Shifting into Miami

In December I attended what I like to call the Olympics of the contemporary art world -- Art Basel Miami Beach. For the first time in a decade, I was a spectator and not an exhibitor. In three fully packed days and four equally stuffed nights, I attended eight art fairs, two museum opening events, reconnected with great friends and colleagues, got rained on, saw 80s heartthrob Christian Slater at Interview 

Christian Slater at Pedro Reyes Sanatorium installation at the ICA Miami. 

Christian Slater at Pedro Reyes Sanatorium installation at the ICA Miami. 

Magazine's bash for the inaugural opening of the new Institute of Contemporary Art, and was visually assaulted by some very bad clothes. All this and more while looking seriously for, and at, artworks for several different private clients. My head was foggy at times, but I was inspired by the bounty of art and thrilled to see many of my colleagues, friends, and clients in booths and aisles, on the streets, and at events throughout those very long Miami Basel days and nights.

With exhaustive surveys and critiques about Miami Basel 2014 already published, and because I am on to the next HMxAA adventure, I am offering up just a tiny slice of what I experienced in highlight reel form... 

Opening night at Untitled: unabashed selfie with SFMOMA's Maria Jenson in front of Royale Projects stunning Phillip K. Smith III installation

Opening night at Untitled: unabashed selfie with SFMOMA's Maria Jenson in front of Royale Projects stunning Phillip K. Smith III installation

The Untitled art fair was a very bright highlight, literally -- the lighting was so aggressive that I thought I might just get a tan. Regardless, it was a very pretty fair, and the opening was packed and featured a plethora of colorful abstraction and installations. My friend Carrie Secrist from Chicago was exhibiting powerful works by Andrew Holmquist (reflected in the selfie to left) and had the misfortune of being across the aisle from Phillip K. Smith's massive mirror installation that became a selfie plague. I am guilty. 

SF based painter James Sterling Pitt's work at Boston's Steven Zevitas Gallery was a standout, as was Monique Meloche's sobering yet triumphant installation by Ebony G. Patterson.

Monique Meloche in her booth at Untitled with an installation by Ebony G. Patterson

Monique Meloche in her booth at Untitled with an installation by Ebony G. Patterson

ABMB was Basel. Clean, tight and impossibly large. Usual suspects abounded, and I fell in love with Richard Forster's monumental and breathtaking pencil on paper seascapes at Ingleby Gallery from Edinburgh, Scotland. His work is ridiculously good, rigorous and poetic. 

Richard Forster Three Verticals on consecutive but random time intervals, Saltburn-by-the Sea, 21 Jan 2009, 11.41-11.42am

Richard Forster Three Verticals on consecutive but random time intervals, Saltburn-by-the Sea, 21 Jan 2009, 11.41-11.42am

Attending one of several parties at the new Perez Art Museum was spectacular. The building itself designed by Herzog & de Meuron was made not only for viewing art, but to engage with it on a very intimate level while maintaining a sense of glitzy grandeur. The collective energy

Perez Art Museum outdoor pavilion which features hanging rooftop gardens and faces Biscayne Bay.

Perez Art Museum outdoor pavilion which features hanging rooftop gardens and faces Biscayne Bay.

was infectious. The party included fire (of course), several DJs, Flyboard performances in Biscayne Bay, a large exhibition of paintings by Beatriz Milhazes, a bold and emphatic floor to ceiling wall work by Gary Simmons, and Mark Handforth's blisteringly beautiful Western Sun installation. 

Mark Handforth, Western Sun, 2004

Mark Handforth, Western Sun, 2004

The crowd was euphoric and I had a blast talking with strangers about the works on view and the museum itself. At every corner I was giddy with excitement about what the museum had on view and the spaces inside and out of the museum were absolutely transformative. 

Maria Jenson and I being photographed by former Marx & Zavattero gallery associate Alissa Polan at the Perez Art Museum. 

Maria Jenson and I being photographed by former Marx & Zavattero gallery associate Alissa Polan at the Perez Art Museum. 

Pulse Miami had a wonderful collection of galleries. Highlights include the Jennifer Dalton installation at New York's Winkelman Gallery, Ramiro Gomez at Los Angeles's Charlie James Gallery (disclaimer: HMxAA acquired a piece) and New York's Mixed Greens, showing a selection of paintings by Naomi Reis and sculptures by Susan Giles. 

Steven Sergiovanni of Mixed Greens at work in his booth at PULSE Miami, featuring a wall installation by Naomi Reis. 

Steven Sergiovanni of Mixed Greens at work in his booth at PULSE Miami, featuring a wall installation by Naomi Reis. 

Ramiro Gomez, Maria Luisa with the Laundry Basket, acrylic on magazine, 2013

Ramiro Gomez, Maria Luisa with the Laundry Basket, acrylic on magazine, 2013

NADA was larger than I recalled from its 'daintier' days, and filled with mostly really good art. Thomas Duncan Gallery from Los Angeles exhibited densely processed paintings by Daniel Payavis, whose work still haunts me. Another welcome discovery for me was the Romanian painter Marius Bercea at Francois Ghebaly Gallery, also from Los Angeles. I fell in love with the mood and luscious compositions of his paintings and wished I could have snatched one up. I hope to revisit his work for the right client. For me, it is as if Peter Doig, Matisse, Stevie Nicks, and a 70s hippie made a painting. I admit it, my California roots inform me wherever I go. 

Daniel Payavis, Lapsed Connection, oil on linen, 2014

Daniel Payavis, Lapsed Connection, oil on linen, 2014

Closing out the week was a second visit to Miami Project in Wynwood which featured another dizzying array of great works at the booths of Mark Moore, Eleanor Harwood, Margaret Thatcher Projects, Walter Maciel, Staley-Wise, and many others. Heading out to catch a taxi to the airport for my flight home, I hoped to catch a glimpse of Arcade Fire who were rumored to be on their way to view the wall-to-wall drawing installation by one of my favorite authors, Bay Area do-gooder Dave Eggers, at Electric Works' booth. Sadly they never showed and it reminded me of the silly trail of great expectations and inevitable disappointments that define the art world and art fair going & presenting in particular. No matter, I am lucky to be a part of this crazy train and certainly love what I do. 

Dave Eggers' installation at Electric Works at Miami Project.

Dave Eggers' installation at Electric Works at Miami Project.

Till later...be sure you love what you look at.