businesses and headache for commuters. The tried and true follow the yellow brick road down Ocean, Collins, Lincoln Road, Biscayne and NW 2nd Avenue heading for installations on the Beach, Wynwood, Design District, Brickell and the Grove. After landing at MIA, they hit up a hotel, AirBnb or a friend and that’s that. Or they take Brightline from Palm Beach to get to Art Miami and earnestly search for that special creation for their bank, condo lobby, or personal mansion. And for this one magic moment in the year, with Miami Art Week coinciding with the Qatar World Cup, despite the sheiks being occupied by futbol, money was flowing from gallery to sports bar.
Celebrities do not define Art Basel any more than the Heat and FTX Arena are staples of South Beach. We vilify our cell phones because they dominate our attention, but the functions that they serve and have supplanted – camera, stereo, telephone, encyclopedia and library – cannot be replaced nor reduced. Similarly, Art Basel is a superb event, and the celebrities merely click bait and eye candy.
To see more #Miaminews from #Aventura to #Coralgables to #SouthMiami, #Pinecrest, #Palmetto Bay and #Cutler Bay and all throughout #Miamidadecounty go to: www.communitynewspapers.com
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