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Miami Art Week 2014: CONTEXT Art Miami and Aqua Art Miami Recap

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on December 9, 2014

Sister fairs to Art Miami (covered here), CONTEXT and Aqua are the upscale fair’s more youthful counterparts with their focus on emerging artists and low brow cult icons. The two smaller fairs took place during Miami Art Week, which ended this past Sunday, with CONTEXT in an exhibition tent in Midtown and Aqua at a retro hotel (with each room serving as a gallery booth) in Miami Beach.

At CONTEXT, we spotted a small, cross-shaped painting by Mark Ryden featuring one of his doll-like characters covering herself with an oversized steak. Part of the series that inspired Lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress, the painting irreverently riffs on Northern Renaissance religious painting, combining it with details that evoke the butcher stall scenes of genre paintings of the same period.

Another stand-out piece at CONTEXT, Peter Demetz’s life-size installation of gallery goers at an exhibition tricked the eye with its disorienting use of perspective. The floor, which was also part of the piece, was placed at a steep incline and the figures were flattened to create a convincingly realistic scene that could only be comprehended from a specific angle. If looked at from the side, the piece’s illusion dissipated.

At Aqua, William Baczek Gallery presented an elaborate monochromatic painting series by Travis Louie (HF Vol. 32 cover artist). Known for his painstaking acrylic and graphite work, Louie creates portraits of monsters that resemble 19th-century photographs. Antonio Colombo’s booth at Aqua featured many artists Hi-Fructose readers will recognize — influential street and tattoo artist Mike Giant, low brow painters the Clayton Brothers, and pulp sci-fi illustration aficionado Ryan Heshka.

Take a look at some highlights from CONTEXT and Aqua below.