IIn an industry where a banana stuck to a wall can sell for $ 120,000, insiders are used to the ever-changing nuances of the art world. Add the COVID epidemic to an already unpredictable industry and it’s no surprise that the art scene has recently undergone significant changes, prompting new trends and approaches to creating and collecting art.
The pandemic has sparked a return to timelessness and comfort, characteristics that art dealer Mary Ann Cohen, owner of MAC Art Galleries, has always sought in her collections. “I’m looking for pieces that are distinctively different and timeless,” says Cohen. After going through unpredictable times, she says, people want art that they can connect with that lasts. “In South Florida, there is attention to nesting. People want to get away from it all to a place that reflects who they really are. We encourage people to find the things they really love and to reinvent the world again. “
Teresa Klein, owner of Rare Earth Gallery at Stuart, notes several other major trends. “Public art, or street art, has been around for a long time, but it has taken on new meaning and new messages,” she says. “The environment is increasingly become a subject in the art world, with artists exploring all from recycling to large-scale facilities. There is also a renewed interest in the natural world with land art.
Buying trends also reflect a renewed desire for past heritage. “The biggest trend is that if it’s a great, great piece of art with a great provenance, there’s a buyer immediately,” says Nick Korniloff, Director of Art Miami. It highlights recent auction results in London, Paris and New York for works by well-known artists such as Van Gogh, Warhol and Lalanne. “If the artist’s work exudes sophistication and uniqueness as well as rarity and prestige, it will be collected at the highest prices.
As South Florida continues to attract more and more full-time residents from the United States and abroad, the region is quickly becoming a collection hub. Korniloff compiles a list of collectors who have made Miami their home for decades, and who regularly attend the city’s International Art Week to share their private collections.
Not only do collectors gravitate to South Florida, but so do artists. Nancy Turrell, Executive Director of Martin-Arts, has seen the local art market grow and become a premier art destination. “The trends here were different, but today I think south florida artists are internationally recognized as trendsetters and leaders, ”she says. Turrell sees increasing amounts of grants going to artists in South Florida. “MartinArts is part of the South Florida Cultural Consortium and offers some of the largest grants in the country to individual working artists.”
In addition to these longtime collectors and renowned artists, a number of emerging artists are also in the news. Korniloff notes three such artists who sparked his interest during Art Week last month. “Tim Bengel, Punk Me Tender and Santiago The Montoya are all so unique and diverse with their works of art, ”he says.
Tim Bengel is a German artist widely known for his sand paintings adorned with hyper-detailed gold leaf. The 29-year-old has over half a million followers on Facebook and Instagram, making him one of the most famous artists of his generation.
Colombian artist Santiago Montoya The website is adorned with the words “It’s not about the money,” a reference to the medium in which he works.
Montoya uses money to create his art.
The work of Punk Me Tender can be seen at Onessimo Fine Art in Palm Beach Gardens. The mysterious artist is originally from Los Angeles, but that’s about the only biography you’ll find on him – he likes to keep his identity unknown. But her work, which explores freedom through photography overlaid in vivid colors and mixed media, is highly recognizable.
For the opening of the new MAC Art Galleries space in Delray Beach, Cohen chose Californian-born artist Frank Arnold for the first installation. “There are very few abstract figurative artists,” Cohen explains. Arnold’s pieces are labyrinths of symbology, and each piece incorporates the number eight, a number that has personal significance in the artist’s life. (In short, he learned at the age of 8 that he was adopted, which made him want to be independent. “The story of 8 is still in part a mystery to me, ”he said. “Eight is me. “)
As in almost every other industry, digital technology has had an impact on art, attracting new collectors. “There’s a theory that millennials are much more interested in experiences than possessions, and these types of art certainly satisfy that notion,” Klein explains. Yet even insiders are trying to figure out where certain digital art forms fit in the industry. NFTs, or “non-fungible tokens,” are a new artistic trend that is leaving a lot of people scratching their heads. Similar to original works of art in physical form, NFTs are unique works of art in digital form and collectors are already paying a high price for them. Last March, Christie’s sold a collage of Beeple (also known as Mike Winkelman), a South Carolina graphic designer who creates a variety of digital artwork, for $ 69 million.
At MartinArts, Turrell welcomes the shift to digital art. “It’s fascinating to see the rise of digital,” she says. “This word barely describes the many aspects of the art form.” Like most works of art, digital art can be best understood by visiting installations. Said Turrell: “See an installation by Jennifer Steinkamp at the Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts really opened my eyes to the beauty of digital art. Steinkamp is known for using video and new media to explore ideas about space, movement and perception.
In the wide world of art, maybe a banana stuck to a wall isn’t that strange after all. “These are the antics of the art world — there is sometimes a certain irony in the cheek,” says Cohen. “But all of this draws attention to the art world, which is a good thing.”
Korniloff attributes this to the somewhat confusing industry he is so fond of: “I’ve been in the art business for over 25 years, and there are a lot of things that I just don’t understand. But that is really what it is. I don’t judge, but I know what is for me and what is not. I prefer my bananas in my cereal!