Aqua Art Miami in Miami Beach, FL

Aqua Art Miami, takes place in a classic South Beach Miami two story motel. The furniture is all removed and each gallery takes over a room. I look forward to going every year but was disappointed this year as some of my favorite galleries from years past were not there, and the work in general wasn’t very appealing to me. Aqua features 47 exhibitions and, in 2018 had 16,000 visitors. This is the 15th year of Aqua. Jaq Chartier, and her husband, established and managed this show from 2005- 2012 to give innovative galleries and artists from the West Coast a presence during Art Basel week. I sure wish I could have seen it during those years.

Charabati Bizzarri, 7 TRAPOS, ceramic
70” x 51 in

Detailed view of one of the pieces. This was the last room I visited and it saved the show for me. Raquel Charabati and Monica Bizzarri are a two woman team from Mexico City, who work on their pieces together. The clay pieces are cast from clay they make themselves (similar to porcelain), and someone is really good at knotting. The room was full of their friends and they were pouring tequila for guests. I absolutely loved the whole scene, and their work.

John Guthrie, Alternative Facts, 2017-2018
Oil on paper, 13” x 9 in.

As I was beginning to feel sad about the Aqua show I was so happy to see that Elizabeth Clement Contemporary was back this year. My brother and his wife bought one of the pieces last year from the series shown above, and it was nice to visit again with the gallery owner.

Seunghwui Koo, People White, 2019
Porcelain, wood
30 x 30 cm
People Blue, 2019

This was a case of me appreciating the labor involved in art. The gallery owner told me that the artist wakes up every day and hand forms mini pigs for hours on end. The artist finds it therapeutic. She uses colored clay, or leaves it raw, and then after firing adheres them to a wood board. If you like pigs, this is for you.

Andy Beauchamp, Beer Pong
Oil on canvas
48” x 48”

I know some young people who might appreciate this in their living situation.

In the general area of the motel, there are several bars and seating areas. The galleries (motel rooms) surround this area. The fountain is full of colorful items but I particularly liked the use of Barbies, netting and lighting in between all the trees.

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