Morton Fine Art at Aqua Art Miami featured in the Washington City Paper

5 Dec

Arts Deskwashington city paper

A Look at the D.C. Galleries and Artists at Miami’s Aqua Art Fair

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While D.C. chills in the freezing rain, D.C. gallerists are sweating out Miami humidity in breezy, emptied hotel rooms at South Beach’s Aqua Art fair, one of several fairs operating alongside Art Basel this weekend.

Amy Morton of Morton Fine Art has been showing at Aqua for three years, and brought a collection of paintings, photos, drawings, and collages from a slew of living contemporary artists, including three from D.C. The gallery scored one of the largest (and coolest, temperature-wise) rooms at the fair. The Miami art fairs put D.C. on the global art radar, Morton says. “D.C., we’re really making our stamp down here,” she says, and since Morton made its Aqua debut, “I’m seeing more of a D.C. presence overall.”

At Morton’s booth, the work of local artist Stephon Senegal—who does most of his work in bronze and steel—was represented in large-format portrait photos of children. Senegal has an undergraduate degree from Howard University and a master’s from the Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art. Morton also showed oil paintings from Nigerian-born D.C. artist Victor Ekpuk(top) and mixed-media collages by GA Gardner, who worked in D.C. for many years and now lives in Trinidad (below).

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A few doors down, Farmville, Va.’s J. Fergeson Gallery sold one of several $1,400 model trains painted by D.C. graffiti artist Tim Conlon (below) and is exhibiting a few of his spray-painted canvases, too. Fergeson has brought Conlon’s work to Miami for a few years now, but always as part of a collection of several artists. This year, Fergeson’s showing Conlon on his own. “His trains have always been popular, but it’s never worked out that I’ve had a good venue to show his paintings before,” says gallery founder Jarrod Fergeson. Conlon’s working on a street-art piece on a wall in Miami’s Wynwood Art District this week.FullSizeRender_2

Hamiltonian Gallery, also at Aqua, is showing the work of several of its fellows and alumni. Joshua Haycraft‘s tiny sculptures (below) are cataloged as elements of an alternate universe called BHBITB. Though the pieces are all handmade, Haycraft made painstaking efforts to craft them in precise, geometric forms that look like they could have come from a 3-D printer.

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Also in Hamiltonian’s room at Aqua is one of Sarah Knoebel‘s “Cycles” videos of a frozen ball of detritus—a head of lettuce, fake hair, feathers—melting in a cloudy tank of water. The gallery’s already sold “Rock My World,” one ofAnnette Isham and Zac Willis‘ $500 collages depicting Michael Jackson and Elvis as religious idols (below), riding googly-eyed unicorns and ruling over Lisa Frank cat stickers. Art collectors who are scared of the dark, take note: One of the Elvis pieces still on view (bottom) gave the Hamiltonian reps a shock as they closed up shop last night. When they turned out the lights, they noticed for the first time that it glows in the dark.

Follow #washingtonmiamipaper on Twitter and Instagram for more updates on D.C. artists and galleries from the Miami art fairs this weekend.

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