52. Naomi Fisher

In honor of our MasterMind genius awards, Cultist proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes in random order. Have suggestions for future profiles? Email culti[email protected] with the whos and whys.

52. Naomi Fisher

Naomi Fisher is one of the most successful female artists living and working in Miami today. Certainly, success is a nebulous thing, but Fisher is undoubtedly an art star, her work showing around the world and recognized by national and local media outlets. As long ago as 2000, a New York Times article on the then 23-year old artist began, "Naomi Fisher makes Cibachrome photographs that are at once beautiful, disturbing, and absurd."  The article references Fisher's early photos which show women from behind, slumped, with tropical foliage growing from or placed between their legs. In an era when many women are hesitant to verbally embrace feminism as a term, Fisher remains unapologetically intellectual about women's issues.

With her partner, artist

Jim Drain, Fisher runs the Bas Fisher Invitational, a gallery originally founded in 2004 with Hernan Bas to exhibit solo projects by Miami artists. Recently, the group show "Weird Miami"

took over the space. The show included such artists as Justin Long,

Christy Gast, and Autumn Casey who showed why Miami is a place worth

visiting and exploring through installations and curated bus tours

around the city.

Fisher also recently showed her newest project Myakka

along with 17 other high-profile artists at "The Island," a

site-specific exhibition that took place on Flagler Memorial Island. Myakka

is a film that looks at one woman's journey into nature through

performance, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For

13 days, Fisher, five performers, two videographers and two production

assistants retreated to cabins in Myakka River State Park in Florida and

shot beautiful and haunting footage.

Naomi Fisher
"Grotto Dancing" 2008
1. List five things that inspire you.

-SKINT, a dance/music/performance collective from NY
-Camping in the Everglades
-Semi-fiction by Chris Kraus
-Calusa indian tools made from seashells
-Michael Clark Choreography

2. What was your last big project?

During Art Basel Week, I exhibited the first cut of my new video called Myakka, which documents a project I staged in April at Myakka State Park thanks to support from a Knight Arts Challenge Grant. The video was accompanied by a performance by SKINT at a one-day show called "The Island" on Flagler Memorial Island curated by Shamim Momim.

I also have work up at the Rubell Family Collection, and I had new paintings with the Fredric Snitzer Gallery at Art Basel Miami Beach, and at NADA with Leo Koenig Inc. Additionally, the artist-run alternative art space I run with Jim Drain called the Bas Fisher Invitational just premiered a new benefit print edition, which is being sold to raise funds to match our Knight Arts Challenge Grant including prints by Olaf Breuning, K8 Hardy, Seth Price, Cory Archangel, and Sharon Hayes.

3. What's your next big project?

In 2011, I'll have a solo show at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery and will be doing a new performance/video project as part of the Contemporary Art Program at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in April.

4. Why do you do what you do?

My entire life has been devoted to becoming an artist, I even see seeds of the work I make now in my childhood drawings. While making my own artwork is first and foremost, I have no intention of creating in a vacuum. I am happy to be a part of an alternative art space that works towards fostering a dialog with other artists, writers, thinkers, and performers to build a supportive community in Miami. In an era where the arts are being cut from public schools, activities like the panel I was just on for Young Arts (an organization that awards high school seniors) are incredibly important to me. I am just a drop of water in the pond, and I don't want the pond to be polluted. I truly believe art is the foundation of a culture, and total free expression within art is crucial to be fought for.

5. What's something you want Miami to know about you?

Growing up here I thought I would leave and never come back, so I am grateful that this city has become an arts center strong enough to foster a contemporary art scene. I am especially thankful for the Knight Arts Challenge grant program's support for many interesting projects, DACRA and Craig Robins for giving space support to artist studios and curated shows, and for the dedication of folks in the Cultural Affairs Office to preserve arts funding and for helping young nonprofits navigate the system. Miami is at such an amazing place, but we are in danger of backsliding culturally after many steep budget cuts for the arts. The more people who step up with space and funding for artists, the stronger this city will become.

What's something you don't want Miami to know about you?

People often confuse cultural credibility with financial success. I think many people would be surprised at how much working artists struggle to keep going.

The Creatives so far:

53. Rocky Grimes
54. Teresa Barcelo
55. Paul Tei
56. Lee Materazzi

57. Karla Garcia
58. Anna Mixon
59. Octavio Campos
60. P. Scott Cunningham
61. Elena Garcia
62. Summer Hill
63. Autumn Casey
64. Juan Navarro
65. Serge Toussaint
66. David Rohn
67. Diane Brache
68. Spencer Morin
69. James Anthony
70. Jim Drain
71. Claudia Calle
72. Kevin Arrow

73. Andrew Hevia
74. Ana Mendez
75. Michael McKeever
76. Diana Lozano
77. Ricardo Pau-Llosa
78. Agustina Woodgate
79. Tarell Alvin McCraney
80. Jennifer Kronenberg
81. Farley Aguilar
82. Colin Foord
83. Karelle Levy
84. Matt Gajewski
85. Antonia Wright
86. Allen Charles Klein
87. Christy Gast
88. Gustavo Matamoros
89. Shareen Rubiera-Sarwar

90. Kyle Trowbridge
91. Clifton Childree
92. Jessica Gross
93. Danny Brito
94. Nektar de Stagni
95. Anthony Spinello
96. Vanessa Garcia
97. Justin Long
98. Rosie Herrera
99. Rick Falcon

100. Ingrid B

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Liz Tracy has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Refinery29, W, Glamour, and, of course, Miami New Times. She was New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor for three years. Now she plays one mean monster with her 2-year-old son and obsessively watches British mysteries.
Contact: Liz Tracy