Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary: It’s Easy, It’s Here, It’s Ours

(Photo by Marie Speed)

“Art is a harmony parallel with nature.”— Paul Cezanne

I happily attended the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Art Fair again this year, in what is becoming an annual tradition for a group of us. I don’t believe I am as equipped to speak to the visual arts as the experts are, but I love how this show is accessible, bright, unintimidating.

First of all, it is just small enough to be manageable, and large enough to be full of fresh surprises. A tiny room with Picassos and Chagalls, a massive Rafa Macarron painting you would throw out all your furniture for if it could be in your living room. Andy Warhol, Stephen Scott Singer, Mia and Sinatra by Harry Benson, haunting shots of Cuban rafters by Ernesto J. Fernandez. There were neon messages, creepy Martin C. Herbst spheres with very large eyes, a massive hippo wearing a tutu by Bjorn Skaarup.

Works by Martin C. Herbst (Photo by Marie Speed)

Gallery after gallery there were fresh images and inventive installations, famous icons like Rauschenberg rubbing elbows with emerging artists. The show is fittingly held in a pop-up tent at Dixie and Okeechobee in downtown West Palm, and it is presented by Art Miami and hosted by the City of West Palm Beach. This is an opportunity for collectors to buy serious investment-quality work, as well as for enthusiasts to drink it all in. Galleries come from all over the world, including Japan, the UK, France, Germany, Portugal, Venezuela. It is exciting, imaginative and maybe one of the best things you can do on a perfect South Florida winter Saturday.

Every year I say “Next year I am going to go to Art Basel” and every year I get completely put off the mere idea of standstill traffic, no parking, hordes of people. And I end up not going, But this little show is different; it’s easy, it’s here, it’s ours.

I’m already looking forward to next year.