Select Fair Interview - Art Basel Miami - Empty Kingdom - Art Blog

As you may have heard, the righteous dudes and dudettes of Empty Kingdom are honored to have partnered with the righteous dudes of Select Art Fair, one Monsieur Brian and one Signor Matthew.  We’ll be in Miami in no time for the art throwdown that is known across the world as Art Basel, and in preparation for this super radical event we have taken a little time to pick these gentlemen’s brains.  Here we present to you their interview, check it out:

First off, please introduce yourselves; tell us how you met and how Select Art Fair got started up?

We met at our graduate program at The School of Visual Arts in NYC where we were both obtaining our MFA’s.  We quickly became friends and bonded over our artwork and background being from upstate NY.  We wound up collaborating on several projects and eventually developed SELECT together.


What do you see as the mission of Select Art Fair?    What does art mean to you?

SELECT’s main mission is to present dynamic new work that resonates on multiple levels.  SELECT creates the platform for new work to become established & collected.  We provide the stage for artists and galleries alike to get critical exposure and coverage. We believe in current trends and their viability as investment as well.  We believe in new media and breaking boundaries.  We like our visitors to have a unique experience; Select Fair is a work of art to us, which is a different approach to some of the larger fairs.

Tell us about the experience you have had in Miami, how was Select received last year?  Is Miami a good city for artists?  What did you learn there?  What will you do better this year?  What will you do the same?  

Considering this was a yearlong production, countless hours with high anxiety. We didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully our hard work paid off and we were well received.  We sold a large amount of emerging art and created quite the buzz in the contemporary art world.

Miami has become it’s own artist hub.  It has a nice size community of like-minded artist that all seem to be doing something larger than life during Basel.


How did you settle on The Catalina Hotel?  What about that venue appealed to you from a curatorial perspective?  What about from an artists perspective?

The Catalina Hotel is ideally situated on the popular Collins Avenue and is just two blocks from Art Basel.  It has a built in structure for us to modify as we see fit.  The hotel allows us to remove all the furniture and bedding from each room and create a blank canvas.  It is a beautiful relationship that we have cultivated over the last three years.

Our exhibitors revel in the experience.  It is a funky and intimate boutique art deco hotel.  It is the perfect contrast to Basel’s cavernous stadium style event.


Are you artists?  How has your proximity to art changed your perception of it?  What do you see that you didn’t before?  How important is the framing of a piece to its perception?

We are both visual artists with our own exhibition history and are well versed in the NYC art scene.  Curatorial speaking, Select is a natural extension of ourselves.  If anything has changed with us, it is our attention to business matters that tend to pop up.


What are the criteria for you use to partner with a gallery or artist?  How do you judge?  How do you know someone is good enough to work with?

We look at several things when determining developing relationships. Pedigree, roster, experience, uniqueness of vision, network, etc.  Most of the time it comes down to several phone conversations.  We like to get to know our exhibitors and partners as much as possible.  It helps to create community and align our goals.


What do you hope to achieve at Miami this year?  What about in the next 5 years?  What are your individual dreams and how is the work you’re doing with Select bringing you closer to realizing them?

This year in Miami is going to be our statement year.  We’ve brought in amazing artists, galleries, collectives, universities and residency programs.  We have world-class installation artists, street artists, and performers.  We’ve partnered with some of the best organizations to multiply our vision and presence (that includes EK!).

We see this setting the stage for our future projects in Miami, NYC and beyond.  As we expand our company we expand our vision and reach.  We hope to see all of our exhibitors become more successful as we grow ourselves.


Choose two: soup, salad, sandwich, and tell us what kind.


Soup: Gazpacho

Sandwich: BLT



Soup:  Does Chili Count?

Sandwich: Buffalo Chicken!

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