Taking advantage of the success of his first-ever pop-up show back in March, +598 Gallery owner Pepe Frances wants to bring more beautiful photography to Miami residents. “['Time and Matter'] was our first pop-up show and it exceeded our wildest expectations. We had over 100 people show up in the three hours of the show, and in the first 20 minutes I had sold two pieces.”
For one night only in March, Frances teamed up with local photographer Jill Peters to give those in attendance a stark, crumbling vision of a Miami that is quickly fading away. Drawing on his nearly seven years in New York spent working with interior design firms, Frances had convinced Peters that she needed to take her work to a new level. With 20 total prints in a 400-square-foot space at the corner of North Miami Avenue and 38th Street in the Design District, both Frances and Peters gave guests a taste of their vision.
Now, with more photographers signed on to his online gallery, Frances wants to offer anyone interested a very intimate opportunity to buy their work. “I want to start doing more shows like a Tupperware party style pop-up show. We want to do them for influencers, like cocktail parties. I don’t think there’s any service like that here in Miami that offers that. Bring the art, over two hours of cocktails or whatever, understand what the client needs, and make suggestions.”
Originally trained with a Master’s degree in genetics, Frances eventually moved from his native Uruguay to New York City nearly eight years ago, where he made a 180-degree turn into the design world. “I was the outside salesperson for design firms, which is the business model I’m creating now.” More passionate about his work than ever, Pepe, as he’s known to his friends and family, wants to bring that New York look and feel to a whole new audience in Miami.
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“There’s a clear divide here [in Miami]. They tend to like images of the beach, rather than the industrial. I feel like the world [of art] here is growing a lot, but it still needs to grow even more,” said Frances, speaking about the near future of +598 Gallery and the artists it represents.
If you’re so inclined, feel free to hit up Pepe for a pop-up show at your house with a group of your closest, most-connected friends. “I don’t want to take the gallery into online sales where I never see you. I want to make it more boutique where I come and meet you.” Time to star organizing that get together.
This summer, expect to see Frances and his incredible body of new work popping up around Miami. +598 Gallery has been tapped to take part in the Thompson Hotel’s summer design calendars, amongst other larger venues.