Suzy and Will go to Miami Projects 5

Of all the fairs, this one was one of the least susceptible to trends. There were some Scope-esque pieces I didn’t love, but overall there were a lot of worthwhile paintings and 2D pieces. There was very little sculpture, almost zero video or fiber, very little that wasn’t meant for hanging on a wall. I saw very little in experimental or untested materials, very little installation or interactive art.

When we arrived, gallerists were still in sales mode and a few engaged us, like at Satellite, but the conversations were quite different and sales focused. Works were in a medium price range, and there were a lot of red dots on mid-sized and smaller works.

It felt like the older sister of Scope. Work was better for the most part and there were a few historical pieces, some artists I’ve seen at other shows mostly in NY that I would say are mid-career artists. There was even a large booth dedicated to a deceased artist, so there was a real range of ages and career stages.

Best at Miami Projects 5:

img_7521Matthew Craven at FMLY, NYC with Ink, found image on found paper

img_7523Rose Blake, gouache, sign-writers polymer and collage on cotton rag paper. I loved these pieces that integrated collage and gouache and illustrate insight into the art world. These were from her museum series.

img_7525Ti-Rock Moore’s “Cracka House Village,” Mixed Media. This was one of the few 3D piece we saw in this show.

img_7454Ti-Rock Moore, “Flint,” Mixed Media. This was easily the most poignant political art of the weekend. So well done and smart.

img_7527Bonnie Maygarden “Icons” at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery presented a strong overall effect

img_7529Seonna Hong “Blood Moon,” Acrylic on canvas at Hashimoto Contemporary

img_7531Gregory Euclide “We invite falling into our new pattern of the land,” Acrylic on paper with fern, found foam, found plastic, host, sedum, and wood at Hashimoto Contemporary. This piece was intricate and almost like a terrarium, where the glass or plastic covering was stretched over the final piece – it looked like it was coming out at the viewer.

img_7533Open-Editions, San Francisco. At $32 a pop, these totes were a clever palate cleanser and fun addition to all the 2D just-for-the-wall stuff.

Worst at Miami Projects 5:

img_7535Arthur Beckker “Money Flies” at Hal Katzen Gallery, NY. Dragonflies made of US currency. Too many eye rolls.

img_7537Paul Villinski “50 butterfly template box set,” Aluminum found cans, wire, and soot, with “color to be selected by client.” Butterfly beer cans.

img_7539Greely Myatt “pARTy,” Found and repurposed neon with handles and reclaimed wood. While it’s cool that the artist used all found materials, including the neon, these just said ‘hot mess’ to me.

img_7541Eric Yahnker “Precious Patriotism,” Charcoal and graphite on paper with Zevitas Marcus. I want to give this artist an award for going political and going all the way, but I also found this piece horrifying. I guess that makes it both bad and good, though.

img_7544Kira Lee “David Bowie,” Acrylic on Canvas at ACA Galleries. After a weekend of looking at art all day, I have no patience for tribute art.

img_7546Richard Hambleton “Gold Head #1,” Acrylic on Paper at ACA Galleries.

Takeaways:

Miami Projects is very small. They picked a small building adjacent to NADA, and this fair was very tiny and doable. We were in and out in a half an hour, the quickest fair by far. I could barely count this as its own fair – it was smaller than Satellite and INK.

They had some SF and NY galleries, a Nashville and an Ohio gallery, with most from the US, but a few Paris and London. There was a crowd outside, mostly an older crowd, which was impressive for a Sunday afternoon. This fair was still bustling and selling until the last second. I appreciated their dedication to the hustle.

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Author Suzy Kopf is a recent Brooklyn to Baltimore transplant. Suzy is a painter and just completed an MFA degree at MICA. She is a co-founder of the Gowanus Swim Society, a Brooklyn, NY based art collective.