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PULSE Contemporary Art Fair 2014: The Artists Talk

PULSE Contemporary Art Fair 2014


Being an artist is not easy. It’s one of those professions that can either turn one into a break-through artist, a celebrity, a working professional or in an eternal hopeless romantic who’d be always working a second job to pay the bills and keep the art as a hobby and aspiration of what could it be like if he or she would have become a working artist.

PULSE Contemporary Art Fair  2014: Nearness by Cuban artist Arlés del Rio
PULSE Contemporary Art Fair 2014: Nearness by Cuban artist Arlés del Rio
Alisa Krutovsky
PULSE Contemporary Art Fair 2014: Sean Fader by AKArt
Alisa Krutovsky

Nevertheless, many people choose to be an artist for a profession, knowing that they might never be able to make it. And some people are just so artistic by nature that they can’t imagine doing anything else, which, just as in Hollywood, can make them a star some day. However, many artists don’t achieve the appreciation of their work they deserve in their own lifetime, just as many artists of the 18th and 19th Century did not.

You could ask anyone, even the modern artists of the likes of Marina Abramovic, whose work has been known in her native country of Serbia, but when she came to New York City, most of the Americans had no idea who she was, even in the art circle. So, she, had to re-build her career all over again and make the art that gained her not only the America-wide exposure, but made her well known around the world. This does not happen to all the artists, unfortunately. And some of the very young artists and designers get a better chance for the wide exposure when they make the art that speaks to the today’s generation, society, and trends - which, not necessary, is the most creative work as other artists do, per say. Just like it happened with the New York graphic designers Timothy Goodman and Jessica Walsh – who came up with the project “Forty Days of Dating” - which showcased not only their graphic design skills and the design works of the other designers, but also featured the current state of the modern dating world. Since then this project took off big time and made Goodman and Walsh huge stars among not only their generation of the graphic designers, but also among the artists from other countries, including the attention it received by Hollywood, which is taking this relatively small and inexpensive project towards turning it into a feature film!

But this does not happen to everyone and there are many designers and artists, whose work might be ten times better than the works of Goodman and Walsh, but whose work would never gain the attention they received, no matter how respected and valued they are in the industry.

If you want to know the names of the artists who work in New York City, for example, there are such organizations like New York Artist Net that provide a list of the working artists. However, not every artist gets to be listed, so, the overall data of the working artists is pretty vague. For example, the most inclusive answer: using the data by Princeton University, and applying the broadest possible definition of artist classified by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as artistic occupations and counting all self-identified artists, whether employed in primary or secondary jobs or not - there were 2,511,000 artists in the United States in 2001, representing 1.8 percent of the total civilian labor force. Of these:
• 2,108,000 (84%) were employed in primary jobs as artists;
• 315,000 (12.5%) were employed in secondary jobs as artists; and
• 88,000 (3.5%) were unemployed.

Source: here.

This is the 13-year old data, which by now should be much larger when it comes to the number of the artists around the world. But the point is, there’s about 20% of the artists who cannot live solely off their art work and even the most sellable artists are depended on the overall state of the economy. With almost every artist and designer I spoke in the past few years said that the economic downfall of 2008 in America really affected their financial standing, but at the same time did inspire them to make some of their best work.

This is why such art fairs and exhibitions like PULSE Contemporary Art Fair allow to get to know the artists from around the world, more or less, and see their work up close and personal, which is still a fraction of what’s out there. Personally, in the last few years of attending the art shows and exhibitions in New York City, only a few times I came across an artist, whose work I was familiar before the exhibition. This year, for example, I came across the work of Ekaterina Panikanova, whose work I've seen before when I was working on my own designs. I really liked the uniqueness of her work, very fresh, and kept it on a bookmark for my reference. You can imagine the excitement I got when I saw her work live at this years PULSE show! However, in most cases – I’ve never heard of an artist before.

When it comes to attending an art show, many of my friends commented before that sometimes they just ‘don’t get’ the artist’s work and they get frustrated that they don’t seem to understand what others seem to ‘get’. In such instances I always mention what my uncle once said when he was looking at the Malevich’s “Black Square” art piece: “I just don’t get it, what’s so special about it? I can draw like that as well…” Even though it was just a joke, many times I remembered this saying when looking at some of the modern art pieces: “Yes, I can do just like that as well…why, WHY is it so special?” The answer is simple – it’s special, because they did it FIRST…when no one did it. This separates an artist from the artist. Most often it’s the timing and being at the right place at the right time, meaning – these artists were able to create something before everyone else did and they created it in the times when it was ‘hot and happening’ and very much in tune with the current events and trends. Or, they created something that was ahead of time and it was appreciated and valued highly many years after their death.

Another aspect I often encounter is hearing someone say: “Is this it?” after finishing looking at an exhibit. Depending on the artist, sometimes even a few works are worthwhile your time, like it was with the exhibition of Magritte at the MOMA in New York that took place September 28, 2013–January 12, 2014 – which featured just a few of his work and didn’t take long to go through if you were not a fan of his work. However, if you did know and appreciate his work, this relatively small exhibit would have taken you a few hours to go through. It’s all relative to the way one perceives the art. So, there's no right or wrong understanding or approach to the modern or contemporary art.

The thing is: art can be very moving and uplifting, if we know how to approach it. Here’s a few tips on how to approach an art exhibition that I found very helpful and made me enjoy visiting the modern art shows so much better:

  1. Be open to the art works that might seem to be weird and/or very simple to make. The fact is: it’s not simple to make and it does take an artist’s certain imagination to make it. So, when you are looking at a piece of art, try to see all the aspects of it and always read the description of the piece to understand not only what this art piece is about, but also to see the mediums he/she used to make this art. For example, it might seem like it’s so simple, but when you look at the mediums the artist used, you might realize that it took more than just a photo-camera or a pencil to make this piece.
  2. Take your time to look at the work, perhaps even try to speak with an artist on site, or, speak with the art gallery representative who is there to answer all your questions. Don’t be afraid to approach them, you’d be surprised to see how open they are to discuss and explain their art work! I always try to speak with someone if I don’t ‘get it’ and in most cases after I speak with an artist and/or gallerist, I start to appreciate the art piece more.
  3. Sometimes, it’s good to drop eves on someone who is looking at the art with a friend while discussing it. You might find out what you ‘don’t get’ about this piece from overhearing someone’s explanation and thoughts of wonder as they are trying to understand it themselves.
  4. Also, I found out that it helps to go back to your ‘notes’ after the art show and google the artists that perplexed you the most. Most often you’d find the answers to why you did not understand this artist’s work – by looking at the additional work of the artists and/or learning about his biography, approach and vision might help you to make out your own answer to the work you saw. It’s not necessary that you’d like his/her work after learning more about the artist, but there’s always a chance that you might become his/her greatest fan! This is what happened with me and Marina Abramovic’s work. The very first time I saw her exhibit at the Guggenheim museum, I wasn’t really a big fan of it, but the more I learned about the artist and her other works, and visited more shows of hers, I got to appreciate it a great deal, because I saw the depth of her as an individual, human being, and, of course, what a great artist she is. I especially started to like her art after I saw the film about her: The Artist is present (available on Netflix, by the way.) Now, I try to never miss her show.
  5. Simply know this: the idea that you must be sophisticated or knowledgeable to appreciate fine art is erroneous: Have you ever been tempted to walk into an art gallery or museum but that was as far as you got? If you were afraid to step inside because you didn’t want to feel stupid if you didn’t understand the artwork, you are not alone. Most people are intimidated by art. The reasons most people are intimidated is because they think they must understand art intellectually before they can appreciate it. Or they think they need to learn a lot more about art before ever setting foot in a gallery or museum. And trying to learn more about art can be intimidating in itself. Even art reviews tend to be more pretentious then inviting.
  6. And last, but not least: if you feel like you don’t “get” art, you should stay away from modern art. There is a lot to “get” in modern art, so we might as well go for artists from the Renaissance or the Classical period, which could be much easier for you to understand and appreciate because, most likely, one way or another you’ve studied the artists from those eras at school and/or university. But then again, you'd be missing so much if you never go and/or try to understand the contemporary art, because it's all around you - from signs on the street to the menus at your favorite restaurant!

Just allow yourself to respond to the art on display in your very own way. You don't have to understand it like your friend and/or art critic. In most cases of the contemporary art, an artist wants you to have your own interpretation. This is the beauty of it.

Hopefully this gives you the confidence to step boldly into an art exhibit any time you have the desire to do so. You can think of it like going to see a movie or a theatrical play theatre - every person interprets it on his/her own way. This is why most people talk about it afterwards - the share their opinions and understanding. If anyone had the same opinion, what's the fun in that? Just think about it.

That's said, this year I saw a few works that I both liked and was confused by - meaning, I wanted to know more about them and the artists who made them. So, I approached these few artists either personally or through a gallery that represent them. I found it very helpful, because I wanted to know more than what the art and/or the artists are all about. I wanted to know - who their audience is, why the galleries chose to represent these artists, what's so special about the art works they selected to present at the art fair, and such. I asked the artists and/or the gallerists the following five questions:

  1. Who are the customers of this artist?
  2. Has participating in this art fair done anything for your gallery and this specific artist?
  3. Do you think this kind of the art fairs are important for the artists and why yes/no?
  4. How did you come about discovering this artist and what attracted you to his works?
  5. Are you going to be in Miami for the Pulse this December as well?

Here's what I learned:

(All of these works you can see in my photo gallery).

1. Dan Bainbridge "Rabbits in the Wheelchair" 2013 Mixed Media:

Who are the customers of this artist? All the answers are provided by Ms. Silas Shabelewska, the director of ART 3 gallery.

The works by DAN BAINBRIDGE appealed to both Young and Older people at PULSE. It was extremely well received and I would say photographed non-stop during the duration of the fair. Older & younger people loved the Rabbits and the animals and stayed for a long time on the booth. The works sold to clients who are professionals (an Architect, a collector etc..) the people that bought were middle aged and had the means to afford the work. But young people loved it as well, particularly "the Unicorn" and the "Rabbits in the wheelchair" were photographed a lot. The clients were Americans mostly New Yorkers.

Has participating in this art fair done anything for your gallery and this specific artist?

YES definitely. The art fair has brought enormous attention to the gallery and we received a lot of attention and press and its still ongoing. It was also amazing to see people's reactions to the 3 artists exhibited. They loved it. We received compliments as well from very established people in the art world who enjoyed the booth tremendously as it was designed to look like a child's room with weird toys...

Do you think this kind of the art fairs are important for the artists and why yes/no?

YES art fairs are a MUST for any gallery and for giving exposure to the artists.

2. Katja Loher represented by C24 gallery.

Who are the customers of this artist? All the answers are provided by Lisa De Simone, the Director at C24 Gallery.

Katja Loher's video sculptures have a very democratic collector base. People from quite literally all over the world acquire her work. I feel this is a testament to her powerful universal visual language, and the integrity of the physical object. Loher's work has been placed into private collections in the US, Europe, South America and the Far East. Public institutions and private collectors are equally seeking out her work. The age of the people who I have sold Loher's work range from collectors in their early 30s to people past 80 years old, literally!

Has participating in this art fair done anything for your gallery and this specific artist?

Participating in art fairs is a highly important activity for the gallery and our artists. It is really quite mandatory, especially Miami as during Art Basel so many international collectors and curators converge on this small sand bar, it is maximum exposure, which is paramount for the gallery and our artists. Indeed art fairs lead to not only more exposure, but also, sales. Talking about money always struck me as slightly crass however, without sales we couldn't expose/show our artists in New York, in public spaces, and internationally. Ironically, I met Katja Loher at Pulse Miami a few years ago, the rest, as they say is history. We have a brilliant relationship, we collaborate and there is fantastic synergy between us.

Do you think this kind of the art fairs are important for the artists and why yes/no?

The bottom line is that regardless how exhausting and challenging participating in art fairs can be, they are completely necessary for the gallery and the artist in terms of generating revenue, exposure, and future opportunities.

3. Hassan Hajjaj "Reginal" 2013 Metallic Lambda print on Dibond, wood and objects. Being a huge fan of colors and vibrancy, I was very drawn to Hajjaj's works and next time I'm in Los Angeles, I'll make sure I visit this gallery!

Who are the customers of this artist? All the answers are provided by Kelsey Lee Offield, Owner and Director of GUSFORD | los angeles.

Hassan Hajjaj has a strong following in the international art scene having been shown widely throughout Europe and the Middle East, and his work really speaks to a vast audience. This includes established art collectors and institutions, who recognize the innovation and importance of his work. Additionally, a younger generation of people, outside the art world, are drawn to Hassan for his engagement with fashion, music, and design.

Has participating in this art fair done anything for your gallery and this specific artist?

With Hassan Hajjaj being awarded the PULSE Prize for his work shown with GUSFORD, we saw a great deal of press, as well as increased exposure for the artist, which was fantastic. Through our participation at PULSE, we were able to expand the audience of both the artist and GUSFORD.

Do you think this kind of the art fairs are important for the artists and why yes/no?

Absolutely. PULSE in particular is a great model for supporting the artist through art fair participation. The PULSE Prize not only included a cash grant awarded to Hassan Hajjaj directly, but there was a roundtable discussion of the finalists leading up to the announcement of the prize, which encouraged further engagement with the work, and developed a conversation around the practices of these artists.

How did you come about discovering this artist and what attracted you to his works?

I first met Hassan Hajjaj in 2009 when Dr. Anthony Downey, Director of Contemporary Art from the Sotheby's Institute of Art in London, where I was completing my MA at the time, took the class to visit Hassan's East London shop Larache. I was immediately attracted to the vibrancy and conceptual strength of Hassan's works, and when it came time for me to open my gallery in Los Angeles, I approached Hassan about representing him, and we subsequently debuted his first North American solo exhibition at GUSFORD in January 2014.

Are you going to be in Miami for the Pulse this December as well?

We are currently looking at applying to Miami fairs for this December. There are so many fairs, but with PULSE's strong move to the beach for PULSE Miami 2014, we would definitely consider participating.

How different is the public (attendees / audience) in NYC from Los Angeles?

The audience in NYC is more accustomed to the vocabulary of the art fair, as it has a much stronger lineage. In Los Angeles, we have fewer fairs and they are perhaps not as well attended from the international audience, however many people from Los Angeles come to New York for the art fairs, and we were pleased to see quite a few familiar faces from the West Coast this year. That being said, Paris Photo has been putting on a strong fair at the Paramount Studios for the past 2 years, and we are looking forward to seeing what FIAC Los Angeles will bring in 2015.

4. Thomas Witte "Cruise" 2014 Hand-cut archival paper by Davidson Contemporary:

Who are the customers of this artist? All the answers are provided by Charles C. Davidson, Co-Director at Davidson Contemporary.

There is definitely no single type of client for any one artist. Our clientele is wide-ranging, as is most of the art world. Sometimes, there are people for whom a $20,000 drawing by a young artist is a drop in the bucket. Other times, people agonize over something that’s a fraction of the cost. The important thing is that they appreciate the art itself and are interested in the work.

Has participating in this art fair done anything for your gallery and this specific artist?

Art fairs are a bit of a mixed blessing, for sure. They can be expensive to participate in and – like all parts of business – there are no guarantees that you’ll make your money back. That said, they provide great exposure. More people will come to an art fair in a weekend than will come to a gallery over the course of a year or more. Today, people are looking to save time in all facets of life. Art fairs are one-stop-shopping which is ideal for people who may not have time to spend all day gallery-hopping in Chelsea.

Do you think this kind of the art fairs are important for the artists and why yes/no?

PULSE New York is a particularly interesting fair, I think. It is comprised of fewer galleries (compared with Frieze New York), does not require membership (like NADA New York), and allows the galleries who exhibit to show all types of media and performances. So, yes, I think that it is an important fair for artists.

How did you come about discovering this artist and what attracted you to his works?

We did a show at Davidson Contemporary in 2013 featuring artists who create works on and of paper, using methods other than the more traditional pen and ink, or watercolor on paper. One of the artists in the show, Danielle Durchslag, recommended Thomas. We exhibited a large work of his, and it was a show-stopper. The rest was easy.

Are you going to be in Miami for the Pulse this December as well?

Yes. We love the Miami fairs. This year, Pulse Miami will be on the beach. It has a brand new location at Indian Beach Park, a huge tent, and water views. It’s also close to Art Basel Miami Beach, and downtown, so it’s definitely going to be the fair to see this year in Miami.

How different is the public (attendees / audience) in NYC from other locations where you exhibited/presented your works as well?

Miami is a special place because, during that week, a huge portion of the attendees are in Miami just to see the fairs. That makes it very unique atmosphere. It doesn’t hurt that it’s Miami in December either. However, NYC is home for us, so we’re a little bit biased. New York is a sophisticated crowd. They know and care about the art world and, as New Yorkers, they expect a lot. That puts pressure on the galleries to bring out their best stuff, which is beneficial for everyone involved.

5. Laurent Lamarche "C2H6-PRO-01 2011" Circular Digital Print Mounted to Plexiglass by Art Mur gallery from Montreal, Canada. To see his art piece, click here.

Who are the customers of this artist? All the answers are provided by Anaïs Castro.

Laurent Lamarche is widely collected, as much by Corporation Collections and institutions as by private collectors. Most of his collectors are Quebecois. This is predominantly due to the fact that up until now, he has exhibited mostly in Quebec and Eastern Canada. Pulse New York was the first time Laurent Lamarche's work was shown publicly in the United States.

Has participating in this art fair done anything for your gallery and this specific artist?

Participating to fairs is not a business decision made solely for lucrative reasons. It is quite costly and always a gamble. Art Mûr's mandate is to nurture the career of its artists, not merely to sell their work. On our best fairs, we broke even or made a small profit. The reason why the gallery is committed to participating a to a few contemporary art fairs throughout the year is to expand our market and network and introduce the work of our artists to the American public. It is a long process, but we already notice results. People recognize the name of the gallery and remember our artists. They remember what we've shown at previous fairs and are always excited to see what we're doing. For Laurent Lamarche, Pulse New York was the opportunity to introduce his work, and get an immediate response and feed back. We were pleased to see people were entralled, captivated and mesmerized by Lamarche's world and versatile manipulation of plastic.

Do you think this kind of the art fairs are important for the artists and why yes/no?

Art fairs participate to the artworld in considerable ways. It is a great occasion to have an overview of what is being shown in galleries throughout the world, of what sells. It is also important for artists because of the number of curators and critic who visit them. It is a way to introduce their work to foreign audience. Some of our artists have had solo and groups shows as a direct result of the presentation of their work during art fairs. It has been the case of Simon Bilodeau, David Spriggs and others.

How did you come about discovering this artist and what attracted you to his works?

We discovered Laurent Lamarche through an event we hold every summer at the gallery entitled Fresh Paint and New Construction. Every yeat, we ask Canada's top Art Schools to select the most promising students of their programs and we exhibit their work. Laurent Lamarche showed in the 2010 edition, when he was still completing his MFA at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). We knew his work was special and the directors added him to the gallery's roster.

Are you going to be in Miami for the Pulse this December as well?

We will certainly be in Miami in December, we are currently establishing our strategy for ABMB week. Pulse Miami was incredibly successful last year, so it is possible that we will return again. Art Mûr will continue to be present at various international contemporary art fairs.

How different is the public (attendees / audience) in NYC from other locations where you exhibited/presented your works as well?

New York City is a much larger city than Montreal with dozens of contemporary art fairs, ten times as many galleries and just a million of things happening constantly. There are more people, more buyers, curators, critics, and more opportunities but as a commercial gallery, we're competing with many more galleries. More importantly, when we come to New York, we are unknown and the artists we bring are also generally emergent on the American market. Therefore, we pretty much have to start from scratch when we introduce the gallery and the work of our artists to the public. In Montreal, our reputation is very much established. People know us as one of the top galleries and they've seen the work of our artists before. We are playing in our own backyard, so when we organize events or when we participate to events in the city, we know our clients will come and that the press will be there too. I would say that Montreal is our base, and with such a solid base, we're able to reach out to new audiences in New York City, Miami and elsewhere.

How well does this artist sell?

Laurent Lamarche does very well in Canada. He has several solo and group exhibitions every year and will have his first solo exhibition in an institution in the fall. Lamarche is collected by some of Canada's most prestigious collections in Canada, including the Cirque du Soleil Collection, the Loto-Quebec Collection, The Quebec National Museum of Fine Arts, the city of Montreal. He also has a work in the collection of the Library of the University of California- Berkeley. He has won eight public art commissions (They are called "1%" in Canada - meaning that 1% of the budget of every new architectural project is dedicated to a public art project) in the last two years or so, I believe this is a record in Canada.

6. Cynthia Consentino "Tantrum" 2009 stoneware, oils, cold wax, brass, represented by Black & White Gallery / Project Space

Who are the customers of this artist? All the answers are provided by Tatyana Okshteyn, Founding Director of Black & White Gallery / Project Space

The collectors who bought Cynthia's works from me are primarily the ones who have been supporting the gallery program all along and some new ones They are middle age, well educated professionals, 80% Americans and 20% Europeans living in America. In general, every gallery is supported by collectors who share the taste of an art dealer. It takes years for the gallery to build clientele (like in any business). For an art dealer, the challenge is to be consistent in his/her curatorial choices in order to build the collectors' trust.

Has participating in this art fair done anything for your gallery and this specific artist?

My participation in this art fair like in any other fair has been very beneficial to the gallery and participating artists. In addition to sales and critical reviews, the works on view are seen by thousands of visitors. Another benefit is the instant feedback we get from the viewers. It's really important for me to get the feedback and gage the public's interest in the works on view. For the artists who choose to be present in the booth during the fair interaction with other artists and visitors is very important.

Do you think this kind of the art fairs are important for the artists and why yes/no?

Very important. Art fairs present a distribution channel that otherwise will be non-existent for a middle to small galleries. And these are the galleries who take risks with emerging and unknown artists. Blue chip galleries show blue chip artists and have enough resources to open galleries in multiple locations. Smaller galleries do not have resources to afford a distribution strategy like this. Art fairs present a much more affordable and effective distribution strategy for smaller galleries. While gallery attendance has been declining, art fair attendance is on the rise.

How did you come about discovering this artist and what attracted you to his works?

I am always looking. The work of Cynthia Consentino is multi-layered: conceptually, emotionally, creatively and impeccably executed. She uses very traditional medium to create contemporary scenarios.

Are you going to be in Miami for the Pulse this December as well? Yes

How different is the public (attendees / audience) in NYC from other locations where you exhibited/presented your works as well?

I see many of the same folks both in NY and Miami. Maybe more collectors from Latin America in Miami and more Europeans in NY.

7. Thomas Broadbent "Adaption" by Front Room Gallery.

Who are the customers of this artist? All the answers are provided by Kathleen Vance.

We have quite a range of collectors, I would say for the most part the works are going to mid-range collections: people that are purchasing the work for their personal enjoyment as well as an investment. Major corporate collections do acquire a certain percentage of the sales, and we have a nice marketability in the European market. Thomas' work is very popular in Belgium and Germany in particular.

Has participating in this art fair done anything for your gallery and this specific artist?

Yes there has been an increase of inquiries on his work and an increase in sales.

Do you think this kind of the art fairs are important for the artists and why yes/no?

Yes, it expands their exposure and recognition to a larger audience.

How did you come about discovering this artist and what attracted you to his works?

Thomas Broadbent is a local artist to the gallery, with his studio also in Williamsburg Brooklyn. We have been working with him for many years and his work shows a mastery of material use as well as a strong conceptual basis and philosophy.

Are you going to be in Miami for the Pulse this December as well?

Yes we are looking forward to participating in Miami this year.

How different is the public (attendees / audience) in NYC from other locations you've exhibited at?

Pulse seems to attract an audience that has a developed eye for contemporary art, that have a good core knowledge of the tenets of what defines contemporary art today.

And lastly, but not least, I really liked the interactive piece "Wishing pelt" by Sean Fader, which required the artist to be onsite as long as the exhibition was on, because he was, actually, part of the exhibit!

Here's what Sean told me about his piece and participating in the Pulse:

Sean: I would consider them more visitors than customers since they don’t pay to make a wish. Pulse was the third space I had appeared at and each time my visitors were a bit different. Pulse was a little different each day. Thursday was much heavier on the art world and sunday was much more families and couples. As far as who participated, really every kind of person that showed up as pulse made a wish.

I had the most amazing experience participating in Pulse and listening to 1500 wishes. Some of the moments I spent with total strangers were life changers for me. Some of the images I look at with so much joy. An amazing 99 year old man that wanted pics shirtless together, a family taking their portrait all wishing, and so many beautiful wishes. The space also gave me an opportunity to explore different elements in the piece I had not been able to explore in the past and It taught me about my practice as an artist and who I wanted to be in a commercial art market. As far as exposure and sales the fair was great as well. I mean you wrote me to ask me about the fair.

"I think fairs can be good and bad for artists. I remember a year where I went to Miami and I wasn’t in a good place with my own practice and the whole trip made me feel like I was a failure. I wasn’t making good work, I wasn’t showing, I wasn’t selling, but these are all the markers of corporate success not the marketers of artistic practice success. Now I see fairs as an opportunity to see lots of work which is amazing."

To see more of Sean's work, click here.

A few more art pieces drew my attention:

  1. Nearness by Arlés del Rio

    Times Square Arts and Cuban Artists Fund presented Arlés del Rio at this year’s PULSE NEW YORK Contemporary Art Fair with a PULSE POINTS booth. POINTS is curated by the fair’s Director and highlights the work of alternative spaces and not-for-profit organizations. Arlés was a 2014 PULSE Prize Nominee. Born in Havana, Cuba, del Rio has participated in many national and international exhibitions including The XI Havana Biennial, and his public installation "Fly Away" was part of the Behind the Wall Project (Detrás del Muro) also exhibited at The XI Havana Biennial and The 8th Floor Gallery in NYC. Recently, Arlés participated in group exhibitions such as "Premio Maretti" and "Stealing Base". He was nominated for the 2012-13 Vermont Studio Center Fellowship Award sponsored by the Reed Foundation. His work is part of private and institutional collections in several countries including the USA, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland and Greece.

  2. Being a huge fan and a designer of infographics myself, Loren Munk's infographics piece drew my attention. Represented by by Freight + Volume gallery.

  3. Shantell Martin by MoCADA gallery

  4. Jean-Francois Rauzier "Lower East Side, Veduta" 2013 C-print Mounted on Aluminum by Waterhouse & Dodd gallery.

  5. Dan Gluibizzi "Between Series" by Kopeikin Gallery.

Next stop for the Pulse Contemporary Art Fair 2014 - December 4-7, 2014 in Miami and as you can see from the artist's talk above, most of these galleries are planning to be there as well! And now you know a little bit more about these artists. Click here for more information.

Here's more of what you missed this year and in 2013. So, is it luring enough for you to want to check it out next year...

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