On duty as Dr. Lisa, I joined the annual December pilgrimage to visit the art fairs in Miami last week. Thanks to Katarina’s thorough report, I had a full list of the Bushwickians in Miami that I could follow up with to see if they needed any emotional support from the stresses of showing, selling and seeing art while trying to fit in some partying. When you’re done with this report, scroll down to see the advice I give this person who’s being taken advantage of by a guy who’s a douchebag. All photos are by me, unless otherwise noted.
I’m glad to report the emotional state of all the Bushwick art people I spoke to in Miami was stellar! It seems that people from Bushwick prepared in advance for just about anything, so they really weren’t anxious at all. Also, there was a lot of group support. Everyone seemed stoked just because they got to hang out with one another. Not a lot for Dr. Lisa to do, so I got to visit with a lot of people, see a ton of art, and—well ya know, shrinks aren’t supposed to give details about their personal lives.My first stop on Wednesday, Dec. 5, was Robert Henry Contemporary, Robert Walden and Henry Chung’s gallery at Aqua Miami. I got there right before the preview opening so I expected drama and was greeted with calm excitement—whaddaya want—it’s their ninth art fair!
On Thursday I went to the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) to visit a few Bushwick representers. I started out at Interstate Projects. It’s headed by Tom Weinrich, who was showing new work by Justin Berry. I have to say, IMHO, Tom is a great guy, but a bit inscrutable; not the type that needs help from a crazy person like me. He told me something very interesting—people at the fair think Brooklyn is synonymous with Bushwick. Bad geography skills=good for Bushwick.
I also found the curatorial gallery Regina Rex, run by a collective of twelve Chicago MFA alumni. They said their panic time was two weeks ago when they were dealing with the framing. I talked to the lovely Yevgeniya Baras about how they all function together as a group and she said they had the “groupthink” thing down. I take that as an incredibly healthy sign of well-balanced egos.
The people from Bushwick who bring the Fountain Art Fair to Miami, (love them all and their fair!), get the award for “The Most Likely to Resemble a Bad Reality TV Show.” These people are experts on the good mood—or at least while they are in Miami.
The Parlour booth at Fountain was manned by gallerists, Rachel Phillips, Charles Tisa, and Janice Sloane. Since Rachel and Charles are a couple, I focused on Janice. I wanted to know what it was like for her as an attractive single chick in Miami. Janice said, “I get more guys flirting with me in the Home Depot here in Miami than in all of New York City.” That sounds reasonably accurate to me, as I’ve observed the laid back attitude of the dudes in this area who are surrounded by an excess of fabulous women.
On Friday at the Fountain Art Fair, I tried to check in with Jill McDermid-Hokanson and Erik Hokanson, the directors of Grace Exhibition Space. I missed them, but got a chance to witness the performance of Caridad Sola chopping wood ferociously with an ax. Finally, someone who seemed to need my help! She told me some of the inspiration for her work had come from two abusive relationships she’d had with men. Since Caridad was busy, I had to make a follow-up psychotherapy appointment with her. The title of her four-hour long work is Remove. Renew. Repeat.
Jennifer Dalton and Jennifer McCoy, the co-founders of brand-new gallery Auxiliary Projects in Bushwick, were in Miami with Bushwick artist Susan Hamburger. Susan is very grounded, so I felt the Jenns were in good hands. They did have some stress, but at least they have sales to show for it—“Part of our mission in Miami was to connect with two collectors who, through our brand-new e-commerce enabled tumblr site, had bought works online. It was like a missed connection sit-com that found us jetting (borrowed VIP passes in hand) from one fair to another trying to meet up with them.”
I also ran into I ran into Elle Burchill and Andrea Monti from Microscope Gallery at NADA . They were a bit woozy, having just gotten off of a plane from another art event in London. Bushwick jetsetters—is that an oxymoron? Other notable artist and gallerists mentioned in Katerina’s article that I didn’t get to see are artist and Storefront Bushwick Gallerist; Deborah Brown, Meenakshi Thiriukode, and Melissa Murray—please comment here, ladies—I want to know how it went!
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