Mondays suck -- but try having a “case of the Mondays” coupled with post-Art Week Miami & Basel depression. No es fácil.
Luckily, however, being of the glass half-full school of thought, we’re glad to let you all in on a little secret: In the future not only will everything be fine, but it will be Superfine!
Superfine! defines itself as “The Fairest Fair” which really is a double entendre. The art fair, founded in 2015 and housed in a completely transformed warehouse in the Little Haiti neighborhood of Miami, moved slightly south for Art Week Miami & Art Basel 2016, to take over the CrossFit Wynwood space this time around and give over 40 artists from across the globe the chance to show their work. The fair’s disruptive model is redefining a top-down art world that has increasingly become unapproachable and unjust to artists and established as well as emerging collectors by simply being fair. Superfine! offers equitable treatment to artists by allowing them to showcase their works affordably while also allowing them the control over their respective careers that they deserve without being unjustly represented. It’s also an even-handed deal for prospective buyers and substantial collectors alike. Superfine! makes the art world egalitarian, approachable and unpretentious. But lastly, it is also fair in the sense that the eclectic curation of works and the energy is simply just, as the word can also mean, lovely.
Los Bandidos had the pleasure of being invited to check out Superfine! firsthand and also to pick founder Alex Mitow and creative director James Mille’s brains about the fair, retrospectively. Directly in line with the fair’s mantra, “to break down barriers and make sure that everyone can find something they love, and works within their budget”, as the duo put it, Superfine! played home to the full spectrum of potential buyers “from young Brickellites to savvy international art collectors.” The fair also showcases a broad scope of artistic mediums/genres and buying happened across the board. When we asked for specifics about trends from a contemporary art market standpoint, Superfine’s! founder divulged further: “ I will say that I think some attention is going to the more classically inspired works, like a trio of Mapplethorpe-in-color-inspired up close photos of rare flowers by Turkish photographer Arda Asena that all found new collectors. In 2016, I think it's a lot less about shock value and more about artistic talent.”
For those that weren’t as fortunate to have the chance to attend Superfine! please allow Los Bandidos to share some highlights. For starters, the ambiance was both unique and also reflective of “Miami” tropical swag featuring a backyard outfitted by local artist team Nice’N Easy. As James and Alex explained, “their work has a unique language that really sums Miami and the tropics up into one glowing, pastel-tinged abstracted vision.” The playfulness of the swings installed in the backyard as well as a pop-up bar from MiMo’s beacon hotel The Vagabond furthered the approachable, genuine nature that Superfine! also hopes to convey to the art within its walls. In addition, Mikael B, a Danish artist, was responsible for painting the front facade in the fair’s signature look, while Artist Alex Kuhn, displayed his incredible pyrographic flair whilst creating a gorilla piece as part of the Beck’s Urban Canvas installation held in Superfine!’s backyard.
If you were unaware, apart from being global art mavens, James (himself an esteemed photographer) and Alex have also done their fair share to support the art scene in the beautiful place that Los Bandidos is also proud to call home -- Miami. As such, it’s important to note that a fair like Superfine! made sure to represent Miami artists as the show was comprised of a 50/50 mix of local versus globally-derived works. Los Bandidos was happy to see a showcase from Little Haiti’s Laundromat Art space immediately upon arrival. As the Superfine! team explained, “Miami artists often get swept under the rug during Miami Art Week, and we feel strongly about giving them a platform.”
But, it should be noted, the Superfine! team doesn’t just give Miami artists “the look” once a year. They are also responsible for putting on events such as “The Night of Light”, where galleries, artist studios and local businesses across the Little River/Little Haiti neighborhoods open their doors for the festivities in the name of art! While there may be some debate about how nascent Miami’s art scene actually is, at least we can attest to the fact that players like Superfine! are doing their best to bring it full swing. “Miami has a long way to go as it becomes a year-round art city, and we addressed that in a fun panel at Superfine! featuring myself, developer Avra Jain, artist and designer Karelle Levy, and Laundromat Art Space co-founder David McCauley. This topic has way more life in it and I think will be the focal point of our conversation with the entire city over the next few years as we continue to engage arts-lovers, artists, and arts-based businesses all throughout the year,” Alex explained. All in all, having Superfine!’s ambitions both locally and globally-focused and in high-gear can only mean great things for the 305.
If you’re still looking at Basel in the rearview with a sense of longing, don’t fret; Superfine! actually has your back in a couple of different ways. If you should suffer from the opposite of buyer’s remorse because you didn’t get a chance to check out the fair or didn’t pull the trigger then you’re still in luck. Superfine! is actually hosting an online e-fair until January 8th! Check it out here.In addition if you’re an artist, curator, dealer or a groupie (we wouldn’t blame you for being any of the above), the Superfine! team has some stuff in the pipeline. Superfine! will be popping up yet again during Frieze Week NYC in May and in Mexico City in September during Galéria Weekend MX, which is held concurrently w/ Zsona Maco Foto. For those interested, check out Superfine’s! Exhibitor Information page in the New Year for all relevant 2017 dates and deadlines.
Superfine! thanks for being the fairest fair and for by far having the most flair!
© Los Bandidos del Arte, LLC. 2016.