Impressions from Art Wynwood 2014

Art Wynwood 2014

Art Wynwood 2014

It’s art season in Miami so I make it a point to visit as many of the art shows as possible to take a pulse on current trends in fine art and especially fine art photography. Over the 2014 Valentine’s Day weekend there were two art events in town, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival (CGAF) and Art Wynwood. CGAF is a huge art festival presenting arts and crafts from numerous emerging and established artists without gallery representation; whereas Art Wynwood is a large organized exhibit by art galleries from across the world. Both shows exhibit contemporary art and photography.

Although the CGAF is a huge show with easily a mile of tents to peruse, I was disappointed by the quality of the art. This is not to say that there were no good artists but, they were far and few between. The price point seemed to be under $1000 though I did see some large pieces going for quite a bit more. It seemed to me that the food venders were the ones making the sales as the crowd worked up an appetite strolling the streets on this beautiful afternoon. Because of the diversity of the show, I can’t draw any conclusions about the current trend in art from this event other than people will purchase art on a whim if the price is below $1,000 and they can walk away with it. So the rest of this story will be focused on my observations at Art Wynwood which seems to have a more consistent theme marketing to the high end art buyer.

01-A-03897-CGAF-Art Wynwood

Art Wynwood is a contemporary art show, most of the artists are still living, and the art on exhibit was curated by art galleries targeting an international art buyer. Most of the art on display was traditional wall art (paintings, graphic art, and photography) with sculpture a close second. A few galleries were showing digital images, video, and other electronic compositions.

The slideshow below presents what I consider to be the best of Art Wynwood 2014 and represents the current art trends exhibited at Art Wynwood 2014.

Solid Bronze Sculpture
Optical Illusion
Multimedia application to photography
Abstract Painting
Metal Sculpture
Textured multimedia on canvas
Digital photographic manipulation for composition
Iconic celebrity photography
Solid Bronze Sculpture

Current trends in sculpture lean heavily toward presentations of the human form in abstraction whether that be from the technique, materials, or distorted dimensions. High quality craftsmanship, materials, and finishing seem to be the key factors. Ultra modern geometric works are not as prevalent this year. One new theme surfaced using neon signs with emotionally disturbed phrases to make a statement.

Contemporary Etched Bust
Cracked Head
Conceptual Figurative Art
Abstracted Human Figure
Distorted Human Form
Realistic Figure Sculpture
Ceramic Bust of Two Women
Ceramic Sculpture
Devilish Bull
Political Art
Light Sculpture
Abstract String Art
Sculpture on Stage
Geometric Art
Contemporary Etched Bust

One artist from Asia created a collection of figurative sculptures depicting the same female at several stages of body mass ranging from anorexic to extremely obese. The video below shows each figure as viewed walking around the display.

Popular styles in photographic art include mixed media, digital composition, figurative art, and iconic celebrity shots (Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis). Nudes and figurative art dominate the photographic scene followed by “can’t loose” iconic photos of celebrities. Digital compositions of numerous images are combined to create extreme altered realities. Some of the more engaging images effectively blend size, lighting and perspective to create a seamless integration of the different images.

Abstract nude mixed media
Digital Composition
Digital Composition
Iconic Beatles Photographs
Young Elizabeth Taylor Photographs
Marilyn Monroe Cover Photo for Life Magazine
Abstractions of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe
Nudes in distressed setting
Woman in Pool Illuminated Display
Abstract nude mixed media

Emerging trends in photography include 3-D imaging with and without special eyewear. The video below presents a 3-D photographic image of a nude woman swimming in a pool. The effect is attained without the use of special eyeglasses using a prismatic optical surface.

Optical illusion created by “pop art” graphic illustration is a new trend in the art scene. Artists construct a “pop out art” surface for their graphic art. A traditional perspective drawing is deconstructed such that the lines converging upon the vanishing point protrude outward toward the viewer rather than away as the mind’s eye expects. This inversion of perspective causes the image to float the vanishing point as the viewer moves his viewing point. The video below shows the illusion and exposes the technique as the camera moves to the far side of the artwork. Even after the trick is exposed, the illusion is nearly impossible to deconstruct. It is yet to be determined if this style of art is a fad or something to evolve after people get over their fascination of the illusion. Perhaps the form will be adapted to photographic exhibits and life size backdrops for film.

Paintings are a mainstay of wall art. Most of the contemporary paintings tend to be “disturbed art” creating an edgy perception of tension, anti-utopian worlds, and dark demons with sharp edges, harsh color combinations, and textures. It is unusual to find something modern or abstract that presents a feeling or warmth, calmness, or peacefulness.

Abstract Nude
Dark Portrait
Multimedia Trash
Uplifting Abstract Landscape
Mao Zedong by Andy Warhol
Abstract Portraiture
Large Scale
Eerie Portraiture
People interacting with art
Texture and multimedia paintings

Digital technologies are evolving in the ultra-contemporary scene with lighted mirrors, computer synchronized LED lamp sculptures, and video presentations of pseudo-medical procedures.

Mirror Art

Mirror Art

In Summary, I am not a huge fan of the contemporary art being exhibited by galleries these days because it is mostly focused on the disturbed vision of an artist. There is too much emphasis on creating discomfort in the viewer. I see the world as a beautiful place. When I create art, my intention is to take you away into a world of beauty. When I speak to gallery owners and ask them how business is doing the typical response is a painful groan followed by something like “people are still not spending much on art”. When I look at what is being marketed, it seems obvious to me. Life is tough, people don’t want to look at something that makes them uncomfortable and they certainly don’t want to spend their hard earned money on something that reminds them of misery. Well, Albert Einstein once said insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Is it possible all these gallery owners are insane or is it me?

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