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Superfine! Art Fair Returns to Shake Up the Art Basel Buyers' Market

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Every year, Art Basel Miami Beach descends upon the Magic City, bringing with it a host of satellite fairs and an invading army of well-dressed visitors. Swanky parties hosted by luxury fashion houses, overwhelmingly branded VIP events, and crowded pushing among partygoers is par for the course during Miami Art Week, but it doesn't have to be. For art enthusiasts who feel pushed to the periphery of Miami's most celebrated art event, there's Superfine!, an annual art fair geared toward emerging artists and novice collectors who want to attend Miami Art Week without all the pompous hype.

Debuting last year at the Citadel in Little Haiti, Superfine! hosted artists such as Okuda San Miguel and James Miille alongside local makers and musical acts. "We're really about bridging the gap between people who are passionate and people who like to attend the events," says Alex Mitow, the fair's founder. "We're disruptors and we change a lot of the game as an art fair."
Mitow, who founded the fair on the premise that both local and global artists can enjoy a bit of the spotlight during Miami Art Week, has created a unique art fair model. "We use buildings instead of erecting a tent, which reduces build out costs for the fair and for its artists, and that cuts the infrastructure cost, which means our attendance cost is lower for potential collectors."

Superfine!'s accessible art fair model has emerged as affordability within the art world becomes increasingly problematic, particularly as Art Basel Miami Beach makes its 2017 landing. As New Times reported last month, the threat of the Zika virus, ongoing construction at the Miami Beach Convention Center and a serious slump in the art market is threatening to shore Miami Art Week's profitability. But Mitow says that typical Art Basel Miami Beach buyers – those collectors that buy art for investment, who look to unload works as soon as they become more valuable – aren't really Superfine!'s demographic.

"With Superfine!, we're trying to attract people who make up a class of Miamians that are starting families and buying homes, and have the means to collect work but don't necessarily see themselves as part of the art market," says Mitow.
Though that culture of accessibility will remain, this year will be a little different at Superfine! "For one thing, the space won't be as raw," says Mitow. "We figured out that we definitely need air conditioning, for example." In addition, Superfine! will move away from its inaugural Little Haiti home into a larger Midtown space directly across from the Art Miami tent. "We learned last year that it's important to be close to other satellite fairs, since getting around can be difficult in Miami," says Mitow.

This year, Superfine! fairgoers will be welcomed into the fair with an immersive, helium-based sculpture installation, inspired by CARON Paris' Awaken Your Senses campaign, by local artist Asser Saint-Val. Miami installation collective Nice n' Easy – a duo comprised of artists Jeffrey Noble and Alison Matherly – will install both seating lounge and psychedelic picnic party for fairgoer down time. Other local artists showing at Superfine! include Jen Clay (voted New Times' best emerging artist in 2016), photographer David Gary Lloyd, artists from local gallery The Laundromat Art Space, including Christin Paige Minotte and Bianca Pratorius, and more. And with works that range from several hundred to under $5,000, you might just be able to call yourself an Art Week collector.

December 1-4 at 56 NE 29th St., Miami. Admission costs $7.77-$33.33. Visit superfine.world

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