Art Basel returned to Miami Beach to collectors and art lovers ready to put isolation behind them. Parties, discussions, and space after space of Black figuration showed that the art world acknowledged that Black representation is important to the art market. While most people were exhausted from the fun and days of looking at images by artists from Kenya to Toronto, from Nassau to London, you can’t help but fall in love with new works by some of today’s most exciting visual artists. This year, the fairs that opened for Miami Art Week represented many Black-owned galleries. Art Basel alone had 8 galleries owned by Black women, which has never been seen in the 19 years that Art Basel has been in Miami Beach. We asked four artists to name their favorite work to close out the week. Do you agree with their choices? Tag us on @sugarcanemagazine on Instagram to share your favorites.
Todd Gray | Sumptuous Memories of Plundering Kings
I loved the scale and content referencing Ghana. Craftsmanship and form were also interesting.
Seen at Meridians Art Basel Miami Beach.
Among my favorites of this year’s Miami Art Week is actually a group of mixed media works on rag board by Evita Tezeno titled Daughters of the Crown, presented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
While much of what was presented across Miami during the fairs this year represent ideas unrelated to the current pandemic, these works created by Tezeno directly engaged and did so with beauty, sensitivity, and play.
The artist is Cydne Jasmin Coleby | Strong Genes
at Untitled Art Fair, Galerie Julien Cadet.
I love how this piece explores a complex family history critically and brings some levity into the work. There is a distinct Bahamianess to it — the staging of this photograph, the colour palette, the body language, etc. It documents a unique part of this culture that I haven’t quite seen done in this way before.
What I liked the most was when I went to Untitled Art Fair and saw both from Jacksonville, FL, where I’m based. The reason is that compared to other places, we are behind in the arts. So it was very inspirational to see artists and friends from where I’m from at a major art fair during one of the most significant art events in the world. The other really inspiring thing is that one of the artists in this booth is my friend and, I think, the only Black arts professor in Jacksonville, Dustin Harewood.
So seeing him there let me know that I could make it to that level one day.