With nearly two dozen satellite fairs taking place in Miami during the city’s art week, navigating the scene can be difficult for any of the 75,000 or so collectors and art enthusiasts expected to be in town. For the most part, each alternative fair covers a certain niche in the art market; NADA, for instance, is dedicated to “exploring new or underexposed art that is not typical of the ‘art establishment,’” while Pulse calls itself “the premiere satellite fair for the discovery and acquisition of cutting-edge contemporary art.” Select embraces the local community, and, according to its curator, Tim Goossens, positions itself as an “international, smaller-scale, digestible fair with a focus on artist commissions.” Untitled, which attracts visitors with its gorgeous beachfront location, focuses on emerging and midcareer contemporary art. Here, a few of the highlights to scope out.
Timorous Beasties at Pulse
Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons, the Scottish duo known as Timorous Beasties, made a name for themselves in graphic and textile design with their enchanting, historically influenced prints, resulting in collaborations with Nike, Liberty of London and Philip Treacy. The gallerist James Danziger of Danziger Gallery was so taken with their work that he visited them in Glasgow and commissioned them to create their first pieces for an art exhibition — three vivid Rorschach-influenced works printed with ink on velvet. The results will be on display at Danziger Gallery’s booth at Pulse from Dec. 4 through 7.
Rashaad Newsome’s homage to hip-hop’s best emcees at Select
The New York-based artist Rashaad Newsome went to the New York hip-hop stations Hot 97 and Power 105 to ask listeners who they thought were the best emcees of all time. Everyone from Jay Z to Tupac to M.I.A. turned up on the list, and with the help of Adobe After Effects, Newsome scanned their most iconic music videos for specific movements of the lips, hands and body. Newsome then took all the cuts and set them against the six movements of Carl Orff’s dark iconic choral piece “Carmina Burana.” The result is “The Conductor,” a spectacular mash-up of clips that dissects the gestural language of virtually every hip-hop great imaginable. The installation is on display at the Select fair, and on December 5, Mykki Blanco — who is also one of the rappers in the piece — will perform for visitors.
Digital art abounds
New-media art is on the rise, and according to East Hampton Shed curator Nate Hitchcock, “The works currently being made that are reflecting on technological production and its discontents are coming into their own.” Head to either room 1034 or the Artsy booth at NADA and discover the second edition of “#ArtsyTakeover,” a site-specific installation by WALLPAPERS, an artist collective founded by Nicolas Sassoon, Sara Ludy and Sylvain Sailly. Curated by Artsy’s Julia Colavita and Hitchcock, “each 50-inch screen displays an animated .gif file that seamlessly transitions into the adjacent image,” says Hitchcock. “The result is a moving patterned texture, appearing in part as wallpaper.” Over at Pulse, the new-media scholar Lindsay Howard curated the fair’s digital platform, Pulse Play, which features pieces by Tilo Baumgaertel, Alexandra Gorczynski, Carlo Ferraris, and Tracey Snelling and Idan Levin.
Swizz Beatz moonlights as a curator
You may know him as Swizz Beatz, but Kaseem Dean is more than just the Grammy-winning music producer known for developing the rhythms of chart toppers like T.I. and Beyoncé. The avid art collector is curating “The Dean Collection” at this year’sScope, which features a series of works throughout the fair by the artists Cleon Peterson, D*Face, Lyle Owerko, Sandra Chevrier and the street artist Swoon, who contributed “Thalassa,” a towering depiction of the Greek goddess inspired by the tragic 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Ebony G. Patterson’s Bling Funeral series at Untitled
Yes, Untitled takes place on the beach — but there’s also a lot of thought-provoking work in the fair, notably at the Chicago gallery Monique Meloche‘s booth. The Jamaican artist Ebony G. Patterson explored the phenomenon of “bling funerals” among Kingston’s lower classes through a series of caskets adorned with rich prints that were marched along the city’s streets in a performance-art piece last spring; seen in installation, they exemplify the old expression “You may not have noticed me when I was alive, but you will damn well see me as I leave.”
Richard Prince and “Mana Monumental” at Mana Miami
For its inaugural art fair, Mana Miami organized a trio of exhibitions, including over a dozen never-before-exhibited 2003 collaged works by Richard Prince in the VIP room that features his signature themes: jokes, faces and vulgar illustrations. The “Mana Monumental” exhibition shows off massive paintings by blue-chip names like Julian Schnabel, Francesco Clemente, David Salle and Urs Fischer.
The art of the selfie
Selfie-obsessed art fans will encounter countless pieces of work ripe for auto-portraiture throughout the week’s alternative fairs. At Miami Project, Thomas Glassford has a piece made of mirrored Plexiglas and anodized aluminum at Quint Gallery. An ever-evolving, changing-hued wall by Phillip K. Smith III at Royale Projects is an option at Untitled for those who need a little color in their lives; and at Scope, Ken Borochov has created an oval mirror framed by neon lights and its title, “Selfie,” at Mordekai. Viva #artselfie.