Fair Enough: Prologue to the Report

The posts so far:
Fair Enough: And I'm Off
Fair Enough: Traveling Incognita?
Fair Enough: All Over But the Posting
Fair Enough: Art or Trash?  We have a winner!

2-D: Yes, it's an installation. Is it art? You be the judge
All Miami pics by Joanne Mattera unless otherwise credited

On Collins Avenue in South Beach, just around the corner from the very downscale Days Inn where I was staying, several dozen storm troopers occupied the balconies of an under-construction condo. The initial look up was jarring, but it was quickly apparent that these were two-dimensional figures. Turns out they were installed by the Los Angeles-based used-clothes-vendor-turned-artist, Mr. Brainwash. You know all about Brainwash if you saw Banksy’s street documentary, Exit Through The Gift Shop; if not two-dimensional figures are a useful metaphor for the artist and his work.

A few blocks south, in one of the many shops that cater to tourist needs, dimension ruled. In a fashion world where window mannequins are mere hangers for the clothes, the dummies in these windows presided over Collins Avenue with wildly inflated double G’s—or maybe another letter farther along the alphabet. These mannequins are the metaphor for a beach culture in which over-the-top sexuality—with staggeringly high heels, body-hugging spandex, short shorts, gem-encrusted tight jeans and, of course, pneumatic cleavage—are the norm. It's an interesting place to visit when the weather is nice, as it was (70-degree temps and low humidity, unlike the 90-degree soup of last year), but I wouldn’t want to live here.

3-D, or more precisely 32 G. Not an installation, but I hope this mannequin is sufficiently anchored to the floor

As I have done in the past, I’m going to start with the big fair, Art Basel Miami Beach, ABMB for short, followed with a visit in the subsequent post to Aqua Art. In part this is because they’re geographic neighbors and it’s the way I visited them, but also because they are a study in contrasts: big versus small, self contained versus open to the outside; and, of course, hyper expensive to very reasonably priced. I’m guessing the entire contents of Aqua Art could have been acquired for the $4.5 million reportedly paid for an Yves Klein at the big fair.

 Above, the oceanside entrance to the Miami Beach Convention Center, home of Art Basel Miami Beach

Below, the more intimate Aqua Hotel, home of Aqua Art

Next we’ll go across one of the causeways to visit  Art Miami, Pulse, Scope, Seven and Red Dot. I’ll also take you to the Rubell Collection, one of the four private collections open to the public. Then we'll head back across the causeway to the beach side, where we’ll visit NADA and Ink. Once you've had a look at each venue in its own post--mostly for the flavor and personality of each fair--I'll focus on some trends according to my credo, Two of anything is a coindidence; three's a trend. Some certifiable trends: books, threads, money, and hair.

I'll also report on two events: Joanie San Chirico's Age and Gender roundtable at Jen Dalton and William Powhida's #Rank at Seven; and the blogger meet-and-greet I organized at Aqua Art--both informal and informative.

Art Miami, in its own tent

Seven, the non-fair, with seven participating New York galleries in a renovated warehouse

The lobby of the Deauville, a Fifties-era extravaganza of glass, marble, chandeliers and floral carpets, host of the NADA Art Fair. Do you think the decor clashed with the fair's Lower East Side sensibility?

Above, a large gallery at the Rubell Family Collection, a renovated Drug Enforcement Agency warehouse turned private museum. We'll also visit Jennifer Rubell's installation in the family compound

Below, the courtyard of the Dorchester Hotel, home to the small print fair, Ink


Gwyneth Leech said...

I am lacing up my virtual walking shows and getting ready to do the rounds with you, Joanne!

Wendy Rodrigue Magnus said...

Thank you, Joanne, for saving me from having to visit the fair. I've been before, and I must say, I far more enjoy your photographs and commentary. I guess the ideal situation would be both. Maybe next year-

harold hollingsworth said...

Ready, Steady, Go!

Ruth Hiller said...

Joanne- Thanks for all your hard work and the posts. Am waiting with bated breath for more...