Superfine! Art Fair is coming to Manhattan for the first time during this year's Frieze Week and we couldn't be more excited!
In a time where art fairs are coming to New York by the hundreds and you have an ample selection to choose from, Superfine! sets itself apart from other fairs– it's affordable structure (tickets starting at $7.77!) along with compact and concept-driven booths allow galleries to break from white box art fair norms– and makes art more financially accessible, shying away from the common assumption that collecting art is exclusively for the wealthy.
The fair features a tightly curated selection of 45 international exhibitors– including the works Pascal Vochelet, Philip Sladek and William P Immer (both painters hailing from London). Seth Clark, who was named 2015's Pittsburgh Emerging Artist of the Year. Scott Daniel Ellison. Noox, based in Mexico City with a residency program in Mérida on the Yucatan peninsula, will feature accessibly-priced works by a host of contemporary Mexican artists including Iván Salamanca and Abraham Mascorro Morales. Another unique perspective comes by way of Miami through Art Gaysel, a curated queer art experience by artist and impresario Alexander Guerra alongside standout emerging painter Nadav Gazit's uncanny gender-bending portraits. Ryota Unno's playful panda paintings alongside anime-inspired works by Venezuelan up and comer Keyser Siso. Superfine! will also present a special project entitled "Everything Old is New Again" featuring works that explore the idea of uncanny nostalgia– juxtaposing old with new in surprising ways that mirror the progression of New York City from grand old dame to beacon of modernity, and all the foibles that follow, curated by co-directors Alex Mitow and James Miille.
“We felt that the exclusivity factor surrounding high quality artwork wasn't really creating the market it was supposed to, and was actually leading to a demise in sustainability for most working artists, as well as the galleries and curators who champion them.”
We interviewed the founder's of Superfine! Alex and James to get a peek into what to expect and how the fair came to life.
Who are the founders of Superfine? The founders are James Miille and myself, Alex Mitow. We work together, live together, and are partners in (almost!) everything we do.
When was Superfine founded?
The first edition of Superfine! took place in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood in December 2015 during Art Basel/Miami Art Week, but the original plans for it were hatched sometime around July of 2015.
What propelled you to start your own art fair? We saw deep issues in the art market and how most people tend to interact with art. Also, we felt that the exclusivity factor surrounding high quality artwork wasn't really creating the market it was supposed to, and was actually leading to a demise in sustainability for most working artists, as well as the galleries and curators who champion them. Superfine! was born as a way of correcting that and giving power back to both the collectors and the artists and dealers themselves. We aren't fighting for a piece of the pie, we're just creating a slightly different new one.
What sets Superfine apart from other art fairs?
Two main things– a commitment to transparency and fairness across all aspects of the fair, and always presenting a hyper-curated, dynamic environment. By bringing more of a "vibe" to the art fair model, we feel that we're giving attendees and collectors a break from art fair exhaustion and endless white walls. We aren't lowering the quality of the art, but actually raising it, while simultaneously lowering some of the barriers to entry including cost and environment that prohibit capable and potential buyers from interacting with the art world. We strive to create an art world that functions as one and the same with the "real world" while keeping quality, economic sustainability, and education at the forefront of our fair's program.
What change do you see Superfine making on the current state of how art is bought and sold? I think we're doing something very interesting and unique– bringing people to artwork and artwork to people. We're an artist-driven fair so we always feature independent artists representing themselves in the same arena as galleries and curatorial projects, but the emphasis is always on maintaining that collector>artist connection. We're very focused on maintaining transparency and consistency so that as a collector or Superfine! fair-goer you know that you'll find a constant level of passion and quality in the art, and that you'll understand the pricing easily and can make an informed decision about whether to purchase it. James and I are deeply obsessed (in a good way!) with collecting art and our mission is to spread that bug.
Dont miss Superfine! this weekend at 459 West 14th Street in the Meatpacking District– kicking off on Thursday May 4th with an evening preview featuring DJ Carlos Charlie and live sets by up-and-coming NYC act Wooing. On Friday, May 5th, New York-based producer and musician Penguin Prison will headline a Young Collectors' Ice Cream social with a DJ set and live vocal performance.
The fair closes May 7th at 8 pm! Make sure to check it out