Photos: SCOPE and Fountain Art Fairs in NYC

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This past Friday, I went down to the city to check out the annual Fountain and SCOPE art fairs.

SCOPE and Fountain are two of several other curated art fairs that are organized under the umbrella of the Armory Arts Week. I also saw organized art collections from Fountain and SCOPE this past December as a part of Miami Art Basel, which is one of the largest and most influential collection of art shows featuring galleries, exhibitors and artists from all over the world.

The amount of work, talent, creativity, diversity, etc. can be overwhelming at times and it feels impossible to check out what the art shows have to offer in full. It’s really fun to walk around and soak it all in. It’s hard NOT to take a ton of photos of the work, but I contained myself much better this time around. Plus you know, opening night featured an open bar and performance art pieces, so there was much going on.

Whether you’re a fan of contemporary, fine, performance or street art, these art fairs have all bases covered. There’s something for everyone, and you can also find affordable art in the mix as well. It was also awesome seeing local artists such as Greg Dunn and artists from Davis Art Services, based out of North Adams. Shouts also to Saturated Threads who I met back in the day at Marketplace Gallery. On our way out, we saw street artist Ellis at work tracing the shadow of a bicycle. Overall, this year’s shows were great and I highly recommend you keep tabs on the annual arts week every March in NYC and check it out for yourself.

Hit the jump or click the image above to check out some photos from this year’s fairs!

Also be sure to check out Art Geek Studios’ photo recap over on Facebook!

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Miami Art Basel 2012: Photos and Recap

This year’s annual Art Basel affair fell on December 6-9 and just about a week prior, I decided to book a spontaneous flight to Miami to check it out for myself. (Do something stupid like that sometime, it feels amazing).

Essentially, Art Basel has grown massively since getting its start in 1970 and now has expanded to include an incomprehensibly huge amount of representative galleries, artists and of course, copious amounts of artwork itself, all contained in one place, at one time. Simply put, Art Basel is reputed to be the most prestigious art show in the country and features galleries from all over the world. What I learned during my trip is that Art Basel is the jump off for almost a dozen other giant art fairs that are all organized during the same time frame, all hosted in Miami.

Our game plan was solely to solidify our booking at a $18-per-night hostel in South Beach and take it from there. We ended up overdosing on art in the best way imaginable during our time in Miami.

We hit up separate fairs, Fountain, (which featured work from local artists, including Samson Contompasis and friends of ours who run a gallery in North Adams), Scope, Pulse and another one focused mainly on fine art that was free admission. It was nice to get some contrast between fairs, as most had a subtle DIY pop-up gallery feel (some with live painting occurring at all hours outside its walls) and all featured top tier artists of today’s scene and countless others of impeccable talent and creativity.

The Wynwood Arts District was absolutely the highlight and focal point of the weekend, with art by day and countless parties at night, with so many people walking around cars had a hard time moving down the street. Walking down one street one day had a completely different feel the next, as new murals popped up on walls literally overnight. There was also a shift in energy from Wynwood during the day into the art district’s night life mode that helped remind us that we were on vacation in the first place and artists, well, they like to have their fun as well. SPIN Magazine sponsored one of the parties we went to and we saw araabMUZIK, Mr. MFN eXquire, Kool Keith perform under an artfully constructed stage. Other performers throughout the weekend included MikeQ (who we unfortunately missed), Ben UFO and JOGYO, featuring kuxxan SUUM.

Art-wise, it was a happy challenge attempting to see it all (this is virtually impossible) and although we probably only hit 30% of what was fully offered as a part of the festivities, it was more than satisfying and by the end of the weekend, we were ready to not look at art anymore. Additionally, it was hard to NOT take pictures the entire time, as the level of artistic quality and quantity were both at all time highs. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it in any comparable capacity and now that I’ve gone this year, it feels like a staple for next December as well.

Plus you know, seeing palm trees everywhere and experiencing warm weather in December is always nice. And I had a fried-avocado taco that changed my life.

Hit the jump or click on the image above to see the full gallery.

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Living Walls: Gaia and Nanook

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received was in the form of three simple words. Barely visible and scrawled in white, fading paint marker on the bottom of a crumbling brick wall, in all capital letters, were the words “LOOK AROUND YOU”. Author-less and gimmick-less. Hidden but beautiful in its harmlessness. I couldn’t tell you where I saw this, how old I was or who I was with, but that moment, of an instantaneous (and conversational) connection of being a passerby and relating to a public space continues to resonate within me.

All Photos © Nina Blix

And that’s what the Living Walls is all about. That moment of seeing something unordinary in an ordinary space. That moment of seeing something that stands out but fits in at the same time. Engaging others in these curious moments amongst strangers and friends alike is a community-oriented call to action in reviving citywide decay and restoring peeling murals into their next life. It’s about promoting those moments of recognition, relation and inspiration. The Living Walls is a project designed to ignite these moments in our city and to use art in public spaces as a way to remind the community to LOOK AROUND.

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