Urban Contemporary Inside the Fair // BSA X ART BASEL Miami ’16 / Dispatch 6

Art Basel in Miami is part of an annual three city fair that includes Hong Kong and it’s namesake Basel in Switzerland. This years fair in Miami hosts 269 galleries and your brain will be fried after the first 150, in an excellent way.

Okuda at Retrospect Galleries. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An art fair is not really a rarefied environment but many patrons walk with that air, presumably because they find it to be a flattering look, but most people are just excited to discover new ideas and techniques for channeling the creative spirit in a multitude of ways.

Far from the action of the actual graffiti and Street Art scene in long rows of white wall cubicles that average the price of a new car to rent for four days, SCOPE nonetheless has a healthy number of Street Artists represented with studio pieces that rock as hard as any killer piece under a bridge.

Felipe Pantone at Mirus Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Inside this environment we’re probably calling the category Urban Contemporary and it’s always interesting to see how the street practice translates to a frame on a wall – and who can do it successfully. Maybe it shouldn’t, but it’s always surprising to see how many other derivative, hackneyed, or underwhelming works are proudly on display – by artists whose main connection to actual street culture is tenuous at best.

But imitators and replicators have existed in every genre of the plastic arts for as long as anyone reading this has been alive, so it shouldn’t be a shock when you have seen 5 Banksy-esque canvasses even before you stop at the commissary for your $14 pressed vegetable panini.

Hueman at Mirus Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For the actual fans and collectors of actual graffiti and Street Artists, it may be irksome to see the common tropes of colorful paint drips and ironic pop images mutated and slapped with cleverness – especially in view of the fact that there is a fleet of new kids outside in our cities and streets today whose work is regularly amazing.

Since many of the current generation of Street Artists have had a little or a lot of formal training as artists, the quality of work in the good spots is very high and we were happy to find many excellent pieces throughout the fair by folks whose name you may recognize. Here is a sampling of pieces we found during an audit of this year’s SCOPE just so you have an idea of the offerings.

Cinta Vidal at Thinkspace Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cyrcle at Station 16 Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Clet Abraham at Graffik Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dotmasters at Graffik Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stik at Graffik Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2501 and Cryptik at Innerstate Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho at Innerstate Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon at Chandran Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Logan Hicks and Joe Iurato at Station 16 Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C215 at Next Street Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kurar at Next Street Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Denis McNett at Paradigm Gallery. Scope / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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This article is the result of a partnership with BSA and Urban Nation (UN).

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