Art Miami 2021

Art Miami, Miami’s longest running contemporary art fair, returned for its 31st edition in legendary fashion. It was a long-awaited event that left fair-goers with a tantalizing memory. We had the pleasure of attending the VIP preview which was held at its central waterfront location as in years past at One Herald Plaza on Biscayne Bay. More than 135 international galleries from 17 countries participated in the memorable 31st edition of Art Miami.

Entering the venue was instantly a bit of dreamlike experience. The time off due to COVID meant all of the participating galleries were eager to display the best of the best. Opera Gallery, which has a location in Miami’s Design District, was displaying very impressive works from Anthony James, a surefire way to get foot traffic to enter their booth. None other than Shepard Fairey (aka Obey Giant) himself was there conversing with gallery representatives along with many other celebrities whom attended the VIP Preview.

Art Miami features many South Florida galleries whom we were eager to see after so long. Arcature Fine Art based in Palm Beach had incredible large and impressive works from Kaws and Damien Hirst. We were also treated to the back room which featured many blue chip works including monoprints from Kaws that caught our eye. Our friends at Rosenfeld Gallery had a massive corner booth and took great advantage of the space. On display were many works from Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring. One in particular was Haring’s actual street art on plywood which is not something you see everyday from the contemporary art master.

Perusing through the venue, which seemed larger than years past, we ran into many friends of PBT. Bernice Steinbaum, representing Enrique Gomez de Molina, was in her iconic dinosaur claw slippers which made our visit feel complete and memorable. We had the distinct pleasure of  meeting artist David Datuna. Datuna is known for eating the famous banana by Maurizio Cattelan off the walls Art Basel in 2019. Datuna now creates his own works incorporating eye glasses to create exciting pieces as he was formerly an optometrist. Also noted Datuna was displaying an NFT, previously sold, that was a collaboration with the Dole Company. Unlike SCOPE Art Fair the number of NFTs on display were far less but were still highlighted by some galleries.

Rudolf Budja Gallery was one gallery who was displaying NFTs along with Budja’s own NFT platform Budja.io. Budlja.io allows for fractional ownership of blue chip art as NFTs. Also on display were works from Keith Haring and Andy Warhol along with current artists Hermann, Danny Minnick, and Exit Art artist Florian Reinhardt. An impressive display and with the artists on hand there was much to converse about.

Art Miami’s 31st edition was simply epic. Again, with all the time off due to COVID, all the galleries and artist alike were eager to display their works and partake in the 2nd largest art fair during Miami’s Art Week. It was one of the most impressive editions of Art Miami to date drawing collectors from all over the world and further solidifying itself as a not-to-be missed art event.

Steven D Morse – steven@porkbellytimes.com

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