Across the way, another standout solo booth was drawing crowds—and opening wallets. Guatemala City’s Proyectos Ultravioleta, helmed by energetic cofounder Stefan Benchoam, was strung up with playful, candy-colored paintings by the Japanese, New York-based artist
. Featuring a taxonomy of neatly arranged objects—cords next to snakes, LEDs with lightning bugs—they also probe man’s relationship with the natural world. The booth’s standout piece, filled with naked figures bearing coconuts for heads and interacting comically with laptops and the leaning tower of Pisa, sold within moments of the fair’s opening for $10,000. The remainder of the eight or so works in the booth were spoken for not long after.
Farther into the fair, two other booths—hung with big, moth-to-a-flame figurative paintings—had all but sold out by mid-afternoon. After a bevy of sales, Tomorrow gallery’s cohort of Sojourner Truth Parsons’s canvases, priced between $6,000 and $8,000 each, were already being swapped out for fresh works. Not far off at London’s Edel Assanti, three of Dale Lewis’s massive pieces, each one 13 feet wide and selling for £8,000, had found buyers, despite their somewhat challenging subject matter: drug-addled, hard-drinking libertines and addicts falling out of their clothes and swilling mind-bending beverages. “It’s difficult material, but because he frames it in these art-historical tropes, like the reclining nude or religious dinner scenes, there’s a familiarity to them,” explained the gallery’s Jeremy Epstein, “and the humor diffuses a lot of the toughness of what’s going on.”