2011's Winners and Losers in the Arts

Categories: Art
ArtBruteCarlos.jpg
From the wildly successful inaugural Wynwood Art Fair to an unforgettable multi-culti bender transforming Miami Beach into a marathon 13-hour art festival during Sleepless Night, South Florida had plenty to crow about during the past twelve months.

We were just about to breathe in the rarefied air of a year full of a muscle-flexing season of the arts. Then the collective stink raised over a public museum's naming rights, not to mention a philanthropist widower suggesting erasing his dearly departed's name from the Arsht Opera House and replacing it with that of his new bride, reminded us of how vainglorious and tacky our cultural metropolis can be.

Still, you can't swallow the good without burping up the bad. Looking back on 2011, what leaves a lasting impression is how dramatically the Magic City's cultural fortunes can swing. These are 2011's winners and losers.

The Winners

MOTICA FRIENDS WITH YOU BALLOON PARADE WYNWOOD ART FAIRedited.jpeg
Carlos Suarez De Jesus
Wynwood Art Fair attracted four-legged fans and families during FriendsWithYou Parade
​1. Wynwood Art Fair

Part charity event, part sprawling street happening, the Wynwood Art Fair was a smashing success that transcended Miami's art scene and was embraced by the masses for a great cause. What began as a one-night fundraiser three years ago by Constance Collins Margulies, president of the Lotus House Women's Shelter, and earlier held at her husband Marty Margulies's capacious warehouse housing the couple's expansive contemporary art collection, celebrated its inaugural edition by transforming a six-block stretch of Wynwood -- NW 6th Avenue between 23rd and 29th streets -- into an art lover's playground, replete with dozens of booths boasting bleeding-edge work, and multiple stages featuring live music and performances for three days this past October. The fundraising street fair, which collected over $500,000 for Lotus House, was supported by the city's major museums and cultural institutions and upwards of 30 local galleries and artist spaces from across town. Families pushing baby strollers and walking their pets convened on the fun-spirited artstravaganza in droves. During a weekend marked by pitch-perfect weather, thousands attending the Wynwood art fair looked at and made art, enjoyed a myriad of local and visiting performance groups while many others joined in a winding percussion-led giant balloon parade led by the Big Mango's own FriendsWithYou to support the Lotus House cause.

Jean-Francois Bouchard Realdolls Celine.jpeg
Jean-Francois Bouchard
Celine
​2. Sleepless Night
This wildly popular all-nighter stretching from Collins Park to Lincoln Road and from Ocean Drive to North Beach turned Miami Beach into a 13-hour celebration of every imaginable art form, and boasted over 150 homegrown and international talents at more than 80 venues across town. From Goliath guppies powered by people presented by Sarruga, a street-theater troupe from Barcelona, to the Magic City's own Pablo Cano who beguiled crowds with his eye-popping shadow puppet show, to an exhibit featuring portraits of silicone sex dolls their owners prefer to real women by Canada's Jean-Francois Bouchard, Sleepless Night kept culture vultures of every stripe partying into the wee hours -- and, best of all, without art revelers having to spend a dime.

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Alma Leiva
En la celda 5
3. Sixth Street Container and Return of Alternative Art to Little Havana
In recent years, when local art enthusiasts thought of Little Havana, what came to mind was the block party-cum-art walk called Viernes Culturales, during which the handful of galleries and artist studios lining Calle Ocho typically exhibit folksy paintings depicting fighting cocks, nostalgic Cuban landscapes populated by guajiros, or portraits of women balancing fruit baskets on their heads. Enter Adalberto Delgado, an artist and curator who was an early pioneer of a once thriving alternative art scene in el barrio. He has returned to his roots to inject Little Havana with a much needed dose of the alternative at his 6th Street Container space on the corner of SW 6th Street and 12th Avenue. This past year alone Delgado has hosted Alma Leiva's "En la celda" (Inside the Cell), a site-specific installation evoking the political terror in Honduras, and "Dome Drift," a brainy, site-specific work by the collaborative team of Christina Molina and Wes Kline, both among the standouts at any alternative Miami space this season. Delgado's modest digs, which has been dishing out a monthly serving of avant offerings for over a year, has become a favorite haunt for discerning cognoscenti tired of the increasingly commercial climes of Wynwood, and was one of the Knights Arts Challenge finalists in 2011 which bodes well for this contemporary art starved hood.

4. David Castillo and Charest-Weinberg galleries crack Basel's code
Every year most of Miami's top drawer galleries apply for a booth at the Miami Beach Convention Center to shop their wares during Art Basel, only to receive a rejection letter in return. For many it has become an annual rite of frustration that has led to acrimonious charges by some against the international fair's über-exclusive election committee. Some say that there is some sort of a Basel Blockade imposed on local dealers. Others worry that the art scene here has not yet transcended to elite status. But during the 10th anniversary edition of the December arts confab, Wynwood's David Castillo and Charest-Weinberg galleries were both granted a consecration to Basel's hallowed halls, bringing the total number of Miami galleries represented at Art Basel to ten in the past decade. While Castillo's inclusion was long overdue, one wonders why dealers like Brook Dorsch, Anthony Spinello, and alternative spaces such as Locust Projects remain overlooked.

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Martha Cooper
Miru Kim delivers Basel bacon at Primary Projects
​5. Primary Projects
If there is something a decade of Art Basel has taught local artists, it's that you have to do something spectacular that rises above the swirl of visual noise addling the senses during the fair. Miami's FriendsWithYou accomplished the feat with a Macy's style giant balloon parade on the beach in 2006, and a fresh coat of graffiti on scores of Wynwood buildings by the Primary Flight crew jolted the art world's peepers in 2007, helping transform the nabe into an outdoor, street mural museum in recent years. So it comes as little surprise that the brain trust behind the Primary Projects space in the Design District, BooksIIII Bischof, Chris Oh and Typoe, were able to pull a rabbit out of their collective asses and hijack Basel's coverage with their group show titled "Here Lies Georges Wildestein". Their exhibit included a performance by New York-based artist, Miru Kim, who created an enclosure in the gallery's storefront titled "I Like Pigs and Pigs Like Me (104 hours)" in which she wallowed naked in the mud with two hogs over the course of three days in what was arguably the most widely documented Basel attraction this year.


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One Simple View
One Simple View

Well Marc, I gotta agree with "WTF". Sounds like you don't know shit and are jumping on the bandwagon, using the pigs that caught a little fame for you and your groups personal agenda. Go save the other ten million pigs that are in line for slaughter, or maybe, just maybe, make the same effort you display here to save some human beings. Lots of people are suffering tonight, starving, who would be happy to kill a pig to feed their family. FYI, here is an organization that knows something about making money off pigs . . http://www.iowaselect.com

Ana Campos
Ana Campos

It's a shame that the Miru Kim Primary Flight exhibit is tainted. Primary Flight should be ashamed of themselves for abandoning the pigs without money or food or medical care after the show. Both pigs were suffering from triple pneumonia when I helped rescue them on December 23rd. 

j deer
j deer

amazing how people lie.. they were both donated to an animal resort to live out their lives,  neither was abandoned, one passed away after over 6 months after the show. The other is a 600 pound prized pet named porkchop and resides at a farm in miami. need pictures i can go take some for you!

Denoir
Denoir

@facebook-784663647:disqus .........my best friend's mother-in-law makes $83/hour on the laptop. She has been fired for 8 months but last month her pay was $7911 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site LazyCash4. com

Ana Campos
Ana Campos

I rescued these pigs. I find it ironic that they claim the pigs are at 'home'. When they were rescued from that 'home' called Earth N Us. Unfortunately after their pig exhibit, Primary Flight dumped both pigs at Earth N Us Farm, in a cardboard box sealed with duct tape with no one home and jeopardized their lives. Another fact is the gallery personally promised Ray, the owner of Earth N Us farm an $8,000 donation and then never donated a penny. As a direct result of Primary Flight's negligence and refusal to honor their promise to financially care for the pigs for life, in two weeks the pigs wasted away and were fed once per day due to no money being given even for food. There was no grass or water hole for them either at Earth N Us Farm. Both pigs were sick with lung infections and no veterinary care was given to them. Both pigs are still sick and on antibiotics. After myself a dn several rescue people arrived at Earth N Us Farm on December 21st, it was documented that the smaller pig's ribs were sticking out and she had a waist line and she was coughing. Here are the photos showing the rapid deterioration. Let me remind you, you had ownership of those pigs until December 23rd.Take a good look at the photos. This is all your fault Primary Flight. https://www.facebook.com/media...

I am absolutely disgusted with Books Bischoff and the reckless, irresponsible behavior of the owners of Primary Flight's for using and discarding these pigs without so much of a penny for their care. Shame on all of you. Buying two pigs from a slaughter farm isn't 'rescuing' them. The only true rescue or saving of lives took place on December 23rd after you abandoned them and when a group of people had to pull those poor pigs from that cramped dump in Little Haiti that you chose to dump them at. Both pigs were driven in my car, a PT Cruiser backseat because of the mess Primary Flight created. I spent 9 hours caring for these two pigs in my car all the way to North Florida on Christmas Eve to CJ Acres Sanctuary. Both pigs were and are still suffering respiratory lung infections, a cough and loss of appetite. Shame on all of you for not only exploiting the animals, but even worse was jeopardizing their lives and health and failing to honor your promises and then patting yourselves on the back like you are some kind of super heroes. You picked and purchased two pigs and let dozens of others be driven to their death. Buying an animal and then wiping your hands and letting them get sick and not fed is shameful. I will not forgive your behavior. You are not super heroes.  

The whole exhibit is tainted. Primary Flight was legally responsible for feeding them and getting them medical care and then failed to do so. In fact, as of today January 2nd, Primary Flight has never donated a penny. They continue to claim the pigs are in Miami and they rescued them. Ego is terrible a thing. Shame on all of you. Both pigs were rescued from that dump and taken to a real sanctuary called CJ Acres Animal Rescue. 

CJ Acres Sanctuaryhttp://www/.cj-acres.com

I hope that Books Bischoff and all Primary Flight owners understand that when you exploit an animal for profit (and you made a ton of money) and media exposure (and you got alot), and then you mislead, blatantly lie to Earth N US and then abandon animals without food or veterinary care or a penny of financial help, that's not rescuing them. That's just evil. Do the right thing and honor your financial promise and help feed the animals you exploited.You know exactly where I took the two pigs. You know how to contact me. You know how to contact CJ Acres..  Either way, I am disgusted with your abandonment of these animals. 

Marc Kanoa
Marc Kanoa

I personally was involved with this rescue, we were notified by the gallery that ray @earth-n-us farm was having problems with these pigs, they were both sick, suffering from lung infections, living in dirty over crowded conditions, without proper food and water...Miru KIm "These are animals" Living Creatures just like you and me..they feel, they bleed, they love..just like you and me....I appreciate art just as much as the next person , but the way you handle this is absurd and you have total disregard for these creatures, you used them and then left it up to others to clean up your mess.....I don't know if your planning another exibit like this anytime soon somewhere else, but there are 10, s of thousands of animal rights activist following your every move....the next pigs better be treated like royalty...please just do the right thing....I personally don't understand your art..but that's irrelevant...But I do understand what is going on is wrong on so many levels...right now these pigs are CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm we took them up on Christmas day , this is a sanctuary where they can live there entire life in peace, it takes $10000 per year to feed these animals, maybe you can find it in your heart to contact Lee Sackett over there and help them with some of these expenses, we have personally raised $2000 already as well as spent days caring for these pigs prior to being transported to sanctuary...Please do what's right Miss Kim...take responsibility..thanks.

j deer
j deer

amazing how people lie.. they were both donated to an animal resort to live out their lives, neither was abandoned, or resued by anyone. one passed away after over 6 months after the show. The other is a 600 pound prized pet named porkchop and resides at a farm in miami. need pictures i can go take some for you! and yes they were taken each day to the exhibit returned to the farmand then returned each day for the exhibit. i guess you people would rather live in ypor perfect non-existant fantasy world. it never cost $10,000. a year to care for one surviving pig. LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE IS SCAMMING FOR MONEY??????????????

One Simple View
One Simple View

Well Marc, I gotta agree with "WTF". Sounds like you don't know shit and are jumping on the bandwagon, using the pigs that caught a little fame for you and your groups personal agenda. Go save the other ten million pigs that are in line for slaughter, or maybe, just maybe, make the same effort you display here to save some human beings. Lots of people are suffering tonight, starving, who would be happy to kill a pig to feed their family. FYI, here is an organization that knows something about making money off pigs . . http://www.iowaselect.com

WTF
WTF

Why don't we stop pretending... If you have such a problem why aren't you boycotting every restaurant that serves bacon, sausage or JELLO for that matter! Or department stores that use REAL animal fur, skin, and etc.! U need to get off your ass and get crack-a lackin. Everyone's gotta complain about something. Maybe you should be happy she is bringing it up as a disturbing issue and stop crying about what an outrage you think it is.

Ana Campos
Ana Campos

Both pigs were abandoned after the exhibit without money for medical care or food. They have triple pneumonia, were coughing, malnourished, fed once per day and the small one's ribs were protruding. They had to be rescued. I think the point being if you are going to exploit an animal for art and profit, have a solid plan in place to care for the animals when you are done with them. If you offer $8,000 to Earth N Us farm and bail, then you are nothing but art world shysters who use and abuse people and pigs. 

j deer
j deer

not true neither were abandoned, one passed away after over 6 months after the show.  The other is a 600 pound prized pet named porkchop and resides at a farm in miami. need pictures i can go take some for you!

WTF
WTF

Haterz 

Marc
Marc

I dont boycott anything I do this by choice ...whats your point

JULIE
JULIE

EAT a Dick Primary Flight!

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