It was that time of year again. Thousands of galleries, collectors, artists, consultants, and passersby rubbed fashionable shoulders in Miami for art fair season. While the largest fair of all is Miami Basel (it is also amongst the largest in the world with 260 international galleries represented), there are officially nineteen unique fairs that take place over the weekend, ranging from Pulse, Scope, NADA, Aqua, Design Miami. It's a lot to take in, and felt, for this artist, both encouraging and demoralizing; the art world is thriving, but only for those who can afford its cost. I have attempted to sum up a few of the highlights of the experience.
1. The Alligator Park. Miami is only forty-five minutes from the Everglades National Park; contrary to popular belief, the water is not a swamp, but a very, very slow moving river which feeds into the Atlantic ocean. More famously, the everglades are home to Florida alligators. I took an airboat ride through the water, led by a man named Bubba, who later wrestled an alligator and held a scorpion a foot from my face. It may have been under an hour from downtown Miami, but it was a world away from Miami's reality.
2. San Francisco Galleries. San Francisco galleries were represented at various fairs, including Mark Wolfe and Triple Base at Aqua, Altman Siegel, Silverman Gallery and Ratio 3 at NADA. Of the booths, all of which looked strong, Silverman and Altman Siegel were the real stand-outs, with perfectly curated selections. Silverman elected to show only one artist, the Toronto-based Hugh Scott-Douglass, while Altman Siegel went with several (a Trevor Paglen print was amongst the largest and most stunning in the group). Regardless of my Bay Area affinities, I would have found both booths among the most considered, and least cluttered, of the fair.
Collage by Kader Attia
3. Collage. I was delighted to see the amount of collage up on the walls, across all kinds of fairs. Vince Roark at Jack Hanley, Nicole Eisenman at Leo Koenig, Michelle Di Menna at Galerie Kamm (Berlin), Kader Attia,/a> at Galerie Krinzinger (Vienna), and Amanda Ross-Ho at Mitchell-Innes and Nash, were a few of a varied and impressive collage selection.