Every gallery in the game makes their best play for Miami Art Week. Some solo with a singular sensation, some group up to highlight a roster, and some book a booth at one of the many fairs which occupy our town during the annual onslaught.
Very few galleries, however, have the moxie to risk doing all three for Art Basel; let alone one with only two months to its history. But Vice Gallery, which opened its doors with a marvel of mayhem from MSG Cartel this past October, has already shown itself to be one of the few among many.
Cultist chatted with Vice Gallery honcho George Aguilar in advance of all the Art Week action.
"It's a place to highlight my love of graffiti and urban art," Aguilar says of Vice. And considering the art spot popped into being with a grouping of Miami street OGs, he's not lying.
"MSG and I go way back, and so does Miami Style Graffiti," Aguilar says in the aftermath of the crews' "Greatly Exaggerated" exhibition. "The Cartel were painting Miami streets before anyone, and they remain one of the most prolific and talented crews on the planet."
For Miami Art Week, Aguilar says the gallery will expand its focus from Miami to the whole wild world at large.
"First we'll feature the four-artist showing "From Argentina with Love," which will occupy half of the main Gallery and just about the entire back lot." he says. "Then there's "Paradise is Where You Are Right Now," from another Argentine artist, Marcella Moujan, which will occupy the other half of the Gallery. Third will be the three Argentine artists Vice is showing for Scope's Breeders Program. While all of the artists are from Argentina, their reach is global."
To emphasize "From Argentina with Love" includes Martin Ron, who was featured by British GQ in October's "Forget Banksy: Here are the World's 15 Best Street Artists"; Diego Roa, whose iconic child faces are a ubiquitous part of the Buenos Aires cityscape; Ramiro Smith Estrada, who recently soloed in the Fundacion ICBC-backed The Young Gods; and Magda Love, a Governor's Ball vet who's now based Brooklyn. Marcella Moujan's work is part of such collections at the Museum of Modern Art Buenos Aires (MAMBA) and the Daimler Collection (in Berlin).
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"Scope will feature PastelFD, who's thrown up from Barcelona to Brussels, and landed a prestigious Fordistas residency right here in the Miami," Aguilar adds. Also included are Tec, a founding member of the Buenos Aires-based collective FASE, and Mart Aire, who's a leader in the internationally-renowned Arte Urbano de Buenos Aires movement.
If that seems like an ambitious set of artists to show during one Miami Art Week Aguilar says that comes with the territory.
"...You've gotta stand up if you wanna be noticed, and with an art world as crowded as Miami, especially during Art Week, you've gotta stand as tall as possible," he says. "This is Vice standing tall."