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The Trees for the Forest

November 16, 2011

With Basel coming up, it’s hard not to reflect on the magnitude of these art shows in Miami now. Starting in October/November, there’s fair after festival after show after exhibit. It gets to be overwhelming. I’m already hoping I’ll get a chance just to squeeze in a few shows and even those few I’m not sure I’ll make it to with all the other things happening that week.

This phenomena of over-saturating Miami’s art scene is a mixed bag. On the one hand it’s great that there are so many options to encompass literally anyone and everyone’s taste for artistic expression. On the other hand, it necessarily causes each event to carry less weight. Imagine throwing more and more people onto a trampoline; the first person’s going to bounce pretty high. The second person’s bouncing can double-bounce the first to go even higher sometimes. But at a certain point, you start overloading it and people start falling off. And it’s not only the art fairs that exemplify this principle but the galleries themselves. I’m wondering to myself when we’re going to hit the breaking point with all these galleries and “collections” opening in Wynwood. At a certain point the cream will rise to the top and there will always be those “pioneers” who paved the way and paid their dues in the community; but not everyone can afford the cream, and the rest of us sipping from the bottom of the pot are going to find less and less subsistence in the leftovers.

I guess there’s the possibility that natural selection will win out and the best of these newer galleries will get the patronage and the superfluous ones will eventually die out, but in no way is that a sure thing. I’m guessing the Brito outpost in Wynwood probably gets more traffic than Butter or Adjust for example. In the end though it’s really up to you to support the arts you admire and enjoy, and if tomorrow you find the wasteland remains of what was once a cultural explosion, well I guess you’ll have no one but yourself to blame..

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