Galvanizer by James Miille
Galvanizer by James Miille
Courtesy of Superfine! House of Art & Design

Superfine! House of Art and Design to Launch During Miami Art Week 2015

Move over Basel, there's a new art fair in town. The brainchild of New York creative collective FAME, Superfine! House of Art & Design will showcase a curated line-up of independent designers and visual artists who blur the lines between art and design.

With a goal of fostering accessibility while still presenting boundary-pushing visual art and a stellar lineup of musicians – Vampire Weekend and Poolside fans won't want to miss these special performances – Superfine! House of Art & Design is sure to be one for the books. "Superfine! represents the constantly eroding line between what we know as fine art and high impact design, all with a kind of independent flair that marks us as a real scrappy player in the art and design arena," said Alex Mitow, the founder of FAME and head honcho behind Superfine! New Times caught up with Mitow to talk inspiration, the Superfine! lineup, and what guests can expect at the inaugural fair.

New Times: Tell us about the inspiration behind Superfine!
Alex Mitow: Superfine! is the culmination of years spent in the art world, both peripherally as the owner of the quintessential food-as-art NYC-based hot dog joint Los Perros Locos, and directly as the producer of a number of gallery shows and pop-up events that fuse art, food, design, fashion, and music under one roof. This isn't champagne sipping, jewelry dripping, staring at smudges on the wall; but it also isn't a down-market and low quality version of things either. We want to showcase fresh and exciting works that reflect our own philosophy and explore that imaginary boundary between function and aesthetic in a way that everyone can rally behind and get excited about.

What drove you to start your own fair?
My overreaching goal with art and design — and Superfine! specifically — is to foster accessibility, both on the creative side and on the attendee/buyer side. The art world status quo is exclusivity, on both ends of the spectrum. Deep, dark Brooklyn basements are exclusive in a different way than huge, empty galleries; but both foster this sense that only certain people belong. Our goal is to strike that down and provide an even playing field, a welcoming and open environment where artists and designers come face to face with collectors and influencers in a way that's advantageous for everyone.

Why choose to focus on both art and design?
I'm a big fan of not answering questions but posing them to the masses, so that's kind of the idea here. I think that we're all asking the question - "What makes this piece 'art' and this one 'design'?" Warhol made hundreds of the same lithograph and it was still art, if a furniture designer or artist doing a limited product series does fifty of something is it more or less art? We bring you art by designers, design by artists, and everything in between and you decide what's what and what you want to take home with you.

KRELwear by Karelle LevyEXPAND
KRELwear by Karelle Levy
Courtesy of Superfine! House of Art & Design

How does Superfine! stand out from the usual Basel offerings?
I saw Basel grow from just one big, stuffy event at the convention center with a few satellite fairs and parties that nobody in Miami knew anything about, to what it is today: a cultural maelstrom and the most important art and design networking week of the year. Superfine! breaks the mold by taking place in completely raw space in the pre-construction Citadel building, soon to be a cultural epicenter of the Little Haiti neighborhood. The developers behind it have already brought forth MADE at the Citadel, a co-working hub for artists, designers, and other creative types, and they have major plans for the stretch.

What can we expect to see at Superfine!?
Would it be cliché to say that visitors should expect the unexpected? Guests will walk into a transformed raw space with 25' ceilings and be greeted by a massive chandelier of raining beams of light and bedazzled human forms ascending above a stage. Diego Montoya, who's creating a massive centerpiece called Ascend With You that will really anchor the vibe of the event and serve as a backdrop for all of the musical performances, with local Miami talent like Afrobeta, Krisp, and Millionyoung alongside national acts like Baio (from the band Vampire Weekend), Aeroplane, and wunderkind newcomer Shamir for his public Miami debut. We're giving the space a face-lift and bringing together a group of artists and designers that run the spectrum from plant-based art by Huy Bui to inspired design by Nicole Nadeau and St. Petersburg-based lighting studio DAMM design. We're more about aesthetic than labels so there will be everything from refined street art like the stuff that UR New York does, to installation pieces by Karelle Levy, and the really surreal photography of New York-based artist James Miille. Add to that a dash of tech and an overarching conversation about how we differentiate art and design, and you've got Superfine!

Superfine! House of Art & Design
December 2 through 6, at 8300 NE Second Ave., Miami. Visit superfine.design

Follow Nicole on Twitter.

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