If Miami-Basel doesn’t go to the mountains …



Exactly a year ago we were on a pilgrimage from fair to fair in Miami. The first week of December always coincides with its great week of art, not only in that city but, almost, almost, in the world. At least in the Latin world. In fact, it can be said that the 2019 edition was one of the best in terms of audience and sales. Then, we find Cattelan’s banana peel in Basel-Miami and it seems that we step on it and slip, because the successive months, due to the covid effect, have not brought us anything other than a succession of cancellations and contraction of the art market. ARCO, in Madrid, was the last major fair that could be held this year. Later, even the sacrosanct Basel in Switzerland had to give up the possibility of having an edition in 2020. He tried to delay it until September, until he gave up. Like many other fairs, the American women in Miami that this week should be boosting and weathered the situation, are forced to give up and transform into digital formats that no one is satisfied with. Celebratory winks In fact, the idea has emerged from Basel-Miami itself that the galleries participating in its delivery this December (from 2 to 6), dedicate these days to preparing in their physical spaces (and in the face of so much web saturation ) some wink to celebrate the fair, even if it is in the distance and scattered throughout the planet. They have joined this idea, for example, from Fernando Pradilla. Its director, Elena Fernández Manrique acknowledges that “after the depression caused by the confinement”, receiving a call confirming their participation in Basel-Miami “was a rush”: “It was going to be our first participation there, a market, the Latino, who interests us because of the nature of our own gallery, whose mother office is in Bogotá. We have many collectors in the region, “they admit. «Today we do not participate in the online versions of the fairs basically out of sadness. A fair is a meeting, many emotions. The “zooms” and the “viewing rooms” are an exchange of stickers ”, they consider in Espacio Minimo Pradilla had been chosen in the Solo Projects Nova section. He was going to take a solid project by Alberto Baraya there, a cabinet of curiosities in which its author once again mixes historiography, biology and humor to analyze the future of the colony of hippos that colonized part of the Magdalena River in Colombia for decades. , after the zoo that the narco Pablo Escobar set up in Villa Napoles was abandoned to its fate. His proposal is finally displayed not in the Miami Convention Center, but in Pradilla’s office, a space that was renovated a few months ago to accommodate small proposals. «The intention is to do from the gallery a small simulation of what the stand would have been. We also want to make virtual zooms with clients and have some breakfast these days to show it in an organized way, “explain those responsible. This firm has seen important places for it canceled in recent months, such as the fairs in Mexico, Bogotá or Sao Paulo: «The web is not the solution at all. Sales have been zero in the online version of all of them. This is the general trend, even in the Basel viewing rooms ”. Web of «Miss You Miami», from Espacio Minimo Espacio Minimo also has his body in Madrid these days, but his heart in Miami. In January 1997 (the fair was not held at its usual location at that time, nor in December, since the rental contract for its space had it with another fair, Art Miami), this Spanish gallery participated for the first time in a Miami Beach art salon, The Gramercy International Contemporary Art Fair, at the Raleig Hotel. Since then, they have participated in 17 editions of different fairs. Untitled is your best niche today. “In these years we have witnessed how art was transforming the city at the same time that the city was changing us and our appreciation of it without hardly realizing it –relate its directors, Luis Valverde and José Martínez Calvo–, to the point to miss her enormously this December that we cannot visit her ». That is the reason why they have decided to launch, and on their own, a small tribute – virtual in this case – to this atypical Miami Art Week of 2020: “Miss You Miami”. Even Versace was alive! A video and a selection of works by its artists (“new, as you would prepare for a fair, or old but unknown”), by authors such as Moraza, Diana Larrea, Manu Muniategi, Liliana Porter or Nono Bandera, have been sent to collectors, acquaintances and friends via email to encourage them to buy as if they were at the fair. “Today you cannot do face-to-face fairs and online fairs, which are also not cheap at all, there is no point in participating. However, after reviewing this last weekend old photos of all our appearances there, we thought that we had to do something, “say its directors. In these memories artistic names such as those of Jorge Pérez, the main patron now in the city, but also from the world of the famous that meets in the capital of Florid, such as Rupert Everet or Rue McClanahan (the Blanche Devereaux of Las chicas de gold): “Even Versace was alive!” they joke. «Today we do not participate in the online versions of the fairs basically out of sadness. A fair is a meeting, many emotions. The zooms and the viewing rooms are a trading card ”. «The web is not the solution at all. Sales have been zero in the online version of all of them. That is the general trend even of the Basel viewing rooms », they say in Fernando Pradilla« When Samuel Keller came up with the counterintuitive idea of ​​opening a branch of Art Basel in Miami, many people put their hands to the head: at first glance, contemporary art and the city of the sun seemed to marry worse than chocolate and tumaca bread – they now express from Espacio Valverde -. However, Art Basel has managed to make Miami the nerve center of the art market in the new continent for at least one week a year. Last year, this firm was there showing the work of its artists a few meters from the sea, in Untitled. The pandemic forces it to stay in Madrid “with a future perspective more opaque than lead,” explains Jacobo Fitz James Stuart, director of the firm. His answer is Salón Miami, a parallel exhibition in his new location on Valverde Street; a kind of stand with the artists whose works – this year and on these same dates – should be doing the Americas: Elena Alonso, Hugo Bruce, Jorge Diezma, Robert Ferrer and Luis Vassallo, who are joined by two invited creators, Irene de Andrés (who presents part of his project Specie Naúfragas) and Irene Grau (who proposes a trip manufactured in canvas letters). From the gallery they promise to receive us “with tropical sympathy and with a desire to share ideas.” Assembly of «Salon Miami» in Espacio Valverde «Not being able to be in Miami this year is a burden – explains the gallery owner -. Our proposal in these times in which you have to work investing three times the energy that you put before in everything, is dystopian and melancholic, an invitation to a trip, half daydreaming, that we inaugurated yesterday and that will accompany us for a few weeks for the good taste of mouth that is leaving ». Nobody buys what they do not see “We are looking forward to the on-site fairs starting again because the collector needs it too,” Fernández Manrique concludes. Nobody buys anything they don’t see. At most, you buy something from someone you already know. To this is added that in the fairs atmospheres and encounters are generated that favor the predisposition to the acquisition of works ”. From a couple’s opinion they are in Espacio Minimo: «Projects like these are rather a way of saying“ we are here, we are still alive and we wait for you ”. During the weeks of confinement we have sold things from our own store; Obviously cheap stuff. However, until a new edition of Basel is held, we will not even tell you about ARCO, the system will not be reactivated ». His initiatives for these weeks, together with that of Espacio Valverde, provide a grain of hope invoking a certain “spirit of Christmas.” Although this year has to be (strangely) traditional, and without surfers on the beaches of Miami. Never in Madrid have we felt them closer.


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