Cultured Magazine

Summer 2012

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Page 57 of 107

Talking Shop Gary Nader, the Miami-based dealer who boasts one of the largest inventories of important Latin American art, shares his outlook on the market. BY TALI JAFFE Before heading to New York for 10 days of Frieze, auctions and meetings with clients, we caught up with Gary Nader to discuss the growth in the Latin American art maket, selling art as an eight year old and making history in Miami. How did you begin your career as a gallerist? My family had a gallery since I was about eight years old. I used to go there every week. I probably sold my first painting when I was 11, and by the time I was 19, I had opened my first gallery [in the Dominican Republic]. It's been almost 30 years since you founded your gallery in Miami. How do you feel looking back on what you've accomplished since then? After visiting art fairs, museums, biennials and any possible art demonstra- tion over these decades, I can say it's been very successful for us. We were the first to bring Matta, Botero, Lam, Torres Garcia, Tamayo—all of the great Latin American masters to Miami—and most of the United States. We've probably had around 120 shows of Latin American art here. How did you begin your relationship with these artists? Most of them produced their work between Paris and Italy, so I used to go and stay months at a time in Madrid, Rome, Milano, Paris and even the South of France looking for important pieces to bring to Miami. But you don't deal exclusively in Latin American art anymore. Correct. In the past 10 years we've expanded the gallery to contemporary, modern and even Impressionist works. This is one of the few galleries where you can find Latin American masters alongside Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Kippenberger, Albert Olin, Warhol, Basquiat…We are very proud to have an extremely large and varied inventory. How do you think the Latin American Market has changed? What's your outlook? Definitely for the best. It's amazing what's going on. Exactly what is happen- ing is what I said 30 years ago. Every museum of importance—Tate, MoMA, Houston Fine Arts—has an important collection of Latin American art. And every important private collection has at least a few Latin American works. The recognition that has long been deserved is coming through now. Is Miami poised to be the Latin American art hub? We have an extraordinary melting pot of people from Latin America here, of course. Latin Americans make a point to collect their own art. You can see the prices change from hundreds of thousands to millions. You see new artists bringing $150,000 at auction. There's definitely a huge demand. 56 CULTURED Gary Nader in front of a work by Jesús Rafael Soto. Miami is a tourist attraction for the wealthy from Argentina, Mexico, Colom- bia...They have homes here where they tend to place extraordinary art. What motivated you to move into such a massive space in Wynwood? It's the best thing we ever did. I can display my monumental sculptures, and, since I don't own a museum—yet—the space functions as part mu- seum, part gallery; 40 percent of the works are on display simply to enjoy. When did you first connect with Botero? I met Botero for the first time through his daughter some 20 years ago, but I've been selling his work since I was 20 years old. When the time was right, we discussed representation and in the dozen years that we've been work- ing together, we've become the largest collector and handler of his work. I strongly believe that he is the most important Latin American artist alive today. Worldwide he's the most recognizeable artist; we sell to South Korea, China, Taiwan, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Dubai and in Africa, Europe and throughout the U.S. He recently celebrated his 80th birthday, and I still think there is a lot of room for him to grow. What do you think of the cultural boom in Miami? When I told my family I was going to move to Miami, my father told me 'You're crazy. It's swamps.' He told me to go to London, New York or Paris. And I thought, why go to those cities, everything has already been done there. I wanted to be part of a city where we could make it ourselves. Be part of the history. This is what is happening. We're a very young city. We came a long way in the last 10 to 15 years. Everybody is interested for Miami to become an art hub. It's happening, little by little. And Miami moves at its own pace. It's not going to be Berlin or New York.

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