David Castillo is no stranger to the Art Basel election committee. The Wynwood art dealer has been applying for a booth at the December arts confab every year since 2007.
In 2008 his eponymous space was one of a select few Miami galleries to gain entrance to the prestigious international fair even if it was only in Art Positions, one of the shipping containers back then amassed along a strip of the beach off Collins Avenue a few blocks from the Miami Beach Convention Center, which hosts the main shindig.
The 37-year-old Castillo has been an art dealer in the secondary market for close to 17 years and opened his contemporary gallery with a stable of top-drawer South Florida and national artists six years ago. This year he joins Fredric Snitzer Gallery as the only Miami dealers to make it into Art Basel Miami Beach.
"It's an honor that Basel's selection committee is including our gallery in this year's edition of the fair," says Castillo. "This is our second participation in ABMB," mentions the dealer who is happy to be represented on the event's biggest stage.
Castillo will be showing the works of photographer and sculptor Xaviera Simmons and performance and video artist Kate Gilmore in his booth during the 10th edition of the fair. Both are New York artists who show in major museum shows.
"Xaviera and Kate are incredible international talents and an important part of the gallery's artists. I couldn't be happier than to be showing their work during Art Basel this December," Castillo adds.
Castillo's inclusion in Art Basel is long overdue. He is one of the city's top gallerists and has been recognized in the New Times "Best Of" issues as Miami's top dealer and top gallery during his career.
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Last year, the über-exclusive selection committee, that includes Wynwood dealer Fredric Snitzer as the sole local representative, tossed a bone to Alejandra Von Hartz and Ramon Cernuda who along with Snitzer were the only Miami dealers shopping their wares at 1901 Convention Center Drive during 2010's edition of Baselpalooza.
Von Hartz and Cernuda, both one-and-done arrivistes it seems, must have stunk up the joint because they weren't invited back this year.
Art Basel takes place December 1-4 on Miami Beach and will feature 250 of the planet's best galleries.