Miami: Then & Now
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But Basel’s attention not only put Miami on the international art-world circuit; it also finally focused a mass of hometown minds on this burg’s homegrown artists. “There are people in this town who only understand money,” Miami sculptor Mark Handforth told Ocean Drive last December. “So if you want the city government to take art and culture seriously, there’s nothing like 200 private jets at the airport to wake them up.”
And how. As of 2010, the Rubells’ private museum has been joined by similar endeavors from übercollectors like Ella Fontanals Cisneros, Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz and Marty Margulies— many of whom have exhibition spaces that dwarf in size those of both the Miami Art Museum and North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Not to be outdone, those two public institutions are in the midst of dramatic expansions, and the Beach’s Bass Museum of Art has meanwhile reinvented itself as yet another showcase for the avant-garde. Not least, the Dorsch Gallery now has dozens of new art-dealing neighbors, from local stalwart Fredric Snitzer to newcomer Nina Johnson’s Gallery Diet. Even the late Duane Hanson is back in town, all prior opprobrium forgotten, his work on prominent display at the University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum and, of course, selling for six figures at last year’s Art Basel fair.
photographs by seth browarnik (miami) manny hernandez (miami, mendes); seth browarnik/red eye production (jackson); Dacra (moore building)