Art

Superfine Art Fair Returns to Miami, Dives Head First Into World of NFTs

Superfine Art Fair founder Alex Mitow
Superfine Art Fair founder Alex Mitow Photo by James Mann, courtesy of Superfine! Art Fair
Alex Mitow stands on the seventh floor of the 1111 Lincoln Road parking garage. The 33-year-old wears a summer-ready monstera print button-down with a blue Panama hat. Framed by the vibrant green from the lush trees underneath and the crisp blue of the sky, he oozes Miami.

The Florida native, who splits his time between New York City and Mexico City, is in town to produce the Superfine Art Fair, which runs March 10-13 in Miami Beach.

Born in Tampa, Mitow moved to Miami to attend college in the early aughts. After some time in New York working in the hospitality industry, he moved back to South Florida, and in 2015, he founded Superfine with business partner James Miille.

The humble fair began with a singular purpose, says Mitow: “To connect artists with people who can and will buy their art, and to foster that connection.”

Through the years, Superfine remained true to its origins as it grew to include iterations in cities like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Now, after a three-year hiatus, the fair returns to the city where it all began.

In 2019, after hosting four successful fairs — one in Little Haiti, two in Wynwood, and one on the beach — organizers decided to take a year off to reassess.

“At the end of our 2018 fair, we decided to take a break and re-evaluate if we wanted to come back in December," Mitow explains. "We really always wanted to forge our own week. That was always the dream: to create our own week here in Miami Beach.”

Every December, there is never a shortage of art fairs in the city. By the same token, it's easy for the smaller, more locally focused fairs to get lost in the shuffle during that time. However, mindful art programming can be hard to find in Miami during spring break.
click to enlarge Superfine will transform 1111 Lincoln Road's parking garage into a makeshift art fair. - PHOTO BY JAMES MANN, COURTESY OF SUPERFINE! ART FAIR
Superfine will transform 1111 Lincoln Road's parking garage into a makeshift art fair.
Photo by James Mann, courtesy of Superfine! Art Fair
Regardless, Mitow is pleased with the fair’s new date in the spring.

“March is still peak season, without all of the competition and noise of the other art fairs that are happening [during Miami Art Week]," he says. "It’s still in the best season of the year, all the locals are out and about, visitors are in town, and there’s this new influx of people coming to Miami."

The fair's location at the 1111 Lincoln Road garage offers idyllic views of the city with an open-air plan. In a few days, the garage's concrete landscape will be transformed. At the center will be a pseudo swimming pool — complete with tile and areas for guests to sit and relax. Superfine has partnered with local artist collaborative We Are Nice 'N Easy to install a facsimile of a swimming pool and create a unique area for the fair’s NFT collection.

“We’re diving into the NFT world, headfirst, both in a metaphorical and physical way,” Mitow says, laughing.

As the show's centerpiece, the We Are Nice 'N Easy installation will feature screens on the floor, attached to the surrounding columns, and even the ceiling — an all-encompassing experience to make the audience genuinely feel like they’re inside a pool.

This area will house all the fair's non-fungible tokens while the physical art is set up in the surrounding space.

“As NFTs are becoming this bigger conversation, a lot of people still don’t know what they are, how to buy them, or why they’re valuable,” Mitow says, using his hands expressively. “We’re here to create those conversations and help answer those questions.”
click to enlarge "Superfine has grown and evolved, and we’ve doubled down on what we do with the confidence to bring it to spaces like this," Mitow says. - PHOTO BY JAMES MANN, COURTESY OF SUPERFINE! ART FAIR
"Superfine has grown and evolved, and we’ve doubled down on what we do with the confidence to bring it to spaces like this," Mitow says.
Photo by James Mann, courtesy of Superfine! Art Fair
On opening night, Superfine will drop two unique NFT collections: Super Family, which features NFTs by artists across all their fairs and cities, and Magic City Heroes, NFTs minted by popular street artists. And on Saturday, an NFT collection featuring all LGBTQ+ artists will drop in partnership with the nonprofit Pridelines. All NFTs will be available both online and at the fair via a QR code.

In addition to the NFT pool section, Superfine will feature more than 80 artists selling their original works.

Mitow uncrosses his legs and relaxes his shoulders as he stands upright.

"Superfine has grown and evolved, and we've doubled down on what we do with the confidence to bring it to spaces like this," he says proudly. "Spaces where the artists are center stage instead of being buried away in a warehouse."

After three years away, Mitow says Superfine's return to Miami feels like a sort of reunion — a culmination of relationships and partnerships built over the last two decades.

"There's a lot of Miami energy baked into each night of the fair," Mitow says with a smile. His soft brown eyes light up. "Come meet Miami artists, support Miami artists, and maybe buy an NFT or an original work."

Superfine Art Fair. Thursday, March 10, through Sunday, March 13, at 1111 Lincoln Rd., Seventh Floor, Miami Beach; superfine.world. Tickets cost $45 to $150.
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Carolina del Busto is a freelance writer for Miami New Times. She nurtured her love of words at Boston College before moving back home to Miami and has been covering arts and culture in the Magic City since 2013.