Miami’s Contemporary Art Seen Overlooked

Miami is loved for its sandy beaches, great weather and international community. However one seems only to think of New York when they think of art collecting. Miami is a young city and a famed publicly owned art collection isn’t on the menu just yet, so it is really important for collectors to dig!

What Miami does have is a comprehensive private collection of contemporary art open to the public. Art Basel, an annual event that turns Miami into an art fair, recently took place in Miami, the organizers known only to gravitate towards top galleries, smart buyers and a huge demographic of art lovers. So how do the citizens of Miami find their art? Such celebrities as Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have been spotted looking for art in Miami’s Art Basel festival and Lindemann’s Miami Modern Beach Home.

One of the private collections famed enough to attract the attention of Art Basel was the Margulies Collection. Developer Martin Margulies houses his collection in a large warehouse. Started over 30 years ago, this collection is home to sculptures that are monumental in size and value. Sculptor Anselm Kiefer’s piece Sprache der Vogel is among this collection, the famous sculpture showing a massive set of wings spanning 17 feet from books. While the collection continues to grow, Margulies shows no interest in slowing down. One of his major passions in life is collecting.

According to some, this city is home to about 10 major private art collections. Almost all of them are collections of contemporary art, and this isn’t a coincidence. Miami is home to a young crowd with a certain type of ethos. Many buyers here don’t take joy in first-grade classical works such as Monet or Picasso or even constructivist kind of work. Although these works are of higher value, many collectors collect out of love. Not generally for money, however, money is the first requirement for many of these large scale collections.

The Rubell Family Collection is another Miami jewel founded by Donald and Mera Rubell. Starting their art collection as a young married couple in New York in the 1960s, this couple is now one of the more well-known collectors in the city. They often have exhibitions showing such rarities from artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and David Wojnarowicz. The couple even knew some of these artists personally. George Condo was among one artists that the Rubells would visit in their collection heyday in the 1960s.