Letter from the Editors

Welcome to the Miami Issue

Ed Bereal w/ Bodacious TV Works, “Pull Your Coat,” 1986. Video with sound. Total run time: 26:43 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Elizabeth Leach Gallery.

Miami in December is a pretty good place to be. The other day, our senior team was adding up their collective years of art weeks. The figure tipped into middle-aged territory. Just what is it that makes this city, at this time of year, so special? Why do people keep coming back, knowing the frustrations—the exhaustion, the traffic—that ground the moments of beauty and excitement? Commerce, of course. But what else?

In putting together this issue, we wanted to crowdsource advice and recommendations from repeat offenders; we wanted the perspectives of those who have come up with the art scene; and we wanted to look at the unpredictable yet remarkably durable relationship between the city’s fluctuations of dollars and people, and its arts institutions.

In short, we wanted to present both a guide and a deep dive into this most special of places. Imagine skimming across the bay on a jet ski, diving off and swimming down, past the coral and into the porous bedrock, where the forces of art and culture, politics, and ecology slosh like a tray of martinis being rushed to your table. That’s what we’re going for.

It would be hard to find a better Virgil to guide us through Miami than Nina Johnson, whose eponymous gallery has showcased many of the city’s artists alongside a mix of those from across the world for over fifteen years. In an essay that roams through relationships with artists and culture-makers, much like rivers do Miami, Nina explains why she has chosen this protean, unpredictable city to set down gallery roots. And as the city morphs with the tides, its arts institutions continue to dominate the horizon. Reporting on the museum beat, Megan Hullander explores the architectural topography of the city’s museums, highlighting, as she does so, the exhibitions on view this season. Start at MOCA North Miami, then head south.

You’ll arrive at PAMM, the canopied marvel screwed into the shore of Biscayne Bay. If you’re approaching by car—which we bet you are—you’ll likely catch a glimpse of some fresh signage. Take note, and then read this conversation between PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans and Pete Scantland, the CEO of Orange Barrel Media, as they talk art, advertising, and how museums everywhere could be making a lot more money.

Speaking of money—turns out there’s a lot of it in Miami. Especially at this time of year. But what do you do with it? Well, we reached out to a handful of our closest confidants and demanded their intel as to where to see art, maybe even buy it, and where to get a bite or a drink. Our first port of call is the Deuce because of course, but it’s only going to get weirder, and wilder.

And it’s hard to be as weird and wild as “Pull Your Coat,” a TV pilot from 1986 created by artist Ed Bereal, the intro of which adorns this issue’s cover. To see the whole episode, swing by Elizabeth Leach’s booth in the Survey section of the main fair.

Welcome back to Miami. It’s been too long.

— Cultural Counsel