Wednesday, December 5, 2012

UNTITLED art fair opening

UNTITLED Art Fair Opening Night, Miami.

Opening :Monday, December 4th, 6 - 9.

Ocean Drive and 12th Street.

Open to the public:
Wednesday - Saturday, 11 - 7.
Sunday 11 - 6.

On Monday, December 3rd, the inaugural version of the UNTITLED art fair opened to a buzzing audience, brimming with curiosity about Miami's first beachfront art fair.  

Walking through a bright pink gate that acted as a Parthenon-like conceptual conceipt: its entire purpose as a signifier of the culture that you were about to enter, then walking a narrow gauntlet surrounded by sand into the actual structure. People arrived from light and noise: the tourist-laden 2-for-1-drinks hawking streets of Ocean Drive - to darkness, to a spotlit hot pink vinyl mini-house shape, and back to spot-lit walkway and black sky.

Right: image by Kianga Ellis.

Below: image of opening night gate by RedEye.
With gorgeous sunset views slowly fading into twilight over the ocean, and then moonlight coming through clouds and palm trees, this fair distinctively placed itself among nature, and the most uncrowded sightline of infinite sky and water. Unlike most fairs where after clogged aisles and artificial light, visitors returned to the visual overstimulation of Miami architecture and color, at UNTITLED visitors received the supine loveliness of the wide beach environment.

Inside, the fair had the same openness to natural light during the day, and even at night visitors could go on a balcony directly form the cafe to enjoy the ocean.  

Right: view from balcony outside UNTITLED cafe.

Below: Image of view from UNTITLED cafe.
All in all the opening was packed with patrons, with lines of people outside waiting to get in, and some not gaining entry due to capacity restrictions. The buzz was strong, the art-lookers serious and committed to checking out this brand-new fair, and the tall-tented open venue provided them 50 galleries and art spaces full of thoughtfully selected art. Curated by Omar Lopez-Chahoud, each booth had a feeling of openness as well, showing the months of inividualized attention Chahoud gave to each gallery's program, selection and installation.  Architectural firm Keenan/Riley also deserved much credit for providing the atmosphere of freedom and time to explore and reflect.

Below: opening night madness, UNTITLED.

UNTITLED 2012 gave us a chance to see the possible future of fairs - taking its cue perhaps from this year's Frieze NYC's extreme freedom to create their own vision on Randall's Island in New York City, UNTITLED. More integrated into Miami's South Beach alternately beach-relaxed and manically touristic culture, UNTITLED aimed to both stand out as a uniquley-situated cultural beacon and slowly arise from the sand. We hope for many happy returns for future iterations of this fair.