Fast-growing emerging contemporary art fair, Superfine!, is expanding out west with an iteration next February in Los Angeles. While the fair has grown exponentially over the last three years, from an annual Miami based event during Art Basel to art fairs in New York City and D.C., the current expansion has been largely focused on the East Coast.
However, given the changing landscape of the art market in the US and the fast-developing contemporary art community and growing creative class in Los Angeles, the LA market is ripe for an art fair that connects up-and-coming contemporary artists to an audience of art lovers and collectors.
Renowned LA based contemporary street artist, graphic designer, activist, and illustrator Shepard Fairey, whose work is in collections around the world at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the MoMA, The Smithsonian, National Portrait Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, echoes the viability of LA’s contemporary art market.
“L.A.’s art scene is really unique because it’s a hub where both highbrow institutions and subculture arts communities have an equal platform, which creates a really exciting market for emerging artists and new collectors alike. I live and create my work here for those reasons, I also have my gallery Subliminal Projects in Echo Park where the driving principle is that art should be accessible to everyone and that art can come from many different perspectives and cultural niches. While more art fairs make their way to the west coast, it’s refreshing to welcome Superfine! to the mix to create opportunities for emerging artists and collectors and make art fairs more approachable.” – Shepard Fairey.
Making art “approachable” has been one of the driving forces of Superfine! from the beginning.
“We started Superfine! because we saw a gap in the industry that wasn’t being filled by traditional art fairs and the larger art market. We’ve seen every other industry under the sun be disrupted over the last ten years, but the art market has stayed largely stagnant. Our model focuses on serving the underserved art market – the 99% of collectors who are interested in buying and collecting art, but see the traditional art market’s lack of transparency and exclusivity as a barrier to purchasing. We want to democratize the art market.” – Alex Mitow, co-founder and director of Superfine!.
Superfine! offers an egalitarian approach to both exhibitors and collectors, with opportunities for emerging artists to represent and sell their work via its Emerge program. The fair’s Elevate program consists primarily of past Superfine! exhibiting artists hailing from each of the fair’s key markets along with globally represented artists from Japan, France, Canada, and Australia.
The fair’s program is built around the ethos of creating a transparent and ethical atmosphere that encourages collecting art, while maintaining a curated standpoint that favors fresh and exciting work by living, emerging artists.
Pricing is clear and transparent, and favors young professionals with 70% of works in the fair priced under $5,000 and nearly a quarter priced in the $100-$1000 range.
Additionally, in-fair events like the Young Collectors Ice Cream + Cocktail Social and Midnight Vernissage provide a bridge for art-curious young professionals to learn about contemporary art and become full-fledged collectors.
Photo (above) by James Miille: Superfine! NYC 2018 Twilight Vernissage Video stills