For some reason Aqua’s courtyard makes everyone want to buy either the art or the viewing experience, even if it’s not all that good. Don’t get me wrong, Aqua’s no Scope, but, the fair certainly seemed a little lack luster relative to last year’s effort.
Unfortunately, such news won’t come as much surprise to some; we heard a lot negative rumblings earlier this year amongst dealers regarding the fair’s difficulties filling the new Wynwood space, and their over priced booths. I can’t speak to Wynwood — like everyone else I know, I didn’t make it over there (I heard sales were next to nothing)– but short of Fette’s Gallery, Cinders, and Heskin Contemporary pretty much everything at the South Beach location left me with nothing to say. It was like visiting the art suburbs, virtually everything looked vanilla.
I suspect this fact accounts for the incredibly few photographs I took at this fair. I’ve got no lowlights on my camera, and only a few shots of the better work in at Aqua. An unbalanced snapshot of the fair below.
Not all of the work at Fette’s gallery is to my taste, but I like that the gallery has a unique and unified vision. Expressionistic work filled the gallery space, most of it disturbing in one way or another.
Cinders had a number of Kelie Bowman’s inventive watercolors on display. Small and charming, these works stood out in the Aqua crowd this year.
Julie Peppito’s work probably appealed the most to me at Aqua. Unfortunately, the drawings proved impossible to photograph mid afternoon, but if they weren’t a blur of reflection, I’m quite certain readers would remark on the complexity of mark making and color use. From afar these works may look chaotic, but up close they are amongst the more beautifully detailed drawings I saw at the fairs.