Wynwood Gallery Night
Flame / Jesús Rojas
Have Miami art galleries become flea markets?
With cultural globalization as it is today, certain concepts end up as the last word in art. As Robert Hughes said in his sharply critical book "The Culture of the Complaint," a good speech in the United States is worth more than good technique in an artist's work. We see this phenomenon at work everyday in our country as discarded objects, waste accumulation and unpredictable stuff are offered up as art. Galleries seem to be exhibiting more literature than actual quality art as we find more explanations labeling the artwork than ever before with curators offering longer and longer speeches explaining what is being expressed by the art piece itself. There is a proliferation of images from television, films, comics, computers, cell phones and other technological gadgets that inform a very contemporary, albeit seductive, visual falsehood, images that have literally invaded the art market culture.
Miami has become one more farcical global platform of provincial art cataloguing. Galleries are subdivided, resold, moved on in a continuous and desperate attempt to sell its products regardless of quality. As a show of wonders, they regrouped in neighborhoods with fair banners, lights, fast food, and entertainment of all types, morphing into a boisterous fair of vanities, offering products with no artistic value. The current hyper-culture imposed its logic of the spectacle, according to Lipovetsky. Here in “the Sunshine City” it becomes cheap burlesque. It is even more dramatic with the onslaught of annual fairs like Art Basel Miami Beach that contribute to the dismay of local art merchants. The proliferation of spaces now transformed into pseudo art galleries filled with merchandise of all kinds transforms our city into one huge flea market!