The 14th SCOPE International Contemporary Art Show on Miami Beach expected nearly 40,000 visitors over the six day period, (ending 8pm Sunday Dec.7.) Those visitors were treated to a kaleidoscope of works from more than 100 exhibitors, showing art from recent masters and groundbreaking upstarts alike.
~ MIAMI BEACH ~ The increasing popularity of “street art” and its indelible impact on the contemporary art market was inherent in the prevalence of street-inspired work shown at SCOPE this year. While “street art” can’t really be considered as one particular style, the artwork by those who have chosen to “get up” on the streets has clearly made a permanent and pervasive mark on many artists working today. Some artists being exhibited did indeed start out working on the streets and later made the transition to gallery work. Others have adopted and adapted those various methods and used them in new and intriguing ways.
The Dean Collection presented works not for sale, curated by collector, hip-hop recording artist and producer Swizz Beatz. Artists included D*Face and SWOON (both shown above), who got their starts on the streets of London and New York respectively. And other, more traditional artists such as photographer and filmmaker Lyle Owerko were also shown. Masterful works from his Boom Box series proved popular with the Hip-Hop Set. Even Diddy & Busta Rhymes made appearances at the display.
L’Inlassable Galerie from Paris titled their exhibition Fake Idols, which contained some really unique work by Anne Deleporte who uses black gesso to obliterate works on paper. This results in a strong graphic presence that draws the viewer in to examine what she’s chosen to leave visible. Fans of metaphysical master Giorgio de Chirico will instantly recognize the remnants of his painting in Deleporte’s piece titled Metaphysical (above). Also in this booth were James Rielly, Edgar Sarin, Morten Viskum and Reinhard Voss.
MAM Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art gallery based in, Austria, attracted visitors with work by acclaimed Belgian artist Jan Fabre (above). His pieces using Thai Jewel Beetle wing casings and other animal parts were a certain draw. Fabre has recently been invited to make a massive installation at the Russian State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg in 2016. You can read more in our report here.
MAM also presented Disaster by Spanish artist Carlos Aires using a series of laser-cut banknotes from around the world to form interesting juxtapositions which were sometimes brutal, and sometimes sarcastic, but always meaningful.
California based Thinkspace Gallery featured mini-solo shows from Glenn Barr and Andy Kehoe. Their Twitter account posted that they “sent 60 works to new homes” during the fair. They also displayed a large wall grid of 60 – 12″x 12″ (30 x 30 cm) works by different artists.
Among those was a dynamic collage by Florida artist Derek Gores.
Thinkspace also presented two environmentally poignant pieces by San Francisco artist Jeremy Fish.
Next to the shadow box was a small portrait of Camille Claudel by renown street artist C215.
In addition to the medium-sized, mixed media collage on wooden panel by D*Face…
There was a nifty little promotion from Stolenspace where visitors could pick a key from a pile, and check to see if it unlocked the chains surrounding a smaller D*Face work called Who’s Bad, with a sticker value of $8000.
Miami residents Gregory Jackson and Natalie Santiago (below) took their chances on the lock, but it wasn’t their lucky day.
There was a lucky winner though and she was featured in the official D*Face Instagram Feed:
Hashimoto Contemporary, out of San Francisco, had a very dynamic display. One wall that drew much attention held a trio of satirical paintings by Scott Scheidly portraying anti-gay, authoritarian leaders in fancy outfits of pink and lavender.
By Thursday morning, each of the gaudy pink frames had a nice little red sticker beside their $3,500 price card.
One of the most original and exciting artists on display this year was EVOL. Represented by the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, this Berlin street artist has gained wide acclaim recently for his innovative, urban, architectural illustrations, creating miniature buildings out of utility boxes and other surfaces in public spaces. His studio work often employs this same method on used cardboard boxes and the effect is mesmerizing.
Altogether, this year’s SCOPE fair was very enthralling. There’s really too much to see in one day. With so many new artists, and as many different styles, it’s difficult to pinpoint any current trends without neglecting the outsiders. And while the urban and street art influence is certainly an undeniable force, it seems more and more that “getting your artwork up and out on the streets” has become less of a circumvention of the traditional art market, and more of a pathway to gallery representation.
Stay tuned for further highlights from SCOPE, as well as reports from the ArtBasel and CONTEXT fairs.
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY LANCE ARAM ROTHSTEIN