Saturday, December 29, 2012

Miami Art Fairs: NADA

     Last but not least, my final report about the Miami Art Fairs is NADA, which was held at the Deauville Beach Resort. Not in guest rooms like many other hotel art fairs, NADA was in a large room geared for events like this. A smallish show with open flowing booths, some only about 6-8' wide x appr. 3' deep.

     NADA was dominated by abstract work and pieces focused on mark making, for example a swash of purple paint over a large piece of burlap.
     There were two finely rendered drawings at Feature Gallery (NY) by Kinke Kooi, 22x30 acrylic paint and graphite on paper. The artist, a Dutch woman in her 50s, draws organic, sexual objects over the ground. At first glance, some of the objects look like deflated, bedazzled donuts, sexual imagery, or amoeba-like shapes. Far from that kitschy sounding description, her subtle and deft linework create a composition that invites inspection. "She sees each line as a meditation," I was told, and though comments like that tend to sound artspeak-ish, it's quite accurate in Kooi's case.

    Leslie Fritz Gallery from NY had cut-out photos on board of painted derrieres cropped as torsos that from a distance looked like scuplture or painted mannequins. I'm not one to hate on a nubile naked lass being painted live, but it has become trite at this point. These pieces by Keith Farquhar take that concept a step further by photographing them, then another step by mounting the photos, and placing the cropped cut-out versions on pedestals with a brick wall background.

     Corbett vs Dempsey Gallery from Chicago (the most original name for a gallery I've heard in ages, referencing boxers Jack Dempsey vs Gentleman James Corbett) had a fun morphed animal sculpture by Thomas Grünfeld called "Misfit (swan/nutria/donkey), 39x23x11".

     They also showed "Map to the Morning Dance 3" by Robert Lostutter, 66x43.5" from 1973. Illustration style, yet the embroidered looking, snake-like, intestinal imagery on the suspended figure was intriguing.

     Again, NADA was a small show with a wide array of work and quality. This was the last show I saw before departing, and I was surprised that I didn't have "art fatigue" from seeing so much work within a few days. Quite the contrary. For one thing, as an artist I felt exhilarated and empowered. A common artist's reaction is the feeling of, "Omigod, they're showing THAT?! My work is just as good if not better, etc etc" - in other words, the green of human envy sometimes enters our thought palette. I felt none of that in Miami. There was such a variety of work, so many galleries and so many people at these fairs, that a struggling artist can only walk away feeling that out there are galleries and collectors for EVERY type of work. You just need to get the right eyeballs on your work, and to hustle. I really think it's that simple.
     We all have our preferences of work that we like/dislike on a gut level. There is work that we learn to appreciate using knowledge and experience, along with an open heart and mind. Personally, there was artwork here that I'd usually dismiss or not think about, however, I found myself not only pausing but thinking, discussing and sometimes appreciating those types of work. Maybe I got caught up in the excitement. Yes, that and the complete immersion for four days into art gave me new insights, ideas, and enthusiasm. Maybe that immersion created some new neural pathways in my brain! Out with the old, in with the new! Lastly, being away from one's daily routine and surroundings allows time to ponder, digest, and focus.
     I hope you've enjoyed these posts about the Miami Art Fairs as much as I enjoyed the trip and bringing some thoughts and photos to you. Please spread the word about The Gallery Guy blog and have a happy and healthy new year!

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