Mark Moore Gallery proudly presents the inaugural Art Culver City, Los Angeles, an independent counterpoint to Art Basel Miami Beach's thirteenth annual fair in South Beach, Miami. While the glitterati infiltrate the booths of 267 international galleries at the Miami Beach Convention Center - not to mention the nearly twenty-four satellite fairs occurring the same week – Mark Moore Gallery welcomes art patrons to participate in its own variation of an art fair that offers a unique and exclusive focus:
In the past decade, art fairs have grown from intimate summits for industry peers into sensationalist bedlam. In 2014 alone, more than 90,000 people visited the main fair. Harper's Bazaar ran a feature highlighting just 82 "select" parties that would take place during the week, and toy manufacturer Mattel had their signature Barbie doll "Instagram" her experiences from the fairs. VanDutch sponsored logo-emblazoned yachts to shuttle partygoers across Biscayne Bay to the private estate of Russain collector, Maria Baibakova (an event that was covered by Vogue). Without devolving into the antics of Miley Cyrus, Kimye, and Jeff Koons that week – the belief that this affair had anything to do with art seemed farcical. When asked about the "traffic-clogged backdrop" of the city during ABMB Week, Collector Beth Rudin DeWoody told the New York Times “There are some people who come just for the parties, and the hell with the art.” Every fair's press release reported "record sales and attendance" (as they do every year), but several reports indicated losses for most participating galleries, which contributed to the closures of dozens of midsize galleries and an overall industry loss of 30% in revenues. Many industry experts are starting to question the fair model (in which participating costs can run $35,000-$80,000 for a single event), including the controversial Magnus Resch. His survey of 8,000 gallerists was published in his 2015 "Management of Art Galleries" book, from which data was paraphrased by Bloomberg Business: "It turns out that the upbeat world of biennials and art fairs and parties is in fact a cutthroat, antiquated, deeply flawed industry hampered by an obsession with keeping up appearances and an often misguided aversion to making money."
More importantly, the subject at the core of the debate appears to suffer the most: the art. A jury of six selection committee members has increasingly dictated the art market for nearly a decade, and many artists feel immense pressure to produce "art fair art" in order to be considered for a coveted spot in the booth. Yet, what can be digested and truly appreciated in a matter of several minutes in between a collector's aggressive "fair schedule" does not often lend itself to a thoughtful experience. Says critic Jerry Saltz, "When money and hype recede from the art world, one thing I won't miss will be what curator Francesco Bonami calls the 'Eventocracy.' All this flashy 'art-fair art' and those highly produced space-eating spectacles and installations wow you for a minute until you move on to the next adrenaline event."
Mark Moore Gallery invites you do to the opposite. Come and stay for awhile; if nothing else, for the art.