January is a big month in the South Florida art world, and it has a distinctly international feel. Art from 24 countries is presented at ArtMiami 2002 opening at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Picasso's Photobiographer Andres Villers is on display at the Damien B. Gallery in Miami and Dutch painter Verdoorn exhibits in Key Largo.

Picasso by Andres Villers in Miami
Andre Villers is a cultural phenomenon, who, in 1953, at the age of 23, happened to walk past Picasso on the street and asked him if he would allow him to take his picture. Picasso told him to come visit him at his home, where he told Villers to look at the table, where he presented him with a fine camera, and asked him if he was willing to become his personal photographer. Though his encounters with Picasso are his most famous, Villers' photographs have also immortalized other great creators of our time - Arp, Aragon, Leger, Bunuel, Hartung, Brand Van Velde, Fellini, Dali, Cesar, Arabal, Peverelli, Ernst, Prevert, Delaunay, Cocteau, Ferre, Butor, Miro. The Picasso portraits are on display through January 15th at the Damien B. Contemporary Art Center, 282 NW 36 Street in Miami.

Marine Paintings by Dirk Verdoorn in Key Largo

"HYPER-REALISM ON THE WATER," an exhibit of new works by French marine painter Dirk Verdoorn, at The Gallery at Kona Kai, beginning January 3, 2002.

French Marine artist Dirk Verdoorn is noted for his "maxirealist" paintings of working ships in harbor and at sea, as well as his scenes of Dutch country canals remembered from his childhood in Holland. This is Verdoorn's first show in Florida and only his second in the USA. He has a show running concurrently at Galerie Midi in Rotterdam.

Direct from Art Expo in NYC, this is Verdoorn's first show in Florida and only his second in the USA. While next year you will be able to see Verdoorn at Art Basel Miami and Art Expo Miami, right now you can only see his work at Key Largo's The Gallery at Kona Kai at MM 97.8 bayside, on the grounds of the Kona Kai Resort. The gallery is open every day from 9am to 7pm or by appointment.

South Florida Galleries


Art Miami 2002, one of South Florida's most important cultural events, returns to the Miami Beach Convention Center, Friday, January 4- Tuesday, January 8,2002. Show organizers are finalizing plans to welcome more than 100 galleries from 24 countries, for the 12th edition of the annual international exposition of modern and contemporary art.

Photography by Andres Sierra Siegert of Colombia

According to Art Miami director llana Vardy, there is heightened anticipation of the upcoming event, which offers visitors a unique opportunity to discover a wide selection of affordable and museum-quality works of art in a world class setting. This year, when terrorism, sadness and economic decline have been on everyone's minds, I am deeply honored to acknowledge the huge support we have received from our exhibitors and our numerous friends in the greater Miami area. It is with their determination that Art Miami will flourish this year. We believe, along with them, that contemporary art still occupies a crucial piace in this world."

Peter Osborne, director of the Berkeley Square Gallery of London and a longtime participant in Art Miami, conveyed the views of many exhibitors with his statement of support. "We are fully committed to our participation in Art Miami and plan to bring our best ever exhibition. We look forward, as always, to coming to Florida in January and we are confident that our success will continue in 2002."

Special Exhibits and Panels
On Friday, January 4, as part of Art Miami's opening night festivities, Galerie Anne Lettree from Paris will stage a special presentation of artist Bea Aaronson's synasthetic collages. All part of an homage to the poet Baudelaire, Aaronson's elegant, erotic images will be projected onto the exterior walls of the Convention Center, while inside models dance to trance beats as Aaronson performs to the poetry of Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine and her own Iyrics.

Koen Vanmechelen's famed cross-breeding project, The Cosmopolitan Chicken, presented by Berengo Fine Arts.

Ongoing throughout the fair's five-day run, special exhibits will warrant attention. The Cosmopolitan Chicken, Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen's famed crossbreeding project, presented by Berengo Fine Arts of Venice, Italy will represent the third generation of this much-documented project. An artificial cross-breeding, done with transparent glass (the two previous breedings used real chickens and was shown in Belgium and England), offers a statement about the world today, where the glass allows any kind of filling-in, and represents the desire to be fertilized by a new country. Also on tap, Art Miami and Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque present Araki, an exhibition of thephotographs of Nobuyoshi Araki, in celebration of a new limited edition book by Taschen. Attendees should consult show maps for booth locations of these exhibits.

Miami's Barbara Gillman Gallery's works of Peter Kuentzel.

A panel discussion on the art of collecting will take place Saturday, January 5 at 1:00 p.m. Collectors, curators and gallery owners will draw upon their varied experiences to offer a behind the scenes glimpse at the forces that fuel and shape the contemporary art scene.

Project Rooms and Currents
Two successful programming elements from previous years, Project Rooms, a series of one person exhibits selected by South Florida curators, and Currents, Art Miami's "show within a show," featuring the latest trends in contemporary art created by young, cutting edge artists and their up-and-coming exhibitors, will once again present boundary-testing work by artists from Italy, Colombia, Brazil, Spain, the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

Project Rooms will feature solo exhibitions throughout the fair by artists working in a variety of media. Selected by South Florida curators Bonnie Clearwater (Museum of Contemporary Art), Peter Boswell (Miami Art Museum), and Diane Camber (Bass Museum of Art), the exhibitors/artists are:
Galeria Baro Senna (Sao Paulo) Brazilian Popular Art
Berkeley Square Gallery (London) in association with - World House Gallery (South Orange)
Graciela Sacco
Kevin Bruk Gallery (Miami): Shoichi Aoki
Felipe Grimberg Art (Miami): Maria Fernanda Cardoso
Jacob Karpio Gallery (San Jose, Costa Rica): Dario Escobar
Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art (Calgary): Jeff Nachtigall
Angel Romero (Madrid): Federico Uribe

Currents, returning for a third year, features provocative, challenging work from some of the contemporary art scene's hottest young artists and exhibitors. Exhibitors include:
Miami's Ambrosino Gallery, American European Fine Art (New York), ArtcoreLab Gallery (Toronto), Art System-Art Product (Toronto), B & D Studio (Milan), George Billis Gallery (New York), Bores & Mallo (Caceres, Spain), Espai 292 (Barcelona), M & M proyectos (San Juan), M.Y. Art Prospects (New York), Nikolai Fine Art (New York), and Luz Osorio (Medellin).

Show Hours
Art Miami 2002 kicks off Friday, January 4th with a gala opening reception from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Exposition hours are noon - 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday; noon - 6:00 p.m. on the show's final day, Tuesday, January 8th. A private, invitation only VIP collectors' preview will take place preceding the grand opening from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 4. Art Miami is open to the public. Daily admission to Art Miami: $12 adults; $9 seniors, students, groups; $30 Permanent Pass; free for children under 12. Art Miami 2002 will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Hall D.

Generous sponsors of Art Miami 2002 include Audi, the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, and Art Nexus. For further information contact Art Miami's offices at 312/553-8924 or on the Internet at www.art-miami.com.