10 Things We Learned At Miami Art Week: Art Fairs Edition
Along with the endless array of events and cocktails this week, we made it a point to go art fair hopping, because, after all, that’s what Miami Art Week is supposed to be about. From Art Basel to Red Dot, and SCOPE to PULSE, here are a few things we learned along the way in 2012.
1. If you’ve got V.I.P. status, you'd better use it. There are so many out-of-towners heading in for Miami Art Week, but the key to access is getting most of the fairs done early in the week. V.I.P.s breezed through a number of fairs during the early morning hours, but once the weekend set it, it was hard to avoid overcrowding – especially in Midtown.
2. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t do it all. Even though planning for these fairs began weeks, and even months in advance, it was just too hard to get everything done. But, no matter where we went, we were able to peruse with an open mind and an open heart. That didn’t stop the aching FOMO for the fairs we missed, though.
3. It’s okay to not “get it.” In the past week, it was great to see the diverse crowds heading through fairs like SCOPE and PULSE. But, the bewildered look on so many of the faces we made eye contact with was just too entertaining not to ogle, along with the art itself. The beauty of art is that it’s open to interpretation. And, if you didn’t quite grasp most of the stuff you saw, you were not the only one.
4. Space Invader is a big deal to Miamians. One of the most exciting moments of the weekend was stumbling upon the Space Invader exhibit at Pulse Miami, curated by Jonathan LeVine Gallery from New York. Housing copies of the Space Invader mosaics that have blanketed Miami for the past couple of years, “Mission Miami” showcased aliases of the hidden gems that continue to pop up around the city without notice. We wanted to own one. Bad.
5. Never be afraid to look into a golden mannequin’s telescopic anus. That’s right. At Scope Miami, one of the highlights was discovering the “Domingo Famliar” piece, which featured a mirror image of your own self as you peered into the abyss of the sculpture’s rectum. Sounds gross, but was actually pretty, pretty awesome. We coined the piece “Sunday Funday.”
6. Sometimes, it really is the little things. At Art Basel Miami Beach and Project Miami, we explored a few different collections of whimsical drawings, where attention to detail was imperative. Bigger wasn’t always better when it came to browsing.
7. You can never get enough neon signage. Every fair we went to boasted at least a handful of neon signs with inspirational, humorous or thought-provoking slogans. Time and time again, we were drawn, like a proverbial moth to the flame, to the art’s simplicity and brightness calling our name.
8. If you had the chance to become a part of an art piece, you engaged gleefully. At Pulse Miami, we came up on London-born, Brooklyn-based Shantell Martin’s “Continuous Line 2012,” a piece featuring two mirrored signs that read, “Who Are You,” and “You Are Who.” The artist created her own marked, live canvas, drawing street art-style names with greetings, to fill her wall of attendance.
9. You can get sick of positive-themed art pieces. There truly is only so much one can take of art that screams “Love,” “Hope” and “Happiness.” Maybe it’s an internal conflict, or maybe we’re just a little more intense when it comes to individual style, but, at some point, we felt more in-tune with the morbid pieces featuring skulls and spikes, as opposed to hearts and flowers.
10. Social networking changed the way we perceived our own taste this year. Through use of Instagram, we were able to go back and study which styles of art were appealing. A shared collection of images really teaches you about your own preferences. Personally, I found myself snapping away at many risqué pieces, along with bold lettered messages and black and white art. Whether it’s a way to showcase who you are, or a sign to expand your horizons in the art world, the tech tool really made an impact on last week's experience.
Images by Tracy Block