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Art Fairs. It’s All About The Art

Art Fairs. It’s about the art.  Maybe I’m a purist and perhaps sometimes a little idealistic.  If you know anything about Art Basel week in Miami, most of what people talk about is the partying, the beautiful people, the great weather and a whole lot of fun.  But, after spending four days looking at hundreds, if not thousands of contemporary artworks, it is so clear to me that it really is about the art.

I bumped into two of my favorite emerging artists at the NADA Art Fair, Sam Moyer and Eddie Martinez.  They are married, as smart as can be and work their tails off in the studio everyday to create compelling art and to grow at their chosen profession.  Eddie’s work is shown and represented on the world stage.  Sam recently had a show in Europe and her work is sold in NYC at Rachel Uffner Gallery. This week she had a solo show at Rachel’s booth at NADA.

When I saw them, they were enjoying their time visiting NADA and taking in the fairs like everyone else.  I congratulated Sam on her show which was AMAZING and my wife and I went over to Art Basel.  Fast forward: now I’m walking through the aisle at Basel taking in the most important contemporary art in the world and there it is, a Sam Moyer painting shown by her dealer from Brussels.  In the context of the busy floor and furious activity, I had to stop and pause for a minute.

Everyone walking through Art Basel is caught up with money.  You can’t help yourself when you walk past artworks that range from $20K to $20 million.  However, at this moment I was caught up with the humanity of what I just saw and felt.   An hour earlier at NADA I met Sam’s lovely parents who no doubt are proud of their daughter who followed her dream and is clearly succeeding.  I thought about how proud they must be and just then out of the corner of my eye I saw Sam and Eddie standing nearby looking at her work on display.

It’s so easy to think of art as commodity, as investment or as tradable material.  It’s also easy to think about spotting Puff Daddy or other A-Listers walking around.  For me the great pleasure was thinking about Sam and Eddie, two people who I believe in and care about because they bring to the world another flavor that adds beauty and wonder to my life.

It really is about the art…and the people who spend their lives making it.

Monday, December 10, 2012