I have been a contemporary art fan since high school, by which I mostly mean that I used to go to shows with my boyfriend and make out in the bathroom and behind installations. Look, in Fresno, California the museum of modern art was two tumbleweeds and a crooked sheriff short of a ghost town. And, after I moved, they closed it down, so my sex patronage was really making a difference in a small town art scene. But, I digress…
Those who follow contemporary art for less kissing-related reasons know ’tis the season for art in Miami. Art Miami (@artmiamifairs) runs from December 5-10, and Art Basel, the US incarnation of the famous Swiss show, hits Miami Beach from Dec. 7-10. The city is overrun with movie stars, deep pockets, and models galore — it’s a full on scene.
Known around the world as one of the country’s leading contemporary and modern art fairs, Art Miami attracts over 85,000 guests from varied backgrounds — all clamoring to view the finest investment quality photography, paintings, drawings, prints, video art, and sculpture from the 20th and 21st century. Modern masters and blue chip contemporary artists are on exhibit, as well as the most sought-after living artists. This year, the main fair will offer over 960 artists from more than 140 galleries worldwide.
Just as the helipads of South Beach started to get crowded, festival director, Nick Kornioff, sat down to chat with us about Art Miami and its sister fairs: CONTEXT Art Miami and Aqua Art Miami.
Can you just tell me a little bit about the history of Art Miami?
Art Miami is the original contemporary art fair in Miami. It was first located on Miami Beach at the Miami Beach Convention Center where Art Basel now takes place. This is our 28th edition. In 2007, we actually ran two editions. One during our regular dates the month of January at the convention center and then we moved to align ourselves with Art Week in Miami in the month of December. Since 2007, we have been located in midtown Wynwood Arts District.
Is the new location then a permanent location moving forward?
Well, we have a long-term lease there. That still will remain.
You have a real commitment then to the city and that area.
We do. We have been on the city side for the last 10 years. Most of the satellite fairs and Art Basel are on the beach. We’re big supporters of being on the city side. We love the reorganization of what’s happening to downtown Miami. We’re located right on Biscayne Bay next to Museum Park with the PAMM Art Museum, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, which is only about six years old, and the new Frost Science Museum, which just opened. We’re very close to the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center.