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ArtPalmBeach 2018

ArtPalmBeach 2018 turns into a unique art fair model. A breaking new, vibrant, fun and fresh art market opportunity for the participating audiences, galleries, and partners, as a thriving marketplace for artists and galleries. The long years of presence of Next Level art fairs in the art market bring the 21st Edition of ArtPalmBeach 2018 as an innovative fair model for the 21st century.

By Jorge Luis Gutierrez

The trends shaping the future of society and the economic world seem to move faster than thought. The world of art, somehow even with changes to adapt is still understandably designed to service a dedicated audience. But social changes do not usually announce their emergence, they occur.

Jose Bedia, Visualization Exercises, 2015. Courtesy of Trotto Bono Contemporary, New York. All images courtesy of ArtPalmBeach 2018.

Jose Bedia, Visualization Exercises, 2015. Courtesy of Trotto Bono Contemporary, New York. All images courtesy of ArtPalmBeach 2018.

The emergence of the art market as we understand it today emerged in cities such as Florence, Amsterdam, and Bruges, in the second half of the 15th century. As a result of the emergence and expansion of what we would call today a middle class, with acquisition power to consider art as part of their pleasures and assets. A mass demand for paintings across the social spectrum occurred principally in Northern cities: such as Antwerp, Amsterdam and also in Spain. As mass markets flourished, so too did specialist dealers.

The boom of the art market through flagship galleries and the expansion of the number of galleries all over the world that appeared in the 1980’s seem to have changed and lost its speed. In the last years, auction sales declined in the U.S. and Europe amid a reasonable level of sales, mainly because buyers and sellers alike are seeking privacy and opacity in their transactions, to the benefit of art dealers and overall art fairs.

Kai, painting on canvas and concrete. Courtesy of Markowicz Gallery, Miami.

Kai, painting on canvas and concrete. Courtesy of Markowicz Gallery, Miami.

The past years have observed headline sales, staggering numbers of visitors to art fairs and almost a day does not go by without an auction sale, art fair, or mention of activity at the top tier of the art market, with the art market expressing their opinions and concerns with geopolitical issues in a rapidly changing environment.

But still, the art world is an exclusive faction. Even when the art market is expanding, it is more translucent in its transactions, its global reach, with growing audiences and swift changes.

Exclusiveness looks like a brand that is part of the art industry that makes it attractive to people, as art collecting has served as a status prominence system. However, an indication standard of a developed industry is clear propriety participation conditions for all market players to expand the audience’s interest and consumption of art. Certainly, an unsettled argument to be affirmed of the art world.

Damian Siqueiros, Phlactere, 2017, painting. Courtesy of Trotto Bono Contemporary, New York.

Damian Siqueiros, Phlactere, 2017, painting. Courtesy of Trotto Bono Contemporary, New York.

The concern is expressed by Benjamin Genocchio, Director of the Armory Show in NY; “The standard model for art fairs is understandably designed to service dedicated buyers. But it might have failed to appreciate its potential to educate and embrace future collectors and others clamoring for an “art experience.”

Indeed, the art market is continuously welcoming new consumers, artists, and dealers from different venues of society; with new ways to discover, discuss, and purchase art, but not always understanding the components of the art field and an industry cleared to future collectors and others clamoring for an “art experience.”

Taking a look at the art market in the past year, it reveals shifts and changes in taste, with some markets growing and others declining. But what seems to be important in a fast-changing world is a sense of anticipation.

Katie Miller, Twins by the Trees, oil on panel, 18” x 24.” Courtesy Poets and Artists.

This year’s sales on anticipated Christmas Black Friday, made evident how new technologies and the web are shifting the model of the bricks and mortars stores, with U.S. retailers raking in a record $7.9 billion in online sales. A trend anticipated that now requires fast strategy changes for many retailers if they survive the market trends.

Within the art world, the ArtPalmBeach fair envisions itself as a lab for anticipation and interpretation of trends and models that can become a success for the mission of the art fair in general. Ways of consumption, taste, technology, information access, and social shifts have dramatically changed in the past decade.

The ArtPalmBeach think tank team considers some essential changes to review and integrate. The online art market is changing the game in a significant manner. Due to technology and information access, it’s easier to discover and invest in emerging artists with sound prices for the emerging consumer and collector. Accessible market prices between $5,000 and $50,000 observe an uptake, and artworks over $1 million see a fallback. The world is becoming hyper-connected, and information and knowledge accessible in art is a must. It’s a great time to start collecting art, understanding that in the passion of collecting very few people collect art solely for financial returns.

Tanja Gant, Bacchus, colored pencil on smooth Strathmore Bristol paper, 23” x 25.”

With that in mind, ArtPalmBeach 2018 reshapes the fair concept with the understanding that art has a steady growth curve, because like no other commercial activity it holds an active emotional, personal and spiritual component that makes it desirable and a need. That condition demands that the art experience becomes fun, comprehensive, accessible and of learning. Once that happens, the idea to have and acquire the art object becomes of interest. Once that happens, the concept of investment appears making sense.

ArtPalmBeach becomes for 2018 an immersive experience of art for all audiences, of access to crucial information about art and collecting in a straightforward updated manner. Where technology will provide the best platform to encourage visitors and viewers to have a sense of being part of the art world.

ArtPalmBeach 2018 public areas, entrance, cafes, VIP Lounges and Sculpture Garden will be entirely re-designed by 14 leading Miami designers, architects, and a landscape designer under the sponsorship of the Miami and Sao Paulo publishers of the 400-page DECOR Miami Annual Guidebook which selects the 30 top designers in South Florida each year.

ArtPalmBeach 2018 will guide collectors, artists, curators and visitors, both on an intimate and awe-inspiring participation experience. The 2018 art fair edition will turn into an open lab of art market aspirations and trends, beyond reports and analysis that only talk about past actions of the top tier of the art market.

Gianfranco Meggiato, Scienza e Conoscenza, bronze sculpture. Courtesy of Ransom Gallery, London.

In this way, the fair has created the initiative State of the Arts, which is a program of lectures and panel discussions about the challenges and opportunities at stake in an industry that is growing and evolving. It will become a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences where so many different areas of the economy and society come together around art.

Another highlight is Art City, a program of exhibitions of artistic expressions that have been conceived for public and urban spaces. The partnership between ArtPalmBeach 2018 and street art magazine UNINHIBITED now offers collectors a close-up view of today’s leading street artists, live art performances, murals and studio work by today’s leading names in urban art. Downtown Development Authority Art District and West Palm Beach Art in Public Places is to host mural and street art events in the Downtown Arts District during the fair weekend via hosted shuttles, and Clematis after Dark Music and Art on Thursday, January 18th.

A must-see is the new section Emerge in which twenty-five young galleries will present works of art by emerging artists under $ 15,000. Collectors will be treated with new international dealers exhibiting the best of emerging art with guided curatorial tours, lectures and artists panel discussions.

Cuban-born Jose Bedia will be honored as the recipient of this year’s Visionary Award at ArtPalmBeach for outstanding contributions to contemporary and modern art. Bedia is an essential contemporary artist whose brilliant and substantial artistic achievements position him as one of the most recognized and respected creators of art from the second half of the 20th century to the present day.

Einar and Jamex De la Torre, Los Cuatro Dickens. Courtesy of Evan Lurie Gallery.

Keeping the attention and the incorporation of added value to the seasoned collector, and also offering new possibilities of information, engagement, and conditions to emerging collectors, ArtPalmBeach 2018 turns into a unique art fair model. A breaking new, vibrant, fun and fresh art market opportunity for the participating audiences, galleries, and partners, as a thriving marketplace for artists and galleries. The long years of presence of Next Level art fairs in the art market bring the 21st Edition of ArtPalmBeach 2018 as an innovative fair model for the 21st century.

ArtPalmBeach 2018 will take place from January 17 to January 21. Palm Beach County Convention Center is located at 650 Okeechobee Boulevard. West Palm Beach, Florida 33401.

ArtPalmBeach 2018 Hours:

Collectors’ First View: Wednesday, Jan. 17, 6 pm - 10 pm

Public Hours: Thursday, Jan. 18, 12 pm - 7 pm / Friday, Jan. 19, Noon - 7 pm / Saturday, Jan. 20, Noon - 7 pm / Sunday, Jan. 21, Noon - 6 pm.

Jorge Luis Gutierrez is a Miami-based curator, arts writer and visual arts manager.