Although I feel a little sheepish for loving an art fair sponsored by American Apparel, I will admit it: I liked NADA (and Untitled) the best.

It’s young, it’s hip, it’s not stuffy, and the work is uber-contemporary without trying too hard. At NADA, there’s an emphasis on the handmade, the quirky, the colorful, and the formal, where other fairs present a high percentage of slick and fabricated stuff. This fair features work that is both conceptual and visually appealing, and there’s a rebellious sense of humor with an undercurrent of 1980’s aesthetics that hints at digital and television culture, without being pop. These artists grew up watching The Simpsons. It will be interesting to see if this aesthetic continues.

NADA stands for New Art Dealers Association and is a 503c entity, which seems weird: a non-profit organization that hosts an art fair of commercial galleries. It is the only art fair run by a non-profit, presumably because the galleries who participate are young and not well funded. Yet.

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 The Deauville, Home of NADA

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This fair boasts an international roster, but about half of the galleries are from the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The artists are young and strong, with many galleries showing a lot of the same names you’ve seen at Nudashank in Baltimore. There are around 80 galleries in this fair and it’s highly competitive to participate. The rumors I heard this year all said the same thing: NADA’s dealers sold out their booths on opening night.

NADA’s first fair was in 2003, held near the Basel Convention Center with 35 dealers. It promptly sold out. The next year, NADA moved to the Ice Palace and, after five years, moved to The Deauville Hotel in 2009 to save money. Unlike Aqua, NADA dealers set up booths in the hotel’s huge ballrooms and banquet halls. This is not a typical hotel fair, but hosting it here allows galleries to save money on their hotel rooms. The hotel is right on the beach and there’s a huge pool and resort vibe.

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This year I planned my Miami trip a bit late and found that the Deauville was the only hotel left with open rooms! I was thrilled to stay there in North Beach, happy to drink the gourmet French Press coffee sold at the fair, and psyched to look at art in my bathing suit. The only disappointment was that the pool party, a huge hit from last year, was cancelled.

I will be honest – I’m getting burned out of Miami coverage. I am just going to let you check out my photos and decide for yourself. Also, feel free to peruse NADA’s other sponsor’s site – ART SY.

Browse and collect artwork from the fair online exclusively at Artsy.net

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IMG_7373Virginia Poundstone’s Rainbow Roses

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IMG_7376Essex Street – NY

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 Dan Miller

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Cara Ober & Deana Haggag, contemplating art in swimwear = fun @ Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, NY

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Katherine Bernhardt & Magic Flying Carpets

IMG_7389Bill Brady, Kansas Gallery

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 Roberto Paradise, San Juan, PR

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IMG_7395P! New York

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 Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome, IT

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SABOT, Cluj-Napoca, RO

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 Joe Sheftel, NY

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right, Alex Da Corte @Joe Sheftel, NY

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Invisible-Exports, NY

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Bob Mizer @ Invisible-Exports, NY

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Cary Leibowitz likes your Tan and your Pizza @ Invisible-Exports

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 Rachel Uffner Gallery, NY

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Gina Beavers @Clifton Benevento, NY

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 Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago

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Alicia McCarthy, Untitled 2013

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Jack Hanley Gallery, NY

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White Columns 2013 Print Portfolio: Six Screen Prints

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David Korty @Night Gallery, Los Angeles

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American Contemporary, NY

IMG_7433 Apparently someone got sick? And this is the result. Everyone loved it.

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James Fuentes, NY

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IMG_7438Kristin Calabrese

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Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco

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Ruairiadh O’Connell

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Mujin-To Production, Tokyo

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KARMA, NY

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Video and Painting Installations at JTT, NY

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CLEARING, Brooklyn, NY / Brussels, BE

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