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Art Miami opens art week with $4 million sale in first hour
Mr Brainwash, Jason Newsted, Nick Korniloff. Photo: Dylan Rives. Getty Images for Art Miami.

MIAMI, FLA.- Miami’s longest running contemporary art fair, Art Miami, kicked-off art week by celebrating the debut of its 28th edition alongside sister fair CONTEXT Art Miami with its strongest VIP Preview to date at their brand-new waterfront location on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017.

Art Miami is renowned as one of the nation’s leading international contemporary and modern art fairs, and had crowds circling the block throughout the entirety of the preview to see works from more than 240 international galleries and 961 artists from 48 different countries and 126 cities.

Art Miami LLC Executive Vice President and Director Nick Korniloff and his wife Pamela Cohen led a ceremonial ribbon cutting alongside city dignitaries including Commissioner Ken Russell, City of Miami, Deputy Police Chief Ronald Papier, City of Miami, and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Namath, Franklin Sirmans, Director of Pérez Art Museum Miami, and Patricia "Missy" Lawrence, President of Resorts World Bimini, to open the fair in its new location.

More than 15,000 of the most established collectors, curators, museum professionals, and art world luminaries attended the first fair to open during Art Week to view and acquire Blue Chip and contemporary artists’ works, contributing to a frenzy of sales made within the first hour, most notably Sigmar Polke’s 2005 L‘oiseau bleu which was placed by Galerie Terminus for approximately $4-million. In addition, NIKOLA RUKAJ GALLERY placed two Alex Katz pieces, both titled Black Dress (Portfolio of Nine), for $125,000 each from a series that releases in 2018. One was sold prior to the fair opening, and another 30-minutes into the opening, while 55Bellechasse placed two pieces by rock ‘n’ roll icon Jason Newsted, formerly of Metallica, of which half of all sales will be donated to the Perry J. Cohen Foundation, and several other important works were placed on hold.

The VIP previews for both Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami were sponsored by Christie’s International Real Estate and benefitted the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), marking the sixth consecutive year that PAMM has been the fair’s exclusive VIP Preview benefactor. Art Miami LLC has already donated more than $150,000 to further the museum’s collection and mission, and the partnership remains an integral part of Art Miami’s larger commitment to the city of Miami.

VIP Preview attendees included; Jorge and Darlene Perez, Amar'e Stoudemire, Frank Ocean, Kara Ross of UNLEASHED, private art advisors Kim Heirston, Lisa Schiff, and Kathryn Mikesell, Marvin Ross Friedman and Adrienne Bon Haes, Michael and Carolynn Friedman, Jeffrey and Debra Wechsler, Mr. Brainwash, Jason Newsted formerly of Metallica, Former NFL player Robert Bailey who helped win two national championships, and the artist Al Diaz and Danny Minnick.

Tito’s offered specialty cocktails to VIP guests during the Preview and will continue to serve these throughout the fair days and LaCroix is the official sparkling water partner sponsor of Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami.

CONTEXT Art Miami also saw impressive attendance at the opening of its sixth edition with collectors, connoisseurs and artists perusing over 100 galleries featuring 472 artists. Highlights from the first day’s sales at CONTEXT Art Miami notably included Adelson Galleries placing of "Innocent" (Polar Bear) by Federico Uribe from 2017 for $180,000 in the first hour of the fair, as well as Markowicz Fine Art placing three high value pieces by Kai in the first 20-minutes including Love Vs Money Study in Pink from 2017 for $57,000, The Cage from 2017 for $50,000 and Knowledge Is Power II from 2017 for $35,000.

Extremely sought after offerings at the fairs included works by David Hockney, Joseph Albers, Alexander Calder, Yayoi Kusama, Cy Twombly, Jean Michel Basquiat, Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, John Chamberlain, Damien Hirst, Marc Chagall, Donald Judd, Ed Ruscha, Donald Sultan, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper, Keith Haring, Frank Stella, Richard Serra, Anish Kapoor, Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Joan Miró, Grayson Perry and Gavin Turk.

Special projects at this year’s fair that are available to view throughout the week include:

· Christie’s International Real Estate, together with its international affiliates, is hosting a booth at the main entrance of the fair, featuring luxury residential property offerings from around the world.

· Deep See Project Curated by Carol Damian is leveraging the power of art as a means of communication to heighten awareness about climate change, marine safety and conservation, and sea level rise. The installation serves as a platform for artists and organizations dedicated to the sea. Sponsored by the MIART Foundation, three prominent environmentally engaged artists, Tina Spiro, Edouard Duval-Carrie and Jacek Kolasinksi, who all have deep ties to Miami, have joined forces to address the awesome power and fragility of the sea, the origin and necessity of life on earth.

· 55Bellechasse is presenting work by rock ‘n’ roll icon Jason Newsted, formerly of Metallica in the exhibition. RAWK is the Grammy Award winning bassist’s second artistic show following his debut at Art New York. Half of all sales will be donated to the Perry J. Cohen Foundation; an organization devoted to the advancement of the arts, environmental, marine and wildlife education and preservation, teenage entrepreneurship, and boating safety education.

· UNLEASHED is an interactive booth at Art Miami that focuses on job creation platforms for talented female craft artisans in marginalized areas around the world. The booth shines a spotlight on their talents through media attention in an original content series “CONNECTING THREAD”. Founded by jewelry designer Kara Ross, UNLEASHED and “CONNECTING THREAD” bring awareness to their skills and creates jobs, in turn breaking the poverty cycle. Craft communities and artisans make up 3.5% of the global GDP. This is BIG BUSINESS done on a small scale throughout some of the most impoverished and underserved parts of the world.

· JW Marriott Marquis Miami and Hotel Beaux Arts Miami, the Official Luxury Hotel partner of Art Miami are hosting a special exhibition in conjunction with the fair of emerging and mid-career international talents on display in the hotel lobby.

· Young at Art Mini-Museum - A multisensory interactive art installation for fairgoers’ children aged three to 13-years old. Those enrolled in the program will enjoy a unique opportunity to experience innovative workshops, performances and interactive artworks all led by cutting edge contemporary artists.

· LiLY NOCHES – The paintings of Columbian artist Douglas Mendoza serve as a stunning backdrop for the launch of the highly-anticipated fashion brand - LiLY NOCHES COLLECTION; whose premier Spring/Summer 2018 line showcases trims based on his modern abstract paintings. This unique booth is a must-visit with fifty percent of Mendoza’s painting sales and fifty percent of LiLY NOCHES pre-orders being donated to the fashion brand’s co-founder, Marc Buoniconti’s non-profit organization, The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.

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