Contemporary art Fairs USA

In the fair jungle, Miami Project looks fit to survive

The young Wynwood-based event has cultivated a serious atmosphere—and may expand into another city

“There’s a beautiful tent, beautiful exhibitors,” says the New York photography dealer Yossi Milo of the Miami Project fair

With nearly 20 satellite fairs currently on view in Miami, natural selection should start setting in soon. It remains to be seen which of the fittest will survive, but the young Wynwood-based event Miami Project (until 8 December) seems to have a good shot.

The fair, now entering its second year on NE 29th Street and First Avenue, has cultivated a serious atmosphere. For one thing, the production value is high: there is poured concrete floors, roomy aisles, and a welcoming outdoor cafe (with food prepared by none other than the personal chef for the rapper Rick Ross). Plus, the 65 dealers tend not to overcrowd their walls, and there are “no little pop-up spaces run by artists”, as the San Francisco dealer Eli Ridgway put it.

Miami Project’s parent company, artMRKT, which also operates fairs in San Francisco, Houston, and Bridgehampton, set out this year to recruit more prominent galleries, including New York’s Yossi Milo and Los Angeles’s Mark Moore, who had previously been staples at Pulse.

“There’s a beautiful tent, beautiful exhibitors; some of them are members of the ADAA,” says Milo, who, as a photography dealer, finds himself among more of his peers. Miami Project added several photography galleries this year, including Minneapolis’s Weinstein Gallery, and Julie Saul and Steven Kasher, both from New York. (On the other hand, there is very little sculpture and installation on view.)

“Last year we only had two straight photography galleries, and now have five or six, so if you’re a photography collector, that’s enough to get you here,” says the fair’s co-founder Max Fishko.

Next year, Miami Project will return to the same location and Fishko says he and his business partner, Jeffrey Wainhause, are looking to expanding into one other regional US market—probably New York—but have yet to confirm any plans.

Miami Project added several photography galleries this year, including San Francisco’s Weinstein Gallery
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