(Courtesy Photo)

Miami Art Week features the most notorious art fair, Art Basel Miami, and is home to auxiliary fairs such as the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), Untitled, and more. This year, I made the pilgrimage to Miami and captured a few highlights from the fairs, as well as the convergence of art, music, and media. My takeaways from this year’s shows were:

  1. Alexandre Diop – Rubell Collection darling and star of Miami Art Week. This Senegalese-Parisian artist uses found objects in his work. Harnessing his talents like “his hammer,” Diop created massive scale figurative works, perfectly suited for the high ceilings of the Rubell Collection’s Miami space. As an aside, the Rubell’s recently opened a contemporary art museum in DC! As an honorable mention, the Rubell’s housed the Virgil Abloh exhibition “Virgil Abloh: The Codes c/o Architecture”, works by Kennedy Yanko, and are located in a former DEA warehouse. The legacy-DEA space has been repurposed for the display of their transformative private contemporary collection. Bravo!
  2. Emmanuel Massillon – Where do I begin?! This young man hails from my hometown, Washington, D.C., and is a multi-disciplinary force to be reckoned with. Only “seriously” practicing since 2020, in two years Massilion has won the “Best Booth” Award, with Galerie Julien Cadet, at Untitled Art fair. Moreover, his taxidermy fox, entitled “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,” was acquired by C21 Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.
    (Courtesy Photo)

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  3. Jeffrey Deitch Gallery – Though controversial for the head of a major museum (MOCA, LA) to turnabout and open a private gallery, Deitch smashed with his booth this year! Prominently displaying great artists such as Bisa Butler, Jewel Ham, and two masterful Francis Picabia’s, Deitch had fare for all in his display. Moreover, the networking in the Deitch booth, during the VIP preview, was unmatched. DC collectors such as Conrad Woody, gallerists (and former Basquiat affiliate) such as William Quigley, and other notables were spotted.
  4. Nate Lewis – One of my favorite living multi-disciplinary African-American artists. Lewis was on a tear this year, showing at Untitled with Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery and producing a video work. I would also be remiss if I did not highlight that Fairchain’s Charlie Jarvis curated the works, including Lewis and Jacolby Satterwhite’s video works for A16Z’s new fund’s announcement. The fund acquired Lewis and Satterwhite’s works at Andreessen Horowitz’s Forward: The Future of Black Digital Art event. While the crypto markets are down, Black Tech reminded us that investments in Web3 and the metaverse are very much alive and well.

    (Courtesy Photo)
  5. Lastly, Coach K. The intersection between art, music, and media has never been stronger. Long live Virgil Abloh – a pioneer in bridging these spaces. After going to events hosted by Audemar Piguet in collaboration with Ghetto Gastro, and spotting Jadakiss and John Mayer in the same party, it was clear that Miami Art Week was not your typical passed hors d’oeuvre and white wine opening. Kevin “Coach K” Lee is a long-time music executive, and founder of Quality Control (label of Lil Baby, Migos, City Girls, Lil Yachty, etc.), but did you know that Coach K is also an avid art collector? Coach K has plans to open an artist residency in Jamaica, where he spends time when he’s not tending to his Atlanta-based music empire. Oh, I forgot to mention that K reminded us of his investment in Soundcloud over Art Week. Way to go, Coach K!

If you like what you’ve read, you can follow me @balmore_art on Instagram or TikTok. I would love to hear about your experience(s) with Miami Art Week/Art Basel and more!