NADA Art Fair Miami 2013 Highlights

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NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance), founded in 2002, is a not-for-profit art fair that showcases international galleries in New York, Miami Beach, and Cologne. NADA’s exhibitors are a breath of fresh air; the young vibe, the weirdness, and progressiveness of this exposition is hard to dismiss.

Here, I gather the most interesting works at the expo:

Estonian artist Kris Lemsalu sculpts and stages grotesque figures. In this particular set, it seems, are two very strange looking dogs(?), wrapped around sleeping bags. I’m not sure what is artist is going for here, but it seems to me that he is trying to set a scene, and a specific one at that. Both ‘dogs’ are covering their eyes, they are wrapped tightly, and they hovering amongst themselves; might it be that these are scared ‘dogs’ at an estranged camp of sorts?

Jonathan Torres, a Puerto Rican artist, creates half-animal, half-human sculptures, that are brightly colored and full of feathers. They are on the floor, nor are the hanging from the upright walls, instead they appear in odd places, throughout the tiny booth of the


Perhaps one of the most innovative and progressive works here, Borna Sammack’s video installations are hard to dismiss. The 40’ inch TVs work as an animate canvas, one that holds abstract doodles that dance within the high-definition screens. These stuck out to me primarily because I thought they superseded the Abstract Expressionist work (which Clement Greenberg once said was the highest point in formal painting’s history). Although these are not paintings, the vivid animations are the next step for abstract works; I call them ‘new paintings’, as these give life and movement to those expressive paint drips, and lines that were once trying to give the effect of gesture and corporal movement.

It expresses an experience of the body. To eat is to consume a series of identical food units alone at night at a computer, face lit by the screen’s glow, fingers brightened by tangy orange dust. Snacks and images alike are digested and replaced by more of the same; body and machine merge in a whole that floats over a forgotten nature. This view of the world is underscored here by the rough physicality of the technical apparatus. The monitor displaying the untitled video leans against the wall, cushioned at its point of touch by a boogie board.


Tony Matelli’s sculpture encompasses the life of the typical bachelor. Porker cards, empty beer cans, and an extra large pizza to top it all off. The cards are made out of thin metal and the pizza is made out of acrylics and clay.


Robert Wechsler constructs these cool sculptures made out of nickels.

Marked by an intervention in the familiar, my work is designed to bring both insight and levity to the public audience through the alteration of customary objects and spaces. With a mischievous bent I perturb the norm in order to demonstrate the malleability of the conventions that often define our everyday experience


Richard Kern’s series ‘Doubles’, 2013 [here you see two works from the series], initially a project featured on Vice, shows, simultaneously, the sitter’s outer and inner physical appearance. The collection of works is called doubles because the artist chooses to work with double exposure to achieve this revealing effect.

For more than two decades Kern has sought to unravel and illuminate the complex and often darker sides of human nature. Kern makes the psychological space between the sitter, photographer and audience his subject. With his dry, matter of fact approach, he underlines the absurdity of truth and objectivity in photography while playing with our reliance upon taxonomies around sexual representation.


This work, set in the booth of the Brennan and Griffin Gallery from New York pays homage to Fluxus and early performative works from the 60’s. Naotaka Hiro’s The Log is a bronze cast of half of the artist’s body from left hand to right foot.  Here, the limitations of Hiro’s reach serve as a topological map by which the artist records the “exploration” of a territorial path in attempting to replicate his body with his right hand.  While the bronze resembles a peeled or flattened skin, the process, time, and labor of its creation are imbued within the distortion and fragmentation of the finished work.


Aura Rose’s Porn Rocks project began as a practical joke in 1989. From then on, the artist kept evolving the project, ending up with hundreds of these ‘rocks’ in her collection. The natural rock juxtaposed with pornographic photographs seems like an odd thing to do, However, it makes sense once we carefully examine Rose’s artistic choices.

Photographs engage memory, both the memory of the source material—in this case, a porn magazine—and the memory of having been someplace, where the shot was taken. Seeing the rocks firsthand is uncanny because the embodied image, its claim to presence, challenges the notion of recollection. The decoupaged rocks are always present tense. I wanted to make them feel as natural as any other part of nature.


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