The Best of 2012 Miami Beach Art Fairs

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Magazine

CARTWHEEL’s List of Trends, Successes and Discoveries at Miami Beach Art Fairs, Dec. 6-9, 2012

I didn’t know I had reached maximum art stimulus overload in Miami until it was 4am east coast time on Monday. The fairs were over, I was on a plane about to land in Los Angeles and, coming out of groggy half-sleep, I opened my eyes to see a spray paint can in my seat-back pocket. What the hell am I doing with a can? I don’t even paint. Who does this belong to? Do they want it back? Oh wait… it’s an empty can of seltzer water. The fatigue/ humidity/ art submersion had finally set in.

Miami in December is many different things, and paint cans are just one of them. Now that I’ve rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and gotten back to the land of proper burritos, it’s time to recount the things CARTWHEEL saw in Miami Beach this year. The trends we noticed are likely to have resounding effects throughout the art world in the upcoming year; the discoveries we made are simply a few of the artists who managed to stand out above all the rest, a challenge to say the least; the stories of success and achievement are the kind of dreams that come true at Art Basel Miami Beach and its 22 fairs.

If your normal every-day-life solar system is comprised of a gallery, or several galleries, then the possibility that there can really be so many art fairs and so many galleries within each fair and so many artists within each gallery, is as impossible an enormity to fathom as the concept of our real solar system being in an infinite number of galaxies. Yes, it felt that big!

Among CARTWHEEL’s three team members — Cindy, Andrea, and myself — we scouted Art Basel, Context, SCOPE, Pulse, Aqua, Miami Project, Fountain and Wynwood Walls. Each one had its own aesthetic, traffic flow, type of visitor, fashion, and rehydrating drink of choice (Perrier or Champagne?). With so much to see and do, does one make a spreadsheet schedule, like the Brooklyn-based sculptor I met? Or does one wing it, most likely missing many things but remaining open to the “stumbling across” that can be so wonderful. Either way, the minutes flew by.

Trends

Mirrors — It’s about reflection to a lot of artists right now, which was illustrated in various forms at Art Basel Miami Beach, Pulse, Fountain and elsewhere. We noticed an elaborate mirrored bicycle at the entrance of Pulse by Vietnamese-born artist Dinh Q. Lê with Elizabeth Leach Gallery. This was his first time exhibiting in the U.S. Perhaps the most fun “reflection” was the live TV feed on the outside of Evo Love‘s booth at Fountain. It turned the viewer into a gritty, hot mess of a superstar. At Fountain it shouldn’t be any other way.

Dinh Q. Le at Elizabeth Leach Gallery at Pulse Art Fair, Miami 2012

Dinh Q. Le with Elizabeth Leach Gallery at Pulse Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Lavoro Bernicalli by Michaelangelo Pistoletto, silkscreen on polished super mirror, stainless steel, at Art Basel Miami Beach Press Preview, 2012.

Lavoro Bernicalli by Michaelangelo Pistoletto, silkscreen on polished super mirror, stainless steel, at Art Basel Miami Beach Press Preview, 2012.

Sam Durani at Art Basel Miami Beach Press Preview, 2012.

Sam Durani at Art Basel Miami Beach Press Preview, 2012.

Evo Love interactive TV at Fountain Art Fair Miami 2012.

Evo Love interactive TV at Fountain Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Confections —  S.F.’s Spoke Art at SCOPE dedicated most of its booth to the Cakeland work of Scott Hove, reinforcing the way SCOPE stands above other art fairs as a brilliant showcase for contemporary and lowbrow-contemporary work. Spoke wasn’t the only place where sugar was the theme; a free carnival ride, Sugar and Gomorrah by Peter Anton, was an installation adjacent to Context art fair that was about “Too much is never enough.”

Scott Hove cake sculpture at Spoke Gallery at SCOPE Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Scott Hove cake sculpture with Spoke Art at SCOPE Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Anke Eilergerhard at Galerie Art Felicia at SCOPE Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Anke Eilergerhard with Galerie Art Felicia at SCOPE Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Books — There’s no reading required to enjoy the beautiful book art we spotted at all the fairs. From SCOPE to Aqua to Art Basel, there were a variety of interpretations on the old hard-cover learning device. Brian Dettmer, who was shown with San Francisco’s Toomey Tourell Gallery at Aqua and Chicago’s Packer Schopf Gallery at Context, uses a number of encyclopedia-size books to create sculptural works. Joe Decamillis, who was showing with Red Truck Gallery at SCOPE, paints miniature road scenes based on life in a trailer, which are inlaid into books that are affixed with heavy duty screws and bolts. The meticulous antiquarian book cutouts done by Alexander Korzer-Robinson show the layers that exist in the pages of history if we could see through the cover and all the fine print.

Brian Dettmer at Toomey Tourell Gallery at Aqua Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Brian Dettmer with Toomey Tourell Gallery at Aqua Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Red Truck Gallery

Joe Decamillis with Red Truck Gallery at SCOPE Art Fair, Miami 2012.

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Alexander Korzer-Robinson with Robert Fontaine Gallery at SCOPE Art Fair, 2012.

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Brian Dettmer with Packer Schopf Gallery at Context Art Fair, Miami 2012.

The crossover of Street Art — It was hard not to notice the Banksy walls that were placed in various locations around the conjoining Context and Art Miami fairs, because a security guard, special lights and velvet ropes accompanied each. Speedy Graphito, whose work was shown at Context with Fabien Castanier Gallery, sold three pieces, including a mural, Loading, that was shown in the outside courtyard, to a New York based luxury brand firm Sandow. At Pulse, visitors could pick up a Space Invader map of Miami from Jonathan LeVine Gallery. At Art Basel, Os Gemeos was shown with Gallerie Fortes Villaca, Barry McGee was shown with Cheim & Read, and Robert Loughlin‘s early stencil-like work was a standout from Regina Gallery.

Banksy wall at Art Miami, 2012.

Banksy wall at Art Miami, 2012.

Banksy wall at Context Art Fair courtyard, Miami 2012.

Banksy wall at Context Art Fair courtyard, Miami 2012.

Loading, by Speedy Graphito, with Fabian Castanier Gallery, in the courtyard at Context Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Loading, by Speedy Graphito, with Fabien Castanier Gallery, in the courtyard at Context Art Fair, Miami 2012.

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Space Invader with Jonathan LeVine Gallery at Pulse Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Os Gemeos at Gallerie Fortes Villaca at Art Basel Miami Beach, 2012.

Os Gemeos with Gallerie Fortes Villaca at Art Basel Miami Beach, 2012.

Robert Loughlin at Regina Gallery, Moscow and London, Art Basel Miami Beach 2012

Robert Loughlin with Regina Gallery, Moscow and London, Art Basel Miami Beach.

Tony Goldman — This year, Miami Beach was really about one man with impeccable vision. Tony Goldman is a name I didn’t know before this trip, but I knew what the Wynwood Walls were. It turns out they are basically one and the same. Tony, who passed away in September, was key in developing  Wynwood as a thriving gallery district, where the town square is a street art museum. The area was busy during “Art Basel week” as families and art fans looked at the walls (including a new Shepard Fairey portrait mural of Goldman), lined up to step inside Kenny Scharf‘s neon Airstream trailer, viewed a small exhibition on Goldman (he also developed New York’s SoHo and Miami’s South Beach, had an impeccable shoe collection and is well-regarded for his vision of uplifting rundown architectural gems), ate at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, and even browsed the gift shop, where you can buy a coffee mug that says Wynwood Walls.

Ron English mural at Wynwood Walls

Ron English mural at Wynwood Walls, Miami 2012.

Shepard Fairey wall at Wynwood Kitchen, MIami 2012.

Shepard Fairey wall at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, Miami 2012.

Ron English and friends at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar.

Ron English (third from R) and friends at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar.

Success Stories

CARTWHEEL featured artist Matjames Metson walked away from Miami with a major sale of his Three Wasps Chair with Coagula Curatorial at the Miami Project fair. The chair is truly a masterpiece and now part of a major Miami art collection.

CARTWHEEL featured artist Lydia Emily sold out from the booth space at Red Bull Curates at SCOPE. That’s four original oil paintings — one which went to the Marshall Fields collection.

Artist Greg Haberny, who is better known in New York than out west, though he is part of the CARTWHEEL collection, had Miami’s most love-it-or-hate-it installation at Aqua. He made such a magnificent, organized-chaos mess of room number 119, with a splintered piano at the center communicating the different concepts of music — madness, digital and classical — making him and the gallery Lyons Wier the standout of the entire fair.

Another artist who CARTWHEEL follows closely, Andrew Schoultz, found success with the purchase of two gold flag paintings by Sean “Diddy” Combs at Marx & Zavattero San Francisco, at Miami Project. Schoultz’s work was seen in several art fairs in Miami including Mark Moore Gallery at Pulse.

Three Wasps Chair by Matjames Metson at Coagula Curatorial at Miami Project Art Fair, 2012. Sold!

Three Wasps Chair by Matjames Metson with Coagula Curatorial at Miami Project Art Fair, 2012. A beautiful piece. And it sold!

Lydia Emily brought four oil paintings from her Africa series to SCOPE Miami Art Fair, and all of them were sold to collectors. This was her first time showing art in Miami Beach!

Lydia Emily brought four oil paintings from her Africa series to SCOPE Miami Art Fair, and all of them were sold to collectors. This was her first time showing art in Miami Beach!

Greg Haberny's installation at Lyons Weir Gallery at Aqua Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Greg Haberny’s installation with Lyons Weir Gallery at Aqua Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Gold Drip Flag by Andrew Schoultz at Mark Moore Gallery at Pulse Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Gold Drip Flag by Andrew Schoultz with Mark Moore Gallery at Pulse Art Fair, 2012.

Discoveries

While exploring Fountain art fair, Cindy bumped into hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons and then rounded one of the fair’s labyrinthine corners to find the artwork of Rockland, Illinois artist Corey Hagberg. It’s thanks to this encounter of Corey’s psychosomatic bright layered paintings that he’ll be a featured artist on CARTWHEEL and is actually making new work for us already. Corey also met Simmons and said he was a chill guy:

We gave him a bag with some screen prints and drawings in it as a thanks for all he’s done with charities and music. Our friend Jesus is a visual artist and performer. He took one of his puppets and did a dirty puppet show for Russell. He thought it was pretty funny.

While in the Red Bull Curates booth at SCOPE, the artist Hebru Brantley‘s paintings seemed to jump off the wall, whether it was a feminine profile or a pair of boys in helmets and goggles. Hebru is from Chicago and paints themes having to do with his 1980s upbringing. He was super nice in person and only towered over Cindy by about three feet. We weren’t the only ones who became Hebru fans last weekend. On the last day of the fair, at Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, Jay-Z bought a Hebru Brantley for $20,000. Hebru posted on Instagram,

Last day of #artbasel and my work goes into the Sean Carter Collection. Thanks Jay and B for your hospitality. JAYZ OWNS A HEBRU BRANTLEY!!!#jayz #beyonce

Other artists who made new, now lasting, impressions: Ernesto Kunde, who is now part of the permanent Miami Art Museum collection after being discovered by at SCOPE; Tom Fellner, whose colorful paintings of Japanese kaiju monster toys in woodsy settings were shown with Swiss gallery Balzer Art Projects at Pulse; and Okay Mountain, a ten-member artist collective with a solo show at Mark Moore Gallery in the upcoming year.

Corey Hagberg

Corey Hagberg at Fountain Art Fair, with new works that will be available on CARTWHEEL soon.

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Corey Hagberg’s wall in Wynwood behind Fountain.

Fountain Art Fair fan Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons at Fountain Art Fair.

Hebru Brantley's work at Red Bull Curates booth at SCOPE Miami Art Fair, 2012.

Hebru Brantley’s work with Red Bull Curates at SCOPE Miami Art Fair, 2012.

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Bill Franchey, Rachel Lena Esterline and Allison Glenn of Art Fund in the Red Bull Curates booth at SCOPE Miami Art Fair, Miami 2012. With Lydia Emily, Dana and Cindy of CARTWHEEL.

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Cindy and Hebru Brantley.

Ernesto Kunde with Kunde Art at SCOPE Miami Art Fair, 2012.

Ernesto Kunde with Kunde Art at SCOPE Miami Art Fair, 2012.

Tom Fellner with Balzer Art Projects, Switzerland, at Pulse Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Tom Fellner with Balzer Art Projects, Switzerland, at Pulse Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Okay Mountain at Mark Moore Gallery at Pulse Art Fair, Miami 2012.

Okay Mountain with Mark Moore Gallery at Pulse Art Fair, Miami 2012.

 

3 Comments

  1. Highlights from Pulse Miami Beach : Cartwheel Art
    December 20, 2012

    […] The Virgin Mary of Madelin, 2011 by Dinh Q. Le with Elizabeth Leach Gallery, was the first thing visitors saw upon entering Pulse. View another sculptural work by the same artist in CARTWHEEL’s Best of Miami Beach Art Fairs. […]

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  2. Highlights from SCOPE Miami Beach : Cartwheel Art
    December 20, 2012

    […] to SCOPE was the installation by Simon Bilodeau titled Le Monde est un zombie. Mirrors were a theme at Miami art fairs, but this installation took reflectiveness to another […]

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  3. Andrews Schoultz's "Fall Out" : Cartwheel Art
    January 16, 2013

    […] belt–including the acquisition one of his piece by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Sean “Diddy” Combs’ purchase of two gold flag paintings at Miami Project during the December 2012 Miami Art […]

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