Up on the mezzanine, Independent’s creative advisor Matthew Higgs was manning a White Columns booth covered in red dots. “The work has done extremely well,” he noted of drawings and paintings by young Greek-American painter Gerasimos Floratos (sold on the range of $1,000–$9,000) and nearly sold-out ceramics by Bruce M. Sherman (priced between $2,000–$5,000)—both artists self-taught. (Floratos was seen perusing the fair, among many artist sightings including
, and Sofia Coppola.)
“We loved being in the Dia building, which was almost like a holy place for art in New York City,” said Higgs. “But Spring Studios gives us an opportunity to just keep rethinking what Independent is and what Independent might be.” In many ways, the new space fulfills Higgs, Dee, and Flook’s original ambition for the fair. “The goal of Independent was always to create something that’s as close as possible to the experience of seeing work in a gallery,” said Higgs. Initially that meant a “move away from trade fair aesthetics,” making a clear break from the pack. Now well established, the fair has rolled back the need for non-traditional booth shapes and scrappy vibes. That has placed the focus fully on the small, curated presentations of unmatched quality that are truly the element of Independent that set it apart on the art fair landscape.