Category: Visual Artist

An Art Basel Update

IMG_2005An Art Basel Update – Simply Exceptional

So, Art Basel is in full swing here in Miami and Miami Beach and I have to say, it does not disappoint. I had the privilege of visiting the main Midtown exhibits:  art-miami, Context, the Miami Project and Spectrum yesterday and today.  It’s easy to see what the competition must have been like for the exhibiting galleries as the quality of the pieces is museum grade.  One of my favorite unifying themes was how contemporary artists have incorporated video into their work.  Video shots of people or animals merge with the physical media of the piece, allowing the artist to use motion and perspective in incredible ways.  The use of different perspectives, making the small larger the large small, depending on how it’s viewed, takes on a totally new dimension when you incorporate, for example, a video loop of a woman swimming in a “pool” the size of the painting, or a virtual hummingbird perched on a tangible nest under glass.

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These virtual beings even interact with each other, acting out responses to moving pieces on the wall.  It simply brought a smile to my face.  In my very amateurish opinion art-miami and its next door neighbor, Context, are the cream of the crop.  The structures are exceptional:  beautifully lit, spacious environments that allow plenty of room to move around, speak to the gallery owners and representatives, and simply get up close and personal with the work.  There are many places to eat, cocktail and mingle interspersed among the different exhibits in addition to the Midtown restaurants and bars turned sidewalk cafés, and the people are as much a part of the landscape as the art itself.  More than anything else I feel blessed to be in this environment and to be able to experience the best of other people’s ideas and hard work on such a grand and colorful scale.  This weekend:  the Miami Beach convention center and the world that surrounds it.

Art Basel Special Series: What’s On Those Billboards?

Billboards Around Miami: PULSE Miami, Red Dot Miami, and Miami Project

Art Basel Billboards
No, not this billboard.

Going around Miami lately, I’ve noticed many billboards promoting three art fairs during Art Basel time: PULSE Miami, Red Dot Miami, and the Miami Project. I decided to find out what they’re all about, and here’s the details.


PULSE Miami boasts that it’s the leading U.S. art fair dedicated exclusively to contemporary art. The 9th edition of this event, held annually in Miami and New York, is split into two sections: PULSE and IMPULSE (hey, that’s pulse with an -im!). The IMPULSE section features galleries hand picked by a committee of prominent international art dealers. These galleries put on a solo exhibition of an artist’s work created within the past two years. The PULSE section has dozens of galleries from across the globe displaying the work of established and pioneering artists. The PULSE section also has original programming that includes large-scale installations, a video lounge, and performance pieces. PULSE encourages visitor to participate and interact with the exhibits.

PULSE Miami is open Dec. 5-8 and located at the Ice Palace, 1400 N. Miami Ave., in the Media Entertainment District. PULSE will offer shuttle service between Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Miami, and the Ice Palace Studios. For more details, visit the PULSE website here.

Red Dot Miami

The Red Dot Art Fair is another established event situated in a plum location next to Art Miami. 60 galleries will converge to exhibit an eclectic assortment of photography, painting, sculpture, and other fine art works. Onlookers can see pieces from emerging through established artists, all under the shaded luxury of a 50,000 square ft. tent. Red Dot Miami will also support a community project: Million Trees Miami. The opening reception benefits this campaign to plant a million trees by 2020 to reach 30% tree canopy for Miami-Dade county.

Red Dot Miami is open Dec. 3-8 and located in Midtown Miami, 3011 NE 1st Ave. at NE 31st St., Wynwood Art District. For more details, visit the Red Dot website here.

Miami Project

The Miami Project is another Wynwood art fair, but it’s just in its 2nd year.. This one places emphasis on displaying high quality works in a visitor friendly environment. Works are located under a tent with airy cathedral ceilings, spacious aisles, and upscale lounges. The Miami Projects will line up historic avant garde pieces next to those of ambitious youthful artists. This allows visitors the unique experience of comparing and contrasting the development of contemporary art.

Miami Project is open Dec. 3-8 and located in Midtown Miami,located at NE 29th St. and NE 1st Ave., Wynwood Art District. For more details, visit the Miami Project website here.

Ari Good, JD LLM, a tax, aviation and entertainment lawyer, is the shareholder of Good Attorneys at Law, P.A. He graduated from the DePaul University College of Law in 1997 and obtained his L.L.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida.

Contact us toll free at (877) 771-1131 or by email to

Art Basel Special Series: 7 Featured Destinations to Visit

7 Places to Visit in Lieu of the Cancelled SEVEN Miami Art Fair

Organizers of one of the jewels of Art Basel’s satellite art fairs, SEVEN Miami, have cancelled the event. The rising influence (and cost) of Miami’s Wynwood art district caused the organizers to disband SEVEN after issues with city permitting. SEVEN plans on coming back next year, but it’s certainly disappointing that the provocative exhibit will be MIA in 2013.

As they say, though, the show must go on. I’ve curated 7 other highlights of Art Basel in honor of SEVEN Miami’s ill-fated demise:

The Art Basel 7 List:

  1. Art Basel: MTO - Road Trip
    Art Basel in Miami will be worth a Road Trip

    MTO: “Road Trip” – Street artist MTO created this hyper real mural in anticipation of Art Basel. It’s located in Wynwood Art District of Miami, NW 24 St. and NW 2nd Ave. Check out his Facebook page for more of his work.

  2. FAILE BAST: “Deluxx Fluxx Arcade” – Three Brooklyn artists are bringing their interactive arcade to Miami. People can play pinball, Foosball, and video games on their custom made pieces of art. It’s located in a vacant retail space on the corner of 16th St. and Washington Ave.
  3. Marina Abramovic: “A Portrait of Marina Abramovic” – The self-proclaimed “godmother of performance art” will debut her latest 3D short film this December during Art Basel. One of Lady Gaga’s new pals, Abramovic will appear (tastefully) nude in her film and features Serbia’s Svetlana Spajic performing an ancient Greek song for the soundtrack. Bring a handkerchief if Abramovic’s past performances prove prophetic. It’s located at the Jewel Box, YoungArts Campus, 2100 Biscayne Blvd.
  4. Banksy: “Red Hook Balloon” – Privateer (pirate) art collector Stephen Keszler is bringing one of Banksy’s works from his Brooklyn art binge this October. Keszler is making the displaced image of a red balloon with band-aids available for sale during Miami’s art gala for a price tag of $400,000. Those without that sort of loose change can likely see the piece at Art Miami.
  5. Colette of Paris/Alchemist: “Drive-Thru” – Colette in Paris is a world renown clothing boutique noted for it’s fashion forward daring. Alchemist is it’s American (Miami) contemporary. The two will team up to offer a “to go” experience via a drive-thru in a parking garage. Shoppers can order artistically influenced from an eclectic menu. Sunglasses are also available. The drive-in is located at 1111 Lincoln Rd. on the 5th floor of the parking garage.
  6. Art Basel Mana Wynwood Concert Series -EM band Darkside will headline the three night concert series. Their performance will feature their debut album, Psychic, for the first time. More music shows (unannounced) each night will follow the opening act and art focused programming will feature during the night. The music is located at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd Ave. Tickets for the Darkside show will be $32.
  7. Accion Cultural Espanola: “Tapas: Spanish Design for Food” – The gastronomic influenced art exhibit will present a fusion of Spanish design and food. Miami will be the first U.S. stop on this travelling tour and was intentionally selected to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s arrival in Florida. Dinner time is located at the Moore Building in Miami’s Design District, 3841 NE 2nd Ave.

Realistically, this list could 700 and not 7.  There’s just so much to see and do

Ari Good, JD LLM, a tax, aviation and entertainment lawyer, is the shareholder of Good Attorneys at Law, P.A. He graduated from the DePaul University College of Law in 1997 and obtained his L.L.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida.

Contact us toll free at (877) 771-1131 or by email to

Image by StreetArtNews

I’m curious to hear ideas from others about other hidden gems at this year’s Art Basel and satellite art fairs.

Special Series: 5 Pointz to Art Basel

A Federal Judge Has Ruled That The 5 Pointz “Graffiti Mecca” Must Come Down

In a blow to an emerging art form, Judge Frederic Block will rule that property owners can tear down the “5 Pointz.”  Artists had banded together to prevent the demolition, but Block decided that they lacked any right to stop the bulldozers. The area will soon be razed to create room for luxury, high rise apartments.

5 Pointz: From an Abandoned Building to International Art Scene.

5 Pointz graffiti art
5 Pointz: A morality tale?

For the past two decades, owners Jerry and David Wolkoff have let graffiti artists from around the world use their 200,000 square foot factory building in Long Island as a canvas. The 5 Pointz name for the five-story, block long industrial complex represents the coming together of New York’s five boroughs. The space, however, has outgrown these local roots and evolved into a haven for a burgeoning, international art community. Hip hop, pop and R&B stars, including Doug E. Fresh, Mobb Deep, DJ-JS1, Joan Jett, and Joss Stone, have come to admire its beauty.

More than just a space for artists to ply their trade, musicians, DJ’s, emcees and brake dancers regularly perform at the site. It’s become a flash point for hip hop culture. Filmmakers and photographers document the art works, and tour buses come to soak in the vibrant displays. A volunteer, Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, has even created a 5 Pointz museum.

Competing Claims of Value

The beginning of the end for 5 Pointz started when a stairwell collapsed in 2009 and caused serious injuries to an artist. City officials investigated and cited the Wolkoffs for code violations, after which they decided to explore options for selling the property. Artists tried negotiating without success to purchase the property, but the Wolkoffs moved ahead with demolition plans. Artists fought back with a lawsuit under the little known Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA).

VARA endows creators with certain “moral” rights to their works.  Moral rights stay with the artist and allow the artists some control over the uses to which their work is put.  Say for example an artist sells a photograph, including the rights to use, sell or reproduce the photograph. The buyer, however, decides to use the photograph in a controversial exhibition insulting religious beliefs.  A country that recognizes true moral rights might give the photographer some recourse against the buyer, even though he sold the economic (i.e. copyright) rights to that buyer.

Some European countries (and Canada) recognize moral rights in much the same manner as they recognize an artist’s economic (copyright) interest in his work.  This is narrower in the U.S., however, which treats moral rights as a separate interest and not part of the traditional rights and remedies under copyright law.  VARA endows creators with the following rights, but only for a narrow class of visual art:

  • The right to claim authorship for their creations (“hey, I did this”)
  • The right to prevent others from attaching the author’s name to works he/she didn’t create (“but I didn’t do that”)
  • The right to prevent others from attaching the author’s name to works that others have alerted or mutilated if that would damage the author’s honor or reputation (“I didn’t do that, and I certainly wouldn’t”)
  • The right to prevent alteration or mutilation to an author’s work that would damage his/her honor reputation (“you can’t make spaghetti of my art”)

If you own the right to protect your work’s “morality,” its dignity or author’s reputation, it’s possible to prevent the destruction of works even when others physically own or have the copyright to it. This is the argument the 5 Pointz artists presented Judge Block. They sought to prove the inherent value of the 5 Pointz art to the community.  Art expert Daniel Simmons examined work by graffiti artist Lady Pink and an awe-inspiring mural of a sleeping woman with headscarf by Chilean artists Dasic Fernandez. In the end, Judge Block recognized “street art” as such, citing Banksy as notable example, but ultimately concluded that VARA protection did not extend to “aerosol works.”

“I’m getting the sense that the traditional academic way of looking at things needs to be updated,” Block said.

From 5 Pointz to Art Basel’s Pubic Art Displays

The 5 Pointz story is fascinating, and it got me thinking about how street art compares with the works that will be on display this year at Art Basel Miami.  The essence of the art is that it shares a space with others who interact with it.  Part of a mural’s beauty is in one’s ability to enjoy it just by walking by.  No gallery, no appointment, no price or admission, just a form of communication between artists and art lover.  Sometimes, however, the canvas – a building in many cases – belongs to others.  It will be interesting to see how courts strike a balance between private property rights and the interests of the public in this type of art form, and whether the U.S. moves towards broader recognition of “moral” rights in art.

Ari Good, JD LLM, a tax, aviation and entertainment lawyer, is the shareholder of Good Attorneys at Law, P.A. He graduated from the DePaul University College of Law in 1997 and obtained his L.L.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida.

Contact us toll free at (877) 771-1131 or by email to

Image by Forsaken Fotos

And you?  What do you think?  Should the building owner in 5 Pointz be able to raze the building without any recognition of what it became?  Did the artists assume that risk?  I would value your opinion.