Art Miami built a 100,000 sq. ft. pavilion that 35,000 persons traipsed through during Art Week in December of 2009. The success of that venture has inspired Nick Korniloff to launch a new fair in Miami in early February. The Florida International Fine Arts Fair (FIFAF) will run from the 3rd to 13th.
The fair is aimed at attracting new clients for the dealers who show there. Miami is booked with vacationers and winter residents in February, many of them escaping their home countries and setting up shop for the Winter months.
When we spoke to Korniloff this week, he was eager to make it clear that his new fair was not trying to divert the established art trade from Palm Beach down to Miami in February but open up a whole new market.
“What we do with the February event,” Korniloff says, “will reach out to a whole other audience: people who call Miami their home from January to March from Latin America, from Russia and from Europe.
“There is no cultural event targeted to the fine art market at this time,” he observed. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for dealers to come back and fill the void. They’ll make new contacts or reinforce business from December.”
Korniloff sees his “new generation” fair as being very important for the market as a whole. The art trade has a lot redundancy between New York and Palm Beach. But a few miles away in Miami, there’s virgin territory and 30 five-star resorts that are booked solid. Korniloff is confident he can capitalize on all that wealth relaxing away from the office with nothing to do.
“We’re conveniently located between the beach and the city,” he says observing that new collectors are in Miami to let loose. “It’s a non-conservative mentality in Miami. They’re living luxury with rented villas and rented cars. Top collectors are not focused on buying in their cities of residence.”
And when Korniloff talks to dealers in Paris, Rome and across the continent he hears that their clientele is in Miami during the Winter months. That’s a good sign. “When you’re dealing with the European contingent,” he says. “Art and culture is part of their education. They’re already pre-qualified.”