ABMB: Recap – Aqua '13 Art Miami
Prior to this weekend I had spoken with some friends about which of the many fairs they were planning on visiting while down in Miami. Although Aqua was not at the top of everyone’s list, I decided that it was something that I wanted to check out after reading a little more about it. While most of the other fairs are held in a large open space (like Art Basel in the Miami Convention Center) or in pop-up tents (like Scope, Art Miami, or Miami Project) with temporary walls, Aqua has a different layout since each gallery gets it’s own room. The Aqua Hotel, located on Collins Avenue in South Beach Deco District, is transformed from a boutique hotel to an art fair with 47 exhibitors. The hotel rooms are spread over two floors with an atrium in the middle which gave it a very open and airy feeling. The fact that you are able to step outside for a breath of fresh air between each room enables you to take a break from the barrage of art and appreciate each piece a little more as opposed to walking directly from booth to booth. Most galleries managed to get the majority of their art hung up on the walls of the main room, although a few tried to squeeze in a few more pieces in the alcove before the restroom, which wasn’t ideal for viewing or photographing the work and made for a bit of an awkward experience. The fair itself has been in existence since 2005, however, this is the first year that it has been partnered with Art Miami, Context, Art Wynwood and a few other fairs. Aqua does a good job of showcasing both established and emerging artists; from a pseudo retrospective of Gary Baseman’s work by Shulamit Gallery to work by new artists and graduates as selected by ArtSlant and various Universities across the country. If you’re down in South Beach next year for Basel be sure to add Aqua to your weekend itinerary.
Text and Photos by Spencer Elzey