After the wonderful craziness of Haired opening reception, we finally had some time to check out the art fairs scattered around the city. Given the limited time and the massive amount of stuff to see we had to make a selection.
First one eliminated: Art Basel at the Convention Center.
Why? Well, first and foremost the entrance ticket was $40…I mean two years ago the entrance was free… you know, it’s like asking an entrance fee to get in a clothing store to shop…
Secondly, as the fair that represents the art world, it’s way too western-centric: very few galleries were from Asia, Africa, East Europe and South America. Besides, at least 50% of the galleries were from New York and so, you know, nothing new too new for me.
The first fair we (my husband and I) visited was Aqua: reeeally amazing! It’s hosted at the Aqua Hotel in South Beach and the hotel’s rooms are used as booths for the exhibiting galleries.
We liked this concept a lot since viewers got the see how art would look in a space where people live.. Yup very smart! In its variety, the art exhibited at Aqua was brilliant. I could definitely see a focus on intelligent, crafty artworks, which investigated materials, technology and perception.
After we went to Nada Art Fair. This is usually one of my favorite fairs during Art Basel Miami Beach, but this year…wow it was soooo awful!
The booths were outrageously small, so tiny that the gallerists were sitting outside on little chairs with their laptops, not even provided with desks. We literally didn’t see anything good; art was boring, overrated and it was leaving you with a blank face. Precisely, Nada!
Scope Art Fair was wonderful, probably the best. It lighted up a new hope and excitement for contemporary art, and not only for western art only. Indeed, the Asia Art Fair occupied a great section of Scope and it was fabulous!
What stroke me was this beautiful and socially-savvy Chinese photography, and some spiritual, esoteric Russian painters and sculptors.
This overview on Asian art presented a renewed interest in the universal, immortal aspect of humanity, which kinda lacked in the Western art I saw.
Scope displayed the clever and engaged side of contemporary art through all sorts of media and installations. The art on display was never obvious and often surprising, unexpected, delightful and amusing.
Last but definitely not least, Fountain Art Fair was a blast. Like a huge party. We went there on Friday night: a stage was set up in the outdoor space, DJs were spinning hip hop and electro and video animations were projected on the walls. Fountain is definitely the underground, independent, sassy face of the art world.
We literally liked everything! The building was warehouse-like, with raw scraped walls and rustic wooden booths. Art was fresh, with a taste of revolution. Fountain showcased a beautiful critique and conscious appropriation of social and cultural tropes, maintaining a laidback and fun mood.
On Sunday the 4th, the last day of this crazy art week, instead of rushing to all the fairs we’d got left, we decided to go to the beach and check out Mister Brainwash solo show.
It’s installed in a 3 story building on Collins Ave., one block from the beach.
It’s not a surprise that this guy was basically the only artist having a huge solo show in a prime location. The show was really cool, all inclusive of old and new pieces, with a lot of posters to take home. We also got to meet Brainwash and have a poster signed. 😉