Monday, December 26, 2016

Accidents @ Miami Art Fairs '16

     One dislike about cell phone cameras is how many accidental snapshots one takes, especially while schlepping notes, pen, shoulder bag, and sometimes a cocktail while looking at art and chatting. However, in the silver lining department, I thought some of these accidental shots were kinda fun, so here goes:


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

SCOPE Miami 2016 - lotsa pics!

     In art fair conversations about "Where've you been?," Scope is a bit polarizing. Maybe because it's more of a niche in terms of the artwork? In general, the majority of it is pop surrealism, street, and illustration. Up until 10-15 years ago, Illustration was a perjorative in the fine art world (FAW). Then Juxtapoz magazine came along (now outselling Art in America) and gave voice to artists ostracized by galleries especially the California hot rod, tattoo, punk etc art scene. Collectors began to take notice as did curators and gallery owners. "Low Brow" became high brow. The term Pop Surrealism took hold and made the work even more palatable to the FAW.

(Note: click on any image to see it larger)

Bernadette Despujols, "Love Is No Game" at TBD Projects, Venezuela

Mark Gagnon, Art Haas, NY

      Perhaps there are those in the FAW who see it is a fad, a passing fancy, or still regard the work as low brow and populist with little to no long term legs. Be that as it may, Scope was hopping, a large show that was very well attended and had brisk sales.

     I like Scope. It's fun, enthusiastic, and accessible to new collectors and those without deep pockets. Now here's the but...BUT, I wish the organizers would put a ban on Marilyn Monroe and James Dean images! OK, Marilyn made of cereal, or glitter, or morphed somehow - - enough! We've seen it a thousand times, kind of brings down the entire show because it smacks of mall art. Too picky? Maybe. I wonder if next year is going to be loaded with Trump imagery? I doubt it, the fairs are rarely edgy anymore. There'll probably be a Trump made of Fruit Loops, though.


Fidia Falaschetti, Fifty24mx Gallery, Mexico City

Brian Mashburn "The Great Conclavity" at Thinkspace Gallery, CA

Detail of Brian Mashburn's "The Great Conclavity" at Thinkspace Gallery, CA

Oliver Vernon "Here Today Gone Tomorrow" at Alexander-Chambers, Denver Colorado
Banjo/ Snic Barnes "Freija" at Alexander-Chambers, Denver Colorado

 Below is woven scarves and threadwork by Stephen Wilson at New Gallery of Modern Art, Charlotte NC. Second photo is detail of the piece.

Robert Mars at New Gallery of Modern Art, Charlotte NC

Rick Fields, graphite drawing at Axiom Contemporary, Santa Monica CA

Daniel Jacob "Air Jordan 1" (center) at Axiom Contemporary, Santa Monica CA

Matthew Laporta Emoji series at Axiom Contemporary, Santa Monica CA
Asbury Park in the house! I own Palette Gallery there, and across the street is the long running great Parlor Gallery, presenting this installation by Porkchop.

Former Asbury Park resident, Knowledge Bennett, had this mashup of Mao and Trump,"8 Maos Trump Red" at Macaya Gallery, Miami:

Chuck Sperry prints "Semele" and "Daphne" at Spoke-Art, NY

Eelus, "When The Music's Over" at Spoke-Art, NY
 Had a nice chat with Stefan Gross about his manipulated plastic piece, "Salad" at Chiefs & Spirits from Rotterdam, The Netherlands

M&K Gwiazdarska "Lentil" at Monomoka Gallery, Wroclaw
      Haven Gallery once again had several pieces by Kukula.  "Lilya and Pussypus" 18x20x3.5.
Kukula had amazing frames on her pieces like this one.

Swoon was everywhere in Miami!Here at Chandran Gallery, San Francisco CA

Cintal Vidal "Blue Neighborhood" at Thinkspace Gallery

 Mea culpa, mea culpa, don't have notes on this piece but from the piece you can see it's a dollhouse titled "John Wayne Gacy Murder House" by Chris Roberts-Antieau. Second photo shows the unearthed bodies in the basement from the crime scene. Did I mention this is a doll house??

 Guns were very present in the fairs, more on that in another post:

Monday, December 12, 2016

AQUA Miami Art Fairs 2016

     AQUA 2012 was more raucous than 2016, not just for the party atmosphere but also for the art. It was more vibrant, in your face in a playful/forceful way. This time it felt more subdued, but still had substance amongst all the eye candy.

     Like "Trust" and other pieces by Thomas Morphis at Hang Art (San Fran).

     Seth Clark had solid paintings of old buildings at Boxheart Gallery (Pittsburgh). At first glance they seemed like abstract work, but on second glance they came together as these industrial landscape depressed structures.

   McCaig-Welles had its always solid choices of work. Swoon was ALL OVER the art fairs, and MW had smaller works with more glimpses of painting and drawing in them than just her signature wheat-paste line work.


     In Kallenbach Gallery's room (I didn't mention, AQUA is in a hotel) Haas & Hahn/Favela Painting had these works that were studies and photos for their geometric murals. Again, sorry for the blur, but you get the idea.

     AQUA is always a good stop because the hotel setting sometimes makes for interesting spatial solutions, and it's not an overwhelming, time consuming stop on the art fair circuit.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

From the airport to PULSE Miami 2016

     Like the title says, I went straight from Miami Airport to Pulse and, to keep it real...I was hoping to make the VIP brunch, which I barely did. Scavenged a croissant. Which was cool, I got there at the end, but PULSE folks - - no coat check?? So I had to schlep my (thankfully wheeled) suitcase through the show with me. Be that as it may, the vibe and enthusiasm made that inconvenience fade as I wheeled through the beautiful people (and were there ever, it looked like a casting call), sunshine (Pulse is in a tent on Miami beach) and art with that first-fair-of-the-trip anticipation and excitement.


 Hard to tell from the photo, but this large mandala by Ye Hongxing at Art Lexing (China) was made of stickers, along with painting and mixed media.

     Anna Iris Luneman worked with photographer Deni Darzacq to create these digitally manipulated images, layered with spots of thick plastic? resin? and other materials placed on the canvas. De Soto Gallery, Venice CA.

     "54 Tiny Tests" an unusual piece by Jaq Chartier at William Baczek Fine Arts in Northhampton, Mass., is made with acrylic, inks, dyes, stains and spray paint on wood, and coated with resin (more on resin in a later post). Sorry for the slightly blurred image.

     This lovely large still life of oysters stood out because of its simplicity, size, color, and it reminded me of a Wayne Thiebaud cake painting stylistically. And it got me in the mood for some oysters.


"Zen Park" by Robert Minervini at Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA .

There was some pop silliness at Pulse as in this big, like 4x6' or 5x7', painting of Hulk Hogan by Nic Rad at Victori + Mo from Brooklyn. Fun, but it was one of those moments when you wonder who'd buy this? Well, the Hulkster does live in Florida so maybe...

     One of the nice things about art fairs, which are really glorified trade shows, is the booth set-up frequently allows you to actually chat with the gallery director/curator/owner or staff. Patricia Sweetow from Oakland CA was quite friendly and enthusiastic about these pieces by Cornelia Schulz. The artist, who if memory serves, Ms. Sweetow said was now in her 80s, makes her own odd shaped canvases, usually working small to medium. What also caught my eye was the impasto (thick layers of paint) which is not easy to pull off successfully, and Schulz is quite adept at it. This series was one of those "quieter" ones amongst the eye candy that give one pause. Took the photo on an angle to capture the depth of the paint application.

Part of a booth installation by Bradley Wood at Sim Smith Gallery, London.

and as you leave the fair:

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