By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
"Helly Nahmad's New York gallery contacted me after hearing I sold the Mirós, and expressed interest in doing a show of his paintings and sculptures here. Think about it who else could they call?"
Jolted by the brash dealer's unabashed self-promotion and choice to base his operation in the sketchy fringe of the neighborhood, I ask Nader why he took the plunge in Wynwood.
"I have been shopping around here since the Rubells and Marty Margulies opened up their collections but had to wait for the right time for a large enough building. I had a very successful opening. I think more people come through this space than the Coral Gables gallery all last year. I may cater to a different, more sophisticated, international crowd than others here, but these people follow my eyes, my taste, my advice because of my 30 years in the business."
Although the bulk of the work Nader traffics in is from the secondary market, one of the artists the gallery represents, Brazilian Walter Goldfarb, catches the eye.
An untitled charcoal, fire-action, and embroidered canvas tondo depicts a scene straight out of Dante's inferno, where the drawn and quartered remains of a man are being roasted on a spit. Several nude male and female figures devour bits of his flesh as the victim's bearded head plops into the sputtering flames. A young savage fans furiously to keep the fire alive.
Gefilte Fish Recipe for las Meninas and the Granddaughter of the Inquisition on a Starry Easter Night is another startling example of Goldfarb's powerful work in a suite of many that alone merit a visit.
A large Thomas Ruff C-print shows the blurred images of three nude sailors on leave engaged in a rollicking ménage à trois.
Robinson, a dramatic oil-on-canvas painting by Guillermo Muñoz Vera, reveals a ham-jowled couch potato swilling a liter of soda and crunching on a bag of chips as a blindfolded hostage slumps before a terrorist cradling an AK-47 on television.
After several hours at the gallery, one feels like a return visit is necessary to absorb the scope of Nader's holdings.
Laying a manicured paw on my shoulder, he tells me not only will he soon inaugurate a video room but also dedicate 15,000 square feet of space for traveling museum shows, as well as feature an outdoor sculpture garden.
It's clear Gary Nader houses some of the most remarkable art in the area. It's also evident that the showboat charmer is the most priceless piece of work in his lucrative collection.