ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH 2010
By Maria Brito
My yearly tradition is to attend Art Basel Miami Beach. The ninth edition of the tropical “baby sister” of the original Swiss fair is actually becoming as important, if not more so, than its European “big sister”. I love everything about Art Basel, the fair and its satellites, as well as the crush of cocktails and parties surrounding it! Some of the best galleries in the world gather in one place, and it is the perfect place to be introduced to new artists. And of course, this is of benefit to my clients! This year ABMB broke records in attendance as it builds a much bigger audience. Although not everybody who goes to the fairs will purchase art or become a collector, everybody there will develop awareness, an interest in art and will have gotten some access to the sometimes exclusive and “codified” world of contemporary art.
Art Basel Miami Beach, the main fair, was fantastic as usual! In my top list of gallery booths were: 1) the wonderful Argentinean Galeria Ruth Benzacar and her Oh-My-God-I-Gotta-Have-This, up and coming artist Flavia Da Rin (more about Flavia in a future post); 2) the Swiss Galerie Gmurzynsk which brought modern art mostly from the 50s, but was inventive enough to have a prominent and extraordinarily well-located booth designed by Zaha Hadid. In that booth I actually was introduced by a common friend to the wonderful German-born artist Rotraut Klein-Moquay (the widow of Yves Klein) and had the opportunity to chat with her and her current husband. (He is actually the man who manages Yves Klein estate, fascinating!); 3) Tony Shafrazi Gallery (NYC) for having the coolest and most original curatorship, funky wallpaper and a humongous sculpture by Robert Williams; and 4) ZieherSmith (NYC) who presented an Art Position (sector of the fair where each of the galleries participating were to showcase a single major project from a new talent) by New Yorker Eddie Martinez. The colossal triptych that Martinez created for ABMB and called “The Feast,” resembled an informal last supper with a myriad of interesting characters sitting along the table. This incredible piece was sold on the opening night to mega collector Charles Saatchi. Write Eddie’s name down and buy something from him if you can!
From the 14 satellite fairs I must say that once again, Pulse and NADA had the best selections and the widest variety of new talent: bright illuminated books by Korean artist Airan Kang, a fantastic video art screen mounted on a very interested pedestal by New Yorker Claudia Hart, the Kate Moss portfolio of the model’s 11 photographs as captured by an excellent variety of the best contemporary and fashion lenses presented by Dazinger Projects and the fantastic photographic compositions of Abigail Reynolds.
I left Miami with a few pieces under my arm, a much wider landscape of the contemporary art world as of today and a bunch of new ideas to incorporate in my projects. Couldn’t be any happier or more grateful for the opportunity to be there and I’m already looking forward the 10th anniversary next year!