kulchur and the three fairs
Post #191 • January 15, 2004, 8:07 AM • 10 Comments
Brett Sokol's "Kulchur" in this week's Miami New Times covers the surfeit of art fairs in South Florida. Kulchur and gallerist Brook Dorsch came to pretty much the same conclusion I did about Art Miami: not as bad as last year, but far from great. Bottom line (pardon the pun):
...it was clear Art Miami director Ilana Vardy had dodged an economic bullet. "It was my challenge in getting exhibitors to sign up," she said, "but it turns out there is enough money to go around." ...
[Vardy] suspects [palmbeachcontemporary director Lorenzo] Rudolf's insistence on holding his fair the same weekend as hers is a deliberate attempt to siphon away patrons.
But Vardy chose to -- mostly -- hold her tongue, preferring to rely on the sound of pens meeting checkbooks . "Whichever fair's galleries sell the most will determine where this all ends up," she predicted confidently.
So follow the money?
"That's what this is all about -- for everybody."
Not so fast, Ms. Vardy. For me, this is about one of the great pleasures of life, and the continuation of one of the most important ongiong human endeavors on the face of the planet. I understand the need for practicality, but come on, now. Bigger things are at stake, and understanding that would go a long way toward pulling up the level of Art Miami.
UPDATE: What the hell is Lorenzo Rudolf talking about?
"Miami has an incredible, interesting collectors' scene," Rudolf said. "But how many collectors of classical modern stuff do you have? There is Norman Braman , perhaps [Debra and Dennis] Scholl , and then it's finished." Palm Beach, he countered, is full of classical-art enthusiasts -- snowbirds from Chicago and New York dying to snag a Kandinsky or a Picasso, few of whom are interested in the kind of after-hours party-hopping that defined much of Basel. "It's a different lifestyle.... So Art Basel will be dominated more and more by younger, cutting-edge artists doing contemporary work, and palmbeachcontemporary will have a focus on classical modern art."