Many emerging artists and collectors are hoping to be noticed this week during Art Basel and Miami Art Week. But without name recognition or excessive amounts of money, that can be hard to do.
The Superfine! Art Fair prides itself on bringing diversity to Miami’s art market. It offers a collective of women-identifying artists, artists of color and LGBTQ+ artists with over 45 booths of independent solo artists and galleries. The artists Alex Mitow and James Miille, a couple, started the fair after years of coming down to Miami Beach from New York and having conversations with artists and collectors about the barriers they faced. They require the price tag be listed on all art pieces, so buyers know what is within their price range.
They spoke with Sundial’s Luis Hernandez about the fair.
WLRN: I want to start with your take on Art Basel and Miami Art Week.
MITOW: I came to Miami in 2006 and lived here for five years and then I was in New York for several years back and forth. I came to every Basel for 12 years straight. And I think the challenge is that it's a bit dichotomous. You have these events and art parties basically for people who are treating it like another music festival or a place to drink and have fun. It's not really about the art. And then you have on the other side, really high end fairs that are exclusive and no one feels like they can actually collect or buy anything. That's kind of where we come in and that's the ultimate aim, for there to be an art market for people, buying and selling artwork.
What is Superfine!?
MIILLE: Superfine! is the connector between the artists and these potential collectors. As we talk about artists and galleries, one thing you'll find in a lot of fairs is they exclude solo artists, they work only with galleries or their only solo artist and exclude galleries. We've always been a dual model where we have both in our fair and it improves the overall quality of the fair.
MITOW: If you're an emerging artist and you're trying to get into the art scene and you're trying to get into especially Miami Art Week, Art Basel, there is a lot of bad turns you can take. And we're really here for those artists and especially diverse artists, women, artists of color, LGBTQ plus artists, who maybe don't have that easy accessibility to the gallery model or to the traditional art fair model.
In the art world, especially down here Miami, is it tough for women minorities and LGBTQ artists to get noticed?
MIILLE: I think it's tough in almost every market and it's something that I think that people outside of the "art" world don't really realize about the art world. They think it's all free and honestly there's a lot of difficulty because the galleries are predominantly run by white men and the fairs are too. So if you're an artist of color or women artist, it can be difficult to get through that ... to break through that ceiling. And so I do think it's very difficult and when representation is the main goal by a gallery that can often be a lost dream. We're able to offer an opportunity to be in a professional setting that's very much market focused and without necessarily having to wait around for that representation.
Watch our interview with Alex Mitow at Superfine!